Cough | American Lung Association

Location Select your location

Cough

Coughing is an important reflex that helps protect your airway and lungs against irritants. Occasional coughing is normal, but persistent cough or one that is associated with other symptoms might be a sign of a more serious condition. Learn more about what causes coughing, when it could be a problem, diagnosing and treating a cough and how to manage a cough while your doctor is treating the cause.

Learn About Cough

Coughing is an important reflex that helps protect your airway and lungs against irritants. Find out more about how a cough affects your body and when a cough could be a sign of a more serious problem.

Learn more

Cough Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Coughing is a symptom of many medical conditions, so your healthcare provider will need to determine the cause of your cough. It is important to take note of the duration, type and features of your cough as well as any other symptoms that come with your cough.

Learn more

Diagnosing and Treating Cough

Most coughs will go away on their own after a respiratory infection is resolved with or without specific treatment. A cough that doesn't go away will need medical attention.

Learn more

Living with Cough

When a cough persists for long periods of time, it may have an impact on your quality of life. The treatment of cough is not only tailored to the cause but to your lifestyle. It's important to work with your doctor to manage your cough.

Learn more

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Cough

Write down questions you may have for your doctor so you won't forget to ask them during your visit. Here are a few to start with.

Learn more

This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.