What could cause a cough?
A cough may be a simple irritation of the throat, vocal cords, or airway from allergies, infection, or reflux. However, it may also be an early sign of severe disease in the throat, airways, or esophagus that needs immediate treatment. A cough lasting longer than one week should be evaluated by a physician specializing in these areas. The otolaryngologist can help the general physician or lung specialist by evaluating other areas that may be causing the cough.
How is a cough evaluated?
A cough is a very general symptom that needs a thorough evaluation of the upper and lower airways, chest, and throat. Dr. Beaver will evaluate the nose and sinuses, throat and vocal cords, and order chest imaging if necessary. She may also need to evaluate the esophagus. She will rely on other specialists such as pulmonologists, neurologists, or allergists if necessary to completely evaluate the problem. Bloodwork or x-rays may be necessary to exclude infection or other problems.
How is cough treated?
Depending on the diagnosis, you may require medication, therapy, or surgery.