Having a chronic cough apparently gives rise to a long list of common problems ranging from incontinence, anxiety to partners re-locating to another bedroom; and this is just the start of it!
According to a new report by Mayo Clinic pulmonology specialists, patients with a chronic cough ie.one lasting over three weeks, suffer due to a variety of factors.
The most significant are, anxiety due to the possibility of underlying serious illness, uncomfortable public attention, anger and frustration with constant cough, and actual physical discomfort.
The survey of chronic coughers was an attempt to understand how chronic cough adversely affects the patient, socially, psychologically and physically, says Kaiser Lim, M.D., Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and allergist, and lead study investigator.
Lim says it is important for people with a chronic cough to receive empathy and realize physicians are working to help understand this problem.
It appears that for such patients the psychological and physical sufferings appear to be paramount reasons for seeking medical help.
In a 12-week prospective study, Dr. Lim and colleagues examined 146 consecutive chronic cough patients about how the condition affected them.
The patients completed a questionnaire about cough-related difficulties and sufferings prior to medical evaluation and again six months later.
Of those in the initial survey, 56 completed the repeat questionnaire.
The top problems for chronic coughers when they were first evaluated at Mayo Clinic were:
- interference with lifestyle and leisure,
- frequent physician visits and testing for cough,
- sleep disturbances,
- interference with social gatherings,
- other people's reactions to the coughing,
- and frustration, irritability and anger.
For patients under age 65 with chronic cough, one-third of their spouses or roommates had moved out of the bedroom.