Can't Stop Coughing

Cough hypersensitivity syndrome and cough reflex

Cough Hypersensitivity Syndrome
is used to describe patients with a chronic cough that fail to respond to traditional treatment regimens.

Patients with Cough Hypersensitivity Syndrome have developed an abnormal cough reflex. All humans have a cough reflex that is triggered when a foreign substance enters the airway. This is a protective mechanism that prevents choking from an obstructed airway. However, in patients with a chronic cough, the reflex becomes hypersensitive to normal physiologic events – minor irritants that would not trigger a cough under normal circumstances. Consequently, the cough receptors in the throat and larynx (voice box) become inflamed and this sensation perpetually triggers the cough reflex.