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A 32-year-old member asked:

My father has a persistent cough for 5 weeks with little sleep. x rays are clean docs think it might be damage from stomach acid in the lungs. help.?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine 21 years experience
Could be...: There are several causes of chronic dry cough. Reflux, or acid from stomach can go backwards up the esophagus (the tube connecting mouth and stomach) and bathe the vocal cords in acid (even withotu causing heartburn). This causes a dry irritatant cough. Other causes can include cough-variant asthma, or post-nasal drip/allergies. If reflux is the cause, antacids can help but may take 2-3 weeks.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Possibilities...: If your dad has been coughing for 5 weeks, the possibilities include bronchospasm from any etiology, gerd, post-nasal drip or a combination of these factors. If he is treated for gerd and continues to cough, he needs to return to his doc since he could have a combination and the cough will continue until he is treated for every contributing factor. If he smokes, he needs to quit asap.

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Last updated Feb 21, 2016

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