Chronic Cough Make an Appointment Find a Doctor Ask a Question Reviewed by J. Tod Olin, MD, MSCS (December 01, 2014) Prolonged non-productive cough, even when it is not a sign of serious underlying disease, may become an exhausting and debilitating process that aggravates the patient's condition and can lead to social isolation. Therefore, a cough lasting longer than 6 weeks should be approached aggressively. Causes Post-nasal drip, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) - all manageable conditions - account for most of the cases of chronic cough. Unfortunately, many patients with chronic cough have experienced repeated treatment failure and have come to regard their condition as permanent and incurable. In most cases, this perception is incorrect. However, control of the cough in these patients requires experience, patience, and an interdisciplinary approach. Diagnosis and Treatment Evaluation may include an examination of the vocal cords, chest and sinus X-rays, allergy skin tests, pulmonary function tests, bronchial challenge, and esophageal pH monitoring. These procedures identify the cause of cough in nearly all cases. Treatment of underlying conditions and breathing exercises generally result in therapeutic success. Programs & Services Respiratory Treatment Programs Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.