A cough is considered “chronic” if it lasts for eight weeks or longer. Sometimes a patient also has a stuffy nose, excessive mucus in the throat, shortness of breath, wheezing, or heartburn.
There are several causes for this condition. It may come from asthma, allergies, infection in the sinuses, backup from the stomach (called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD), or tobacco smoke.
Chronic cough is estimated to occur in up to 40 percent of the population and may require specialists from several disciplines to determine the cause and best treatment. These may include an otolaryngologist, pulmonologist, gastroenterologist, allergist, or immunologist.