Cough is a normal large airway and lung protective mechanism, and most people will cough intermittently to clear secretions from their airway and frequently during viral respiratory illnesses. Cough is considered chronic once it has lasted more than three weeks without sign of improvement. Frequent daytime coughing spells is also abnormal and should be evaluated. With viral illness most people will have prolonged coughing episodes at night and first thing in the morning but over the daytime people generally cough three to five times in a row and then take a break. Some illnesses will induce frequent daytime cough but not prolonged coughing spells lasting for 20 – 30 seconds or longer without interruption.
There are many causes for chronic and abnormal coughing. This list considers a few causes but is not inclusive: asthma; foreign bodies in the lung, airway, esophagus or ear; sinusitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchiolitis obliterans, etc. Some of the causes of abnormal cough can be impairing and dangerous, so this problem should not be ignored.
Pediatricians at Canyon View Pediatrics are specialized providers of health care in children and adolescents specifically trained to investigate and treat such problems. With in-house lab, x-ray and spirometry diagnostics available we can get to diagnosis with minimal time and energy resource expenditure on your part. Most causes of abnormal cough are readily treated in our office but some require referrals to pulmonologist or other specialists. We know the best and can help you if this is necessary.