A cough is a protective reflex caused by irritation of the lining mucosa in the voice box (larynx) or windpipe (trachea). Sudden expulsion of air from the lungs at high speeds of up to 80 mph clears mucus or foreign material from the airway. A cough usually starts with a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) which may spread to involve the sinuses (sinusitis) or lower down to the involve the trachea (tracheitis), bronchi (bronchitis) or lungs (pneumonia). Subsequent bacterial infection is common and prolongs the local inflammation irritation. A chronic cough may occur if there is persistent local inflammation or a tumour. The violent jet of air propelled through the airway at the level of the vocal cords may also result in a frequent recurrent irritant effect, hence the importance of suppressant medicines in management.


Swab for microscopy and culture

Rigid and Flexible endoscopy for a detailed assessment of the inside of the throat.

Flow volume loop spirometry

CT / MRI imaging