A chronic cough is one that has persisted for more than 8 weeks. There is a very large number of diagnoses that can cause a chronic cough, but only a handful cause most of the problems. These include chronic bronchitis from cigarette smoking, post nasal drainage, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Your MLA physician is experienced in the evaluation and management of chronic cough. He will take a thorough history and perform a physical examination. If you have not had a chest x-ray recently one will likely be performed just prior to your visit. Otherwise, you will be asked to bring a copy of your x-ray.
Based on this initial evaluation you will likely be treated for the entities that are suggested by your history and physical examination findings. You will likely also be scheduled for additional tests which may include pulmonary function tests, a barium swallow x-ray and others. In individuals with a chronic cough, it is not uncommon for the cough to be caused by more than one entity, and until all are identified and treated, the cough may persist.