Cough

Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic

Allergists, Asthma Specialists, & Immunologists located in the Pacific Region

While an upper respiratory infection is the most common cause of a cough, asthma and allergies can lead to chronic coughing. The physicians at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic diagnose and treat the cause of your cough at their 13 locations in the Pacific Region: Fremont, Oakland, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, and San Leandro, California; Clackamas and Gresham, Oregon; Bellevue, Fishers Landing, Longview, and Salmon Creek, Washington; and Eagle, Idaho. Call or schedule a consultation online today.

Cough Q & A

What are the common causes of a cough?

A cough is an involuntary action that clears your throat of mucus or other irritants. Viruses and bacterial infections such as a cold or the flu can cause extra mucus and lead to coughs. Additionally, these upper respiratory infections can exacerbate asthma and allergies.

Asthma causes inflammation and excess mucus production in the airways of your lungs. The extra mucus can cause chronic coughing as your body tries to dislodge and remove it. Similarly, if you suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies, your body will cough to remove mucus, pollen, and other irritants from your throat.

How is the cause of a cough diagnosed?

The doctors at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic provide thorough physical exams and extensive diagnostic testing to identify the cause of your cough. During your exam, they talk to you about your symptoms, overall health, and lifestyle. Your doctor listens to your lungs and looks into your throat, nose, and ears. They may also use an otoscope or a sinus endoscopy to examine the insides of your sinuses to gather more information about your condition. 

If your doctor suspects that you have asthma, they use lung function tests to measure the amount of air that enters and exits your lungs while you breathe. Some of the standard lung function tests include spirometry, bronchoprovocation, and peak expiratory flow tests. 

Similarly, if your doctor believes that allergies are the root cause of your cough, they use allergy testing to identify the specific allergen that triggers your symptoms. For example, they may use a patch test or skin prick tests to determine your allergies. 

How are coughs treated?

The team at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic provides customized treatment plans to reduce your cough and address the condition causing it. Your program may combine preventive therapies as well as treatments to resolve the underlying issue. 

For example, if you have an allergy, your doctor can help you develop avoidance strategies while also providing immunotherapy to reduce your allergic response. If you have asthma, they prescribe daily-use inhalers that help keep your airways open and reduce coughing. 

If you’ve had a cough for more than a couple of weeks and it isn’t getting better, call Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment.