Coughing is the body’s natural way of eliminating excess secretions, irritants, and potentially harmful substances from our airways. Chronic cough, defined as regular coughing episodes lasting longer than six to eight weeks, affects up to 20 percent of the adult population. Allergists and immunologists at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have specific expertise in the diagnosis and management of chronic cough.
Often, up to 80 percent of the time, chronic cough is a result of chronic postnasal drainage, hidden asthma, or gastrointestinal reflux (GERD). Less common causes include infections, tumors or other growths in the airway, psychological (habitual) cough, and side-effects of certain medications.