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Taming chronic cough

Updated: Monday, May 18,2009, 12:09:14 PM
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Chronic cough - often causing much discomfort, frustration, irritability and sleep disorders in 10 percent to 20 percent of adults - is one of the main reasons for consultation with a doctor, according to a report published this month in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Matthew A. Rang, MD, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and his colleagues, define a chronic cough that lasts longer than 8 weeks in adults and 4 weeks in children.
"Coughing plays an important role in the body's defense system by clearing the airway of excess secretions and foreign bodies," note the authors. "However, some patients in May and unnecessary excessive cough and May lead to a general deterioration in the quality of life. "

From the perspective of the patient, the most frequent problems observed in a recent survey were frustration, irritability, anger, frequent physician visits and testing, and sleep disorders.

The three main causes of chronic cough in adults are cough syndrome of upper airways (UACS, also known as syndrome postnasal drip), asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The treatment described as the most effective cough resolution tests for the three conditions and treating them simultaneously.

"Unfortunately, less research is available in childhood cough when compared with their adult counterparts," said co-author John Oppenheimer, MD, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Cendar Knolls, NJ "In a study , bacterial bronchitis was identified as the most common explanation for chronic cough in children, while asthma, GERD and UACS is less than 10 percent of the diagnosis. On the other hand, in another study , asthma was found in the most common cause of chronic cough in children, reinforcing the need for further research to identify causes of cough in this population. "

New diagnostic techniques and treatments in May of more rapid development to provide relief cough patients. Measurement of expired nitric oxide is shown to correlate with airway inflammation for identifying asthma. Aeriflux a portable test system was developed in May facilitate the diagnosis of GERD associated cough.

Taming chronic cough requires a thorough evaluation. Considering the leading causes of chronic cough, the author notes that allergists should be crucial in the process of evaluation and management.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) is a healthcare provider with headquarters in Arlington Heights, Ill.., Which promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists, immunologists and health professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and interaction in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of health care, education, advocacy and research.

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