What Is Chronic Cough?

A chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts eight weeks or more. There can be numerous causes for chronic cough, but in most cases the cough will disappear when the underlying cause is treated.

A persistent cough can cause irritation, both physical—in your throat and chest—and emotional. A cough can disrupt sleep and interfere with work and social activities. It can lead to loss of bladder control in some people. In severe cases, chronic cough can also leave you feeling lightheaded or dizzy and even trigger fainting or vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to fractured ribs.

Smokers, former smokers and those who live with smokers are more likely to have chronic cough problems. Women are more likely than men to have chronic cough, as their cough reflex system is more sensitive.