Mechanisms of Cough in Asthma and Allergic Airway Disease

  • Kevin M. White
  • Michael S. Tankersley
  • Pramod S. Kelkar
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 3)


Background: Cough is a common symptom encountered in medical practice. Several diseases allergists evaluate and treat are manifested by the presence of a cough.

Objective: To discuss the cough reflex, its association with various diseases of concern to the allergist, and an approach to the evaluation and treatment of the patient with a chronic cough.

Methods: A literature review was performed using PubMed as well as manually searching the references of key articles.

Results: Cough is a respiratory reflex that clears secretions and foreign matter from the airway. The exact neuronal pathways are still under debate. Common causes of cough in adults of interest to the allergist include upper airway cough syndrome, asthma, eosinophilic bronchitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Common causes of cough in children of interest to the allergist are dependent on the age of the child and include recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and asthma. Discussion of these common entities in this chapter includes an approach to the evaluation and treatment of chronic cough for both adults and children.

Conclusion: Allergists should feel comfortable in the tailored evaluation of both adults and children with chronic cough.


Allergic Rhinitis Chronic Cough Allergic Airway Disease Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Cough Reflex Sensitivity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. White
    • 1
  • Michael S. Tankersley
    • 1
  • Pramod S. Kelkar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Allergy/ImmunologyWilford Hall Medical CenterLackland AFBUSA
  2. 2.Allergy and Asthma CareMaple GroveUSA

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