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Living With Chronic Cough

What to Expect

A diagnosis of chronic cough can be both confirming and frustrating. It is a relief to know that the cause of the symptoms you have experienced for so long can be identified and treated. But that doesn't always mean that the cough itself will go away. You and your healthcare provider may have more work to do to manage living with chronic cough.  

Treatment options

If your cough is identified as being caused by a specific medical condition such as asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, sinus drainage issues, nasal polyps, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) there may be specific treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider that can be helpful in getting rid of the cough or at least making it more manageable. Even if a specific medical condition cannot be identified and the cough is termed "idiopathic" or "refractory," keep the conversation with your healthcare provider going to let them know how things are changing – or not.

Managing Chronic Cough

While a chronic cough can feel isolating, you are not alone. Oftentimes people find comfort and support in reaching out to others experiencing similar challenges. In sharing stories, voicing frustrations and affirming hopeful resolution, you can ease the emotional toll chronic cough has on your life. 

Check out some of the supportive resources available to you:

Online Support Communities

The American Lung Association has online communities on for individuals living with lung disease. Registration is free to join a community. Members can choose their level of participation and engagement. This online forum is a place for members to discuss challenges of living with chronic lung conditions and diseases.

Clinical Trials

You may qualify to participate in a clinical trial, a regulated research study in which people volunteer to test new treatments or therapies. It is important to consider all treatment options when living with lung disease.

The American Lung Association is currently conducting two clinical trials on chronic cough.

Better Breathers Club

Better Breathers Clubs teach you ways to cope with lung disease and provide support from others who share in your struggles. These in-person support groups give you the tools you need to live the best quality of life you can.

Talk to an Expert

Talk to our trained lung health professionals at the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine. Our service is free and we are here to help you.  Learn more

    Page Last Updated: June 21, 2019

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