Chronic cough

"The most common cause of chronic cough is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associated with smoking".


When is a cough considered chronic?

A chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts more than 3 weeks. It is one of the most frequent symptoms in the consultations of the Department of Pneumology.

Making an accurate diagnosis sometimes requires testing with different treatments. But once established, the treatment is usually very effective.

Once the cause of the cough has been established, a treatment plan is drawn up for the patient. In addition, it is important to monitor the evolution of the cough with the indicated treatment.

Do you have a chronic cough that has not been cured?

It can be caused by numerous diseases that are generally not recognized without special studies.

  • Smoking is perhaps the most common cause of chronic cough.
  • Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the bronchi that can produce chronic coughing as the only symptom, with or without expectoration.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux is defined as the passage of acidic fluid from the stomach into the esophagus. The acid can stimulate nerve receptors in the esophagus that produce coughs, or it can even reach the pharynx and be inhaled into the bronchi.
  • Retronasal drip is defined as secretions produced in the nose or sinuses falling into the pharynx. It is usually caused by chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa (rhinitis) or sinuses (chronic sinusitis) from various causes (e.g. infection or allergies).

The most common diseases that cause it are

  • Allergies.
  • Bronchial Asthma.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.

Do you have a chronic cough problem?

A diagnosis may be necessary to rule out diseases

How is chronic cough diagnosed?

<p>Pruebas funci&oacute;n respiratoria</p>

In order to determine the cause of the chronic cough and to be able to initiate a specific treatment, several diagnostic tests will be necessary. Depending on the medical history and physical examination, usually one of the following will be performed:

  • Spirometry with bronchodilation test.
  • Bronchospasm provocation test.
  • Radiological tests, generally CT scan of the chest and sinuses.
  • Otorhinolaryngological exploration.
  • Esophageal pHmetry.
  • Allergy tests.

How do we treat chronic cough?

The usual treatments (anti-cough syrups, mucolytics, decongestants, etc.) are not effective and it is common that after taking several treatments, a patient comes to the office with a cough of several months.

Making an accurate diagnosis sometimes requires testing with different treatments. But once established, the treatment is usually very effective.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Pneumology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Specializing in smoking and tobacco-related diseases, the Department has over 15 years of experience in smoking cessation and lung cancer early detection programs.

The department's specialists have received training at leading centers around the world, including centers in the United States, and have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all respiratory diseases, both common and rare.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clínica?

  • Leading clinical assistance with great work in research and teaching.
  • Specialized nursing team.
  • We work together with the Sleep Unit and the Lung Cancer Area.