Cough is the most common presenting complaint in adults seeking medical treatment in an ambulatory setting. Chronic cough (persisting greater than 3 weeks) can be associated with myriad diseases that may overlap multiple medical specialties. For this reason, a thorough assessment of the patient with chronic cough relies on a multidisciplinary approach and close cooperation between pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, and otolaryngology. Despite this daunting task, success can be achieved in up to 90% of patients with chronic cough if a systematic and thorough approach is used. The purpose of this review is to summarize the state-of-the-art in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic cough for the practicing otolaryngologist.
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