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A 32-year-old male asked:

how do you get rid of a really bad cough?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Depends....: Before a cough can be treated, the etiology of the cough needs to be diagnosed. Possible causes of an acute cough include acute bronchitis, bronchospasm or a combination of factors. Possible causes of a chronic cough include bronchospasm from any etiology, gerd, post-nasal drip or a combination of factors. Any of the chronic causes can also be a factor in acute coughs.
Dr. Anthony Rooklin
Allergy and Immunology 49 years experience
Diagnosis: The secret to getting rid of a frustrating cough is to make the correct diagnosis as to what is causing the cough. This problem often requires seeing either an allergist or a pulmonologist. The majority of these problems are a combination of cough varient asthma, chronic post nasal drip and/or gastroesophageal reflux.
Dr. Mark Loury
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 39 years experience
Acute or chronic?: Chronic is either from chronic bronchitis from smoking, gastric reflux, cough variant asthma, post nasal drip, etc. Therefore the underlying condition needs to be identified and treated. Acute cough often responds to honey, dextromethorphin , hydration, narcotic based cough preparations, lozenges, and humidity.

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Could coughing a lot cause permanent damage?

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Dr. William Harris
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Yes and No.: You could have coughing fits so severe that you actually strain muscles to the point of pain. Most people would seek out some type of care before that happened, though. The worse case scenario, however, would be that you coughed to the point of causing a hernia. That would be permanent damage that would require a surgical repair, but you would know because of a new pubic hairline bulge and pain.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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