health care  
All about cough causes of cough diagnosis of coughing cough treatment cough medications

How coughing is diagnosed?

Whether a particular factor is responsible for chronic coughing can be determined when treatment for a specific cause achieves some benefit for the patient. But often there is more than one cause for the cough, in which case treating only one factor will not succeed in completely relieving the symptoms. To determine the cause of a cough, a physician should take an exact medical history and perform an exam. Information regarding the duration of the cough, what other symptoms may accompany it, and what environmental factors may influence it aid the doctor in his or her diagnosis. The appearance of the sputum will also help determine what type of infection, if any, may be involved. The doctor may even observe the sputum microscopically for the presence of bacteria and white blood cells. If the cause of cough is not strongly suspected based on the history and physical examination alone, a chest x-ray is done in most patients at least once during the evaluation of cough to ensure that there are no structural abnormalities in the lung which might be causing the cough. Unusual causes of cough can include benign tumors of the lung, bronchiectasis, "habit" cough, foreign body in the lung, and interstitial lung disease.

More information on cough

What is cough? - Cough is sudden and forceful expiration of air from the lungs caused by an involuntary contraction of the muscles controlling the process of breathing.
What causes cough? - Acute cough is most often caused by the common viral upper respiratory tract infection. Cold viruses often causes a postnasal drip and that causes a cough.
How coughing is diagnosed? - Information regarding the duration of the cough, what other symptoms may accompany it, and what environmental factors may influence it is useful for coughing diagnosis.
What's the treatment for a cough? - The treatment of a cough will depend largely on its severity and underlying cause. An acute infection such as pneumonia may require antibiotics.
What cough medications are available? - Antitussives are drugs that suppress a cough. Dextromethorphan depresses the brain's cough center. Cough suppressants may lessen cough.
Respiratory & lung diseases Mainpage

Topics in respiratory and lung diseases

Lung diseases
Occupational lung diseases
Respiratory infections
Respiration disorders
Broncheal diseases
Pleural diseases
Lung transplant

Featured articles on respiratory and lung diseases

COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Lung cancer
Pulmonary hypertension
Cystic fibrosis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005