FAQs About Chronic Cough

Here’s what you should know about chronic cough and your child. 

You may be surprised to discover that chronic cough is one of the top problems that brings kids into our Commack, NY office. The good news is that our pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Brian Bezack specializes in diagnosing and treating the causes of a chronic cough. We compiled the top questions about chronic cough in children so you can get the answers and information you need.

When is a cough considered chronic? 

A cough is considered chronic if it lasts more than four weeks. If your child has had a cough for four weeks or more, it’s time to see our Commack, NY, pediatric pulmonologist for an evaluation.

What causes a chronic cough? 

When there is something in the airways that cause irritation, this leads to a cough. It’s the body’s way of removing the irritant, whether mucus or a substance. Unfortunately, chronic coughing typically occurs even once the irritant has been cleared. A chronic cough may be caused by,

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Bacterial bronchitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Whooping cough
  • Asthma
  • Secondhand smoke exposure
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Acid reflux
  • Aspiration
  • Blockage in the airway

How is chronic cough diagnosed? 

If your child is dealing with a persistent cough, we’ll bring them into our practice for a complete examination. We will use a stethoscope to listen to your child’s breathing and detect anything in the lungs. Our team may also take a mucus sample, also known as a sputum culture, to detect the presence of bacteria or infection.

Lung function tests can also help us determine what’s causing your child’s chronic cough and are most often used to diagnose chronic cough in children under five years old. These lung function tests can help us confirm whether your child has asthma.

Sometimes a bronchoscopy or chest x-ray may be used to look for structural abnormalities in the lungs, as well as damage to tissue or blockages.

How is chronic cough treated? 

The treatment plan Dr. Bezack maps out will be based entirely on the cause of your child’s chronic cough. The goal is to treat the root cause, not just the symptoms. For example, if your child has asthma, we will provide them with prescription medications to reduce inflammation in the airways to improve breathing and chronic cough. Infections may be treated with antibiotics or drugs to clear the infection, while removing certain environmental irritants such as cigarette smoke can also improve certain chronic cough cases.

Is your child dealing with chronic cough? If so, our Commack, NY, pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Bezack can provide you with the specialized care you need to help them feel better. Call Bezack Pediatric Pulmonology at (631) 499-1298 to schedule an evaluation.

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