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Conditions We Treat: Chronic Cough

Constant irritation and trauma to the voice box can cause a pattern of overreaction of the vocal folds and a more easily triggered cough response. Chronic cough is usually defined as a cough that lasts for eight weeks or longer. When this occurs, it's important to evaluate and manage all possible causes.

Chronic Cough: What You Need to Know

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  • Causes of chronic cough include medication side effects, lung issues such as asthma or COPD, environmental allergies causing post-nasal drip, gastroesophageal/laryngopharyngeal reflux, and swallowing problems.
  • If these other problems have been ruled out, you may have sensorineuropathic cough. Caused by abnormal throat and voice box sensations from malfunctioning nerves, this diagnosis encompasses chronic cough, chronic throat clearing, and can include muscle tension dysphonia and paradoxical vocal fold motion.
  • Treatment for chronic cough involves identification of contributing factors and management through medication and lifestyle or behavioral changes.

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Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Chronic Cough?

Johns Hopkins Voice Center Doctors

Our Physicians


Rely on the expertise of our physicians to treat chronic cough.

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Our Patient Education


Dr. Lee Akst, Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

Watch our Voice Center FAQ video.

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