What steps should you take after being diagnosed with chronic cough?

Step 1

Communicate with Your Health Care Team

  • If you have been diagnosed with a chronic cough, you most likely have seen different specialists such as a lung doctor, allergist, and heart specialist to determine any other possible cause for your cough.  It is important that your healthcare providers have ruled out any other source of your cough.
  • If your healthcare providers (primary care provider and specialists) do not work in the same healthcare system, encourage your healthcare team to communicate with each other for the most comprehensive approach to your care.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can manage your cough.

Step 2

Protect Your Lungs

  • Avoid commercial tobacco smoke. Smoking or breathing secondhand smoke irritates your lungs and can worsen your cough.
  • Occupational exposure, chemicals in the home and workplace and mold all can act as irritants with the potential to worsen your cough.
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations that protect against infectious respiratory diseases since coming down with one can make your cough worse.

Step 3

Get Support

  • Living with a chronic cough can be frustrating. Joining a support group can provide you with a community that understands the types of challenges you may be facing. Online support groups and in person support groups are available
  • Consider professional support if you feel overwhelmed with your chronic cough diagnosis. Ask your primary healthcare provider to provide a referral to a counselor or check with your insurance for an in-network provider that can help you with managing the stress and frustration of your diagnosis.

Page last updated: June 7, 2024

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