Dr Gareth Roberts
There are a variety of causes of cough, some of which may not be directly related to the lungs themselves. Any patient who has a history of smoking and experienced weight loss or coughing up blood should always be urgently investigated. Often, the most important causes to exclude are those where lung cancer is suspected. Fortunately lung cancer only accounts for 2% of the cause of chronic cough.
Other respiratory causes include changes in the lungs related to smoking (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – COPD) and Asthma.
Many patients present with a cough were the causes include chronic gastric reflux and sinus disease. All of these can be managed to help control the symptoms. Indeed, some medication including those used to treat high blood pressure can be responsible for a persistent cough.