Information for Patients Complaining of Cough


Information for Patients Complaining of Cough


This tool answers common questions about coughing including:

  • Is coughing normal or abnormal?
  • What causes cough?
  • How does the body know when to make you cough?
  • What is the cause if a person cannot stop coughing?
  • Why is whooping cough (Pertussis) a common cause of subacute cough in adults? Isn’t whooping cough a childhood disease of the past?
  • What about the causes of chronic cough?
  • What about smoking as a cause of cough?
  • If you are coughing from cigarette smoking and chronic bronchitis, will the cough go away if you stop smoking?
  • What other conditions cause chronic cough?
  • Can you have more than one cause of chronic cough at the same time?
  • Is it important to determine the specific cause(s) of a chronic cough?
  • What is the best way for a doctor to determine the cause(s) of a cough?
  • Does treatment for chronic cough usually work?
  • What are the main treatments for causes of chronic cough?
  • Can a chronic cough be due to psychological problems or a habit?
  • Is cough contagious?
  • What about the use of cough medications?
  • What tests are done to diagnose the cause(s) of chronic cough?


American College of Chest Physicians

Funding Sources:

American College of Chest Physicians


Release Date: 2006
Review Date: 2007
Recent Summary: April 2008
Original Summary: June 2006
Last Updated: 03/13/13

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