Allergy and Asthma Center
Allergists located in McLean, VA
Many patients don’t realize that a cough can be a sign of asthma, sinusitis, and some types of allergies. Anita N. Wasan, MD, at Allergy and Asthma Center is an expert at evaluating all the possible triggers, allergens, and potential causes of a cough, diagnosing the problem, and creating an individualized treatment plan. If you have a persistent or chronic cough, schedule an appointment online or call the office in McLean, Virginia.
Cough Q & A
What should I know about coughs?
Everyone is familiar with the cough that comes along with a cold or the flu. Although this type of cough can be very uncomfortable, it goes away on its own as the illness runs its course.
If your cough doesn’t go away or it frequently recurs, it may be due to allergies or asthma. Smoking, chronic bronchitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are also the top causes of a chronic cough.
What causes a chronic cough?
Smoking and chronic bronchitis frequently cause a chronic cough, which is a cough that lasts eight weeks or longer. When these are not the source of the problem, the most common causes are:
Upper airway cough syndrome (UACS)
UACS used to be known as postnasal drip, an issue that often arises when you have allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or sinusitis. In addition to cough, UACS can make you feel like there’s something caught in your throat or that you need to clear your throat.
Chronic coughing is often a sign of asthma. It’s estimated that 25% of patients with chronic cough have asthma. You may develop other asthma symptoms — difficulty breathing, wheezing, and chest pain or pressure — but even if you only have a dry cough, you might still have a type of asthma called cough-variant asthma.
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever
If you’re allergic to pollen, ragweed, mold, dust, or pet dander, you may develop a cough that’s triggered when you come into contact with your allergen.
How is my cough diagnosed and treated?
Because there are so many possible causes of a chronic cough, an allergy and asthma expert like Dr. Wasan is your best resource for getting to the bottom of the problem. Allergists specialize in evaluating multiple symptoms and conducting testing to rule out hundreds of possible allergens and irritants.
In addition to allergy testing when needed, Dr. Wasan may perform a bronchospasm evaluation, pulmonary function testing, and other tests that assess the health of your lungs.
Your treatment plan depends on the underlying cause of your cough. Your customized care may include inhalers, biologic injections, allergy shots, or medications to relieve inflammation and symptoms like a stuffy nose.
Any time you have a cough that lasts longer than a cold, book an appointment or call Allergy and Asthma Center to get long-term relief from your symptoms.