Cough Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group -  - Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group

Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Physicians located in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City

If you have a cough that won’t go away, it could be due to an allergy or asthma. South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group has considerable expertise in diagnosing the causes of chronic cough, and its allergy experts use the most up to date treatments to relieve your cough. Call one of the convenient locations in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City, California, to find out more or book an appointment online.

Cough Q & A

What causes coughs?

Coughs are a common symptom of colds and other respiratory tract infections, but they typically resolve themselves as you recover from the illness. If your cough has become a chronic problem, you should have it checked out as it could be a sign of something more serious.

If you’re a smoker, it’s possible that a chronic cough could be due to lung cancer or chronic bronchitis. In non-smokers, a chronic cough is most likely due to:

Postnasal drip

Postnasal drip occurs when your nasal mucosa produces too much mucus, which then drips down your throat, causing irritation. Postnasal drip is the most common cause of chronic coughs. It could be due to allergies, sinusitis, nasal polyps, or nonallergic rhinitis.

Asthma

Asthma that causes a cough is known as cough-variant asthma, which is less common than the type of asthma that causes wheezing.

ACE inhibitors

ACE inhibitors are medications used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions. They can also cause a chronic cough.

One other increasingly well-recognized cause of chronic coughs is laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

How are coughs caused by asthma diagnosed?

Your provider at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group can run a computerized breathing test called spirometry that measures you inhaling and exhaling to assess lung function. 

Spirometry might be useful to look for evidence of asthma if you have a chronic cough. However, it’s possible to have a normal spirometry result with cough variant asthma.

If this is the case, you might need to do a special test like a methacholine challenge. This involves receiving doses of the drug methacholine, which can cause a narrowing of your airways, similar to the effect of asthma. Your provider then measures your reactions after each dose to see how well your lungs cope.

Another test for asthma is the exhaled nitric oxide test. Nitric oxide levels tend to be higher in people who have asthma, as your lungs give off more of the gas when there’s inflammation present. 

Acid Reflux

One form of asthma is known as cough-variant asthma, which is less common than the type of asthma that causes wheezing. 

What other tests are there for chronic cough?

Skin testing is useful for evaluating allergies. Skin testing involves having samples of possible allergens put on your skin, then they are read in 15 minutes to see what reactions you have

If you have a chronic cough, visit South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group. Call them today or book an appointment online.