Are you suffering from a chronic cough? At the office of North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, we’ll determine why you’re coughing, provide the appropriate care, and, when indicated, work with other medical specialists to restore your health and comfort.
When a respiratory issue is not the underlying cause
Although most people associate a chronic cough with a respiratory illness or disorder, it sometimes indicates an underlying gastrointestinal issue. As a matter of fact, researchers estimate that GERD, aka gastrointestinal reflux disorder, may account for nearly one-quarter of all chronic cough cases.
While a classic symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, it isn’t always the case. As acidic stomach contents go back up into the esophagus or tiny droplets land in the throat or voice box, they can trigger reflexive and protective coughing responses. Belching, wheezing, and difficulty swallowing can also occur.
The time of day and when your coughing occurs can also provide clues about its underlying cause. With GERD, you may cough primarily at night, after a meal, or when lying down. And, if your chest x-ray is normal, and you don’t have asthma, a postnasal drip, a smoking habit, or are taking medications that produce coughing as a side effect, GERD may be the source of your discomfort.
Seeing a specialist for precise diagnostics and skilled care
It's also worth noting, there’s an association between GERD and other pulmonary diseases, including aspiration pneumonia, asthma, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Of course, you can also have GERD with a chronic cough that’s due to another respiratory problem. For all these reasons, it’s best to see a trained specialist for a precise diagnosis and care. At the office of North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, our doctors understand the complex relationships between the respiratory system and the digestive system and how one affects the other. Our pulmonologists provide the skilled diagnostics and care patients need to help patients manage their conditions and feel better.
By North Jersey Pulmonary Associates
April 19, 2022