Show Summary Details
Page of

Cough: Comorbid, Coexisting, and Differential Diagnosis 

Cough: Comorbid, Coexisting, and Differential Diagnosis
Cough: Comorbid, Coexisting, and Differential Diagnosis

Pramod Kelkar

, Alan Goldsobel

, and Riccardo Polosa

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 May 2021

Cough results from forced expulsion, usually against a closed glottis, creating a characteristic sound. It is a natural reflex and defense mechanism that helps the body clear excessive secretions and prevents foreign material from entering the respiratory tract. At times, cough can become excessive, nonproductive, disturbing to the patient, and potentially harmful. Cough is a complex symptom and often requires a multidisciplinary approach to ascertain its cause and effective treatment. Evaluation should be guided by a thorough history and physical examination, and testing should be individualized for cost effectiveness. Habit cough and unexplained cough are diagnoses of exclusion, and any tendency to underdiagnose or overdiagnose these conditions should be avoided. Most over-the-counter cough suppressants are not as effective as previously thought, and their use in routine practice should be minimized. Future research should be conducted to elucidate the mechanisms of cough production and to develop cough-suppressive pharmacotherapy. Allergists, as experts in the management of upper and lower airway disorders, should play a central role in the diagnosis and management of cough.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.