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Recurrent Cough & Cold

Cough & Cold

Chronic cough is a cough that persists over time. Chronic cough is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. The main challenge is to diagnose the main problem. Most of the time patients are treated symptomatically as the diagnosis is not right. The reason is that most of the time a physician is consulted instead of an ENT specialist. Many a times the seasonal cold may get treated through over the counter medicine and syrup but in cases where underlying cause may be your nose or sinuses then the recurrence happens.

There are several types of chronic cough that are generally treated at ENT hospitals in India.

Dry Cough: Dry cough is a cough that does not produce any mucus and is irritating to the lungs and throat. This may be a sign of a viral infection or sinus problems.

Chronic Productive Cough: It is cough that produces mucus (sputum), and depending on the color, may indicate a bacterial infection or fluid in the lungs.

Stress Cough : It is a reflexive spasm of the airways caused when you are under stress. It usually produces no mucus and is not generally related to infections.

Conditions

Asthma: An asthma-related cough may be recurrent which may come and go with the seasons, appear after an upper respiratory tract infection, or become worse when you’re exposed to cold air or certain chemicals or fragrances. In one type of asthma (cough-variant asthma), a cough is the main symptom.

Post Nasal Drip: When your nose is blocked due either deviated septum or due to swelling in nasal tissues or sinuses produce extra mucus, it can drip down the back of your throat and trigger irritating cough and recurrent cold like stuffy feeling. This condition is also called upper airway cough syndrome. This needs a through examination followed by CT scan of nose and sinuses.

GERD: In this common condition, stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your stomach and throat (esophagus). The constant irritation can lead to chronic coughing. The coughing, in turn, worsens GERD. This is one of the most commonly missed diagnosis.

Symptoms & Treatments

Right diagnosis leads to right treatment and that is very much applicable in case of recurrent cough and cold. There are so many reasons for a chronic and recurrent cough and cold that we observe at ENT hospital in India. In case of asthma we provide the anti allergics along with certain inhalers. In case of problem with nasal septum or sinuses we initially try to manage conservatively however in some case we have to resort to surgical treatment that is the correction of nasal bone and opening of sinus cavities. If the recurrent cough is because the GERD then the patient is advised life style changes along with certain antacids and other medications.

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