When a cough just won't go away

Harvard Health Blog

Who has never had a cough? I bet no one can raise their hand. We see this in clinic all the time. But chronic cough -- one that lasts at least eight weeks -- can be hard for patients to deal with and difficult for doctors to figure out.

In the October 20, 2016 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, lung experts describe a step-by-step approach doctors can use to help treat patients with chronic cough. Most often a prolonged cough is due to one of the "usual suspects." But when it's not, we have a long list of increasingly rarer conditions that we should run through and rule out. If it isn't due to any of those, experts now recognize that...