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Chronic and persistent cough

March 24, every year is World’s Tuberculosis Day – (WTD). Although I had received several emails requesting that I discuss tuberculosis, I would rather discuss it next week.

 

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Today, I am worried that the old axiom which says, “all tuberculosis cough is persistent and chronic, but not all persistent and chronic coughs are tuberculosis,” is becoming muffled.

Let me paraphrase, accordingly Prof Ludlum John in Very Well magazine “Is your persistent cough a sign of tuberculosis or lung cancer? The answer is probably no to both, and the only way to find out is to consult your doctor.”

Now, let me add a dictum for all of us. “If you have a persistent cough that has lasted for more than 8 weeks please consult your doctor.

Nobody likes or wants to visit a doctor, including medical personnel, but our love for our families and the desires to stay healthy should override our phobias.

Wait a minute, have you ever suffered the irritating discomfort of temporary cough not to talk of persistent one. Then you should understand what this is all about. That to be on the safe side, every illness including cancer that iss diagnosed early must be nipped in the bud.

How do we define a chronic cough?

A chronic cough is defined as a cough that persists for a period of eight weeks or longer.

• The cough may be dry or productive, in other words, you may not cough up mucous – sputum. The cough may also be referred to as “lingering” or “nagging”.

• An acute cough in contrast, refers to a cough that lasts less than 6 weeks, such as those that occur with common cold or coryza.

What are the causes of persistent cough?

1) Allergic rhinitis – hay fever, sinus infections, nasal polyps or other conditions is the most common cause of chronic cough.

2) Asthma – though people, with asthma also have their peculiar symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, but cough is always persistent.

3) Acid reflux – Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – This is the 3rd most common cause of a chronic cough, and is often overlooked. For some people typical symptoms such as heart burn may not be present, and the only symptom may be chronic cough.

4) Bronchitis – It is one of the top 4 causes of chronic cough in adults. It is similar to asthma.

5) Smoking – Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish a “smoker’s cough “ from a cough due to other conditions such as other cause of chronic cough.

6) Infection – Example whooping cough may cause persistent cough especially in children.

7) Tuberculosis – Is also a common cause of chronic cough.

8) Some medications – Especially a category a category of drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Roughly 10% to 20% of people treated with ACE-inhibitors develop chronic cough eg vasotec(enalapril) and zestril (lisinopril), but some people are non-reative and tolerate these drugs.

9) – Lung cancer – For only 2% of chronic cough, lung cancer is the underlying cause.

10) Other cancers and metastases – Other cancers that metastases to the lung like lymphoma, breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer and prostrate cancer can cause chronic cough.

11) Lung diseases – such as emphysema, bronchiectasis and sarcoidosis can cause chronic cough.

12) Fungal infections – such as coccidiomycosis, histoplasmosis these are all fungi, can cause chronic cough.

13) Foreign objects – inhaling foreign dusts like asbestos, coal, carbon etc can cause chronic cough.

14) Heart Failure – can also cause chronic cough.

15) Miscellaneous – There are more causes of persistent cough, but the important point is to note that, ther are a number of causes and a careful evaluation is needed if your cough is not going away.


11:07 - 2018/04/18    /    number : 60574    /    Show Count : 53


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