While you may initially see your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in lung disorders (pulmonologist).
What you can do
It's a good idea to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
What to expect from your doctor
A thorough medical history and physical exam can provide important clues about a chronic cough. Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:
- What are your symptoms and when did they begin?
- Did you recently have the flu or a cold?
- Do you now or have you ever smoked tobacco?
- Does anyone in your family or workplace smoke?
- Are you exposed to dust or chemicals at home or at work?
- Do you have heartburn?
- Do you cough up anything? If so, what does it look like?
- Do you take blood pressure medicine? If so, what type do you take?
- When does your cough occur?
- Does anything relieve your cough? What treatments have you tried?
- Do you get more short of breath with exertion? Or on exposure to cold air?
- What is your travel history?