Cough can be a troubling condition for both patients and partners and may last for days, weeks, or months in certain cases. It has a prevalence of between 5 to 10% in adults and children and is a common reason for patients to visit their GP or ENT specialist. It is more common in females and is associated with a negative quality of life. Chronic cough is defined as lasting longer than 8 weeks.
Cough following an upper respiratory tract infection (cold or flu) or lower respiratory tract infection (pneumonia) is very common and often persists for days or sometimes weeks once the symptoms of the infection are long gone. This type of cough almost always resolves without treatment.
Other causes include cough associated with asthma, laryngopharyngeal reflux, postnasal drip or hayfever (allergic rhinitis). Some medications can cause cough (e.g. certain blood pressure tablets). Neuropathic cough (caused by irritation of nerves) is less common. In rare cases, a cancer in the airway (upper or lower) can present with cough as one of the associated symptoms.
A thorough history and physical examination is very important. A careful assessment of oral cavity, as well as the nose and voice box with a nasendoscope (small camera) is vital to determine the cause of cough. Occasionally, imaging (X-rays or CT scans) of the neck, sinuses or chest may be needed, which Dr Levin can arrange onsite at both of his consulting locations.
With state-of-the-art endoscopes, cameras and monitors, Dr Levin can usually diagnose the cause of your cough and help alleviate this annoying condition. He also has good relationships with Respiratory Physicians, Gastroenterologists and Speech Pathologists who may also be required to manage chronic cough.