Your doctor will diagnose the cause of your cough based on your medical history, a physical exam, and test results.
Your doctor will likely ask questions about your cough. He or she may ask how long you've had it, whether you're coughing anything up (such as mucus, a slimy substance), and how much you cough.
Your doctor also may ask:
To check for signs of problems related to cough, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs. He or she will listen for wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe) or other abnormal sounds.
Your doctor may recommend tests based on the results of your medical history and physical exam. For example, if you have symptoms of GERD, your doctor may recommend a pH probe. This test measures the acid level of the fluid in your throat.
Other tests may include:
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.