Chronic Cough

A chronic cough is one that lingers for more than eight weeks in adults or four weeks in children. It can result in exhaustion due to interrupted sleep.


In addition to an unrelenting cough, symptoms that can accompany chronic cough include:

  • Postnasal drip (liquid running down the back of the throat)
  • Congested or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Heartburn
  • Sore throat / frequent throat-clearing

If you have a cough that lasts more than three weeks, schedule an appointment with Greater
Austin Allergy so we can get to the bottom of it.


Most often, a patient’s chronic cough can be attributed to one or more of the following issues:

  • Acid reflux – Irritation caused by stomach acid in the esophagus results in a chronic cough.
  • Allergies – If you are sensitive to any number of common allergens, a cough may be included among your symptoms.
  • Asthma – A chronic cough can be the primary symptom, as in cough-variant asthma.
  • Blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors)
  • Chronic bronchitis – Persistent inflammation of bronchial tubes can cause a cough.
  • Cigarette smoking – This is a leading cause of chronic cough and is
  • Pneumonia or other bacterial infections – The cough associated with these illnesses can remain long after all other symptoms wane.
  • Postnasal drip – Mucus that drips down the back of the throat can initiate the cough reflex.

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

We know how discouraging a chronic cough can be and look forward to helping you achieve relief. One of our physicians will perform an exam and discuss your medical history. Further testing may be necessary to narrow down the specific cause of your cough.

Your individualized treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause. We will work with you to find the most effective medications given your preferences and medical history.

Chronic Cough Facts

  • An occasional cough is normal — it helps clear irritants and secretions from your lungs and prevents infection.

  • Women tend to have more sensitive cough reflexes, so they’re more likely than men to develop a chronic cough. (

  • Smoking or breathing second-hand smoke irritates your lungs and can worsen coughs caused by other factors.

  • A chronic cough can lead to frustration and anxiety, especially if you don’t know the cause.

Greater Austin Allergy Asthma & Immunology