Both acute and chronic cough are responsible for a significant number of ambulatory medical visits annually. The recent comprehensive understanding that “cough” is a reflection of underlying disease pays tribute to the multifactorial causes, as well recognition of the respiratory and upper digestive tract as a “physiologic unit.” This publication highlights the advances made in managing cough and brings these to otolaryngology practitioners in a concise forum, as well as presenting issues of special interest to laryngologists such as paradoxical vocal fold motion, disordered breathing, irritable larynx, evolution of the vagus as a protective circuit, the importance of cough in deglutition, and surgical interventions. Some of the topics include: The cough reflex, sensory receptors, and neurogenic mediators; Mucus and mucins; Cough and Swallowing dysfunction; Cough due to asthma, cough-variant asthma, and nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis; Occupational, environmental, and irritant induced cough; Pharmacologic management; Unexplained cough; Cough in the pediatric population; and Rhinogenic laryngitis, cough and the unified airway; among others.
By Kenneth W. Altman, MD, PhD and Richard S. Irwin, MD
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