A Most cough and cold like symptoms are due to upper respiratory viral infections and bronchitis and they resolve in seven to 10 days. But cough persisiting more than six weeks is chronic cough and it requires further evaluation.
Chronic cough can be caused by problems in your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, heart or food pipe. Often patiens take a variety of medications to alleviate the cough withoug addressing the underlying problem and therefore not see adequate relief. The successful treatment of chronic cough depends on the proper identification of the underlying cause and it's treatment.
Post nasal drip, throat clearing, stuffiness, foul breath or headaches and pressure on the face may indicate sinus infection while itchy nose, eyes, throat and clear runny nose would indicate allergies.
Waking up at night coughing would indicate asthma and or gastroesophageal reflux. ( GERD ). Wheezing, chest tightness would indicate asthma while indigestion and heart burn would indicate GERD. Swelling of the feet, eye lids and history of heart problem or blood pressure would indicate heart disease. Some patiens may have more than one factor contributing to the symptoms. Unwanted weight loss and or fever would indicate a more serious disease.
Detailed hsitory followed by physical examination would be followed by testing which would include but not limited to allergy testing, pulmonary function testing, sinus and chest Xrays.
Some patients may need CT scans of sinuses or chest and evaluation for GERD. All patients do not require all of these tests. Once the diagnosis is confirmed treatment can be started