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What is the cause of persistent cough?

Q: I have cough for the last 7 months. I also feel some irritation in my throat and till the time the irritation gets cleared, I keep coughing continuously. In my childhood, I used to have cough 2-3 times a year and every time it used to last for 2-3 weeks. Those days I used to cough continuously for 2-3 minutes and it sounded as if it was coming from deep inside. Now the intensity as well as duration of cough has come down, but its there throughout the year all day and night. The cough aggravates whenever I have a cold. Recently I visited a pulmonologist who did an allergy test & found that I am allergic to 7 food items e.g. brinjal, prawns, oranges, banana, chicken, onion and garlic. I am also allergic to neurospora & mite dust. The lung function test report was normal. I also had a CT scan of PBS region, and the observation was that there is a mild deviation of septum to the left. Mild mucosal thickening was noted in both Inferior turbinates. There is mild concha bullosa on right side in anterior part. The report of digital x-ray of chest PA view was normal. What is the reason of this cough? What should I do now?

A:Food allergies usually do not cause respiratory allergies, but since you have history of allergy and a family history of allergy you should get the lung functions done to rule out any obstruction. Cough may be the first sign of broncho pulmonary allergy or asthma. Another thing, which may cause cough, is acidity or acid reflux. For this you consult your doctor (chest specialist or ENT). You should take small multiple meals and avoid overeating and giving too much gap between the meals. The medical treatment is by Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which sometimes may have to be taken for as long as 6 months. If everything else has been ruled out, get CT chest also.


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