Dr. Steven takes a special interest in chronic cough since it is a very complex and interesting issue that affects a large number of people. Coughing 20 to 30 times per hour has a devastating effect on someone’s quality of life. Patients draw ugly stares from others who think they’ve got a viral illness and should be staying at home. Chronic cough interrupts daily interactions with others at work, church, and restaurants. Even worse, many patients experience the frustration and embarrassment of losing a little urine with each cough. Because it is so difficult to evaluate and treat, Dr. Steven has joined a group of about a dozen allergists from New York to Washington State to Florida who meet to share best practices and collaborate on research into new therapies for chronic cough when nothing else works. The culmination of this work is participation in the biennial American Cough Conference in Washington, DC, at which clinicians and researchers from the US and the UK come together to compare notes on the latest developments in understanding and treating chronic cough.
The chronic cough clinic will work with cough patients to systematically evaluate all of the possible causes of cough, starting with the most common and continuing to the rarest. We continue working until we ultimately silence the cough. The main reason allergists are the logical experts in evaluating and treating chronic cough is that allergists have expertise in the leading causes for most chronic cough. These causes can originate in the upper airway, lower airway, or both. Allergists are the only specialists with extensive training and experience in treating the entire airway, from the tip of the nose to the smallest airways of the lungs. However, not all coughs are allergic in origin and require evaluation or intervention beyond what an allergist can do. Although we are not part of a multi‐specialty clinic, we have board-certified allergy and pulmonary expertise in house. When other specialists are needed, we have put together a referral network of otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and others among whom we refer to bring together all of the knowledge necessary to get you the relief you need.
We have developed procedures to streamline the communications between these specialists and your primary care physician. Importantly, since it can take months to identify the cause of a chronic cough, and you have undoubtedly already had several tests done, we designed a tracking system to log all of the types of tests and results, so we don’t wind up needlessly repeating tests that have already been done.
We welcome the honor of being chosen as your next (and last!) stop on your quest to silence your chronic cough.