Q. Why do I have chronic cough even after quitting smoking?

Answered by
Dr. Divakara. P
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 03, 2019 and last reviewed on: Sep 05, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 53 years old, and have quit smoking 19 years ago. I still have a chronic cough. Each specialist tells me something different. The pulmonologist told me it was asthma, and another doctor said it was acid reflux disease. Now they are telling me it is COPD. I do not have diminished lung capacity or problem in breathing, no wheezing, out of breath when I run but, I am overweight and out of shape. What do you think?



Welcome to

There is not much of difference between asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

COPD is usually seen in a person who has smoked a lot while asthma is seen from childhood, which is not in your case. Acid reflux can cause prolonged duration cough, but it shall subside very well once treated for acid reflux. But in your case, it has persisted. So it has to be either COPD or infection of the lung. I would have favored COPD if you were investigated for Infection and found nothing.

Hence I recommend specific tests for evaluating infection as the cause. Kindly get the following test done and revert with reports. CT chest, BAL microscopy (bronchoalveolar lavage) and culture, ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), Montoux test. I hope this information was useful for you. Any clarification feel free to ask.

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