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Chronic Cough

Chronic cough is a symptom of many lung diseases. In order to be considered a chronic cough, the cough must last for more than eight weeks.

At IU Health, our pulmonologists use many safe, noninvasive tests to determine the cause of your chronic cough, whether it is chronic bronchitis, an interstitial lung disease or heart failure. We work with you every step of the way, focusing on helping you manage your cough and live an active lifestyle.

We cough to clear our lungs and throats of irritants, such as mucus. If your body is creating a large amount of mucus, it may be a sign it is fighting off an infection or that the pathways in the lungs are swollen or inflamed. With most common illnesses, such as strep throat or bronchitis, your body will create mucus and you will cough for only a week or two. More serious conditions, such as pneumonia, may lead to a longer cough.

If you test negative for these conditions and continue to cough, it may be a sign of a more serious lung disease, such as emphysema, interstitial lung disease or lung cancer. It may also be a sign of other chronic conditions such as asthma or chronic bronchitis.

To diagnose the cause of your cough, pulmonologists will use tests such as pulmonary function test, chest X-rays or Computed tomography (CT) scans to evaluate your breathing patterns and check for any blockages or tumors in your lungs. These tests are quick and noninvasive.

IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians are experts at diagnosing and treating lung diseases. We understand how difficult it can be to go about your daily life when you are having trouble breathing and strive to help you breathe better. As part of the only nationally ranked healthcare system in the state, our physicians have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials and a multidisciplinary team of specialists who share the same goal of improving your quality of life. 

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Chronic Cough Treatment Information

IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians create personalized treatment plans that may include the following services depending on the cause of your cough:

Chronic Cough Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area. 

Find a Specialist

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Chronic Cough Support Services

Because a cough can be caused by many conditions, it’s important to find reliable information online that guides you toward finding help. Explore the websites below for more information on chronic cough: