Coughing chaos

Patient

Q: My son has had a cough for a very long time. Just a cough. No conjestion, no runny nose, just a cough and mostly at night. It didn't seem bad so I didn't take him to the doc. but this morning he just can't stop coughing. Please help.

Doctor

A:   I realize how worried you are about your son’s condition. Cough is usually the last symptom to disappear after an upper respiratory condition has developed.
I would not suggest the usage of cough syrups but I would certainly recommend your son to be evaluated for possible croup which might be caused by parainfluenza virus, less often respiratory syncytial virus or various other respiratory viruses. Other cause, especially at this time of the year when nasal congestion is common forcing children to breathe through their mouths is inflammation of the tonsils and larynx, both would cause cough. In the meantime breathing moist air and drinking fluids — can speed your child's recovery. If the cough persists, after a better evaluation, his physician might prescribe corticosteroids, epinephrine or other medications to open the airways. I wish him a prompt recovery.

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