Skip to content

Tips, Information,
and Insights on
Cough Relief and Causes,
from the WebMD Ear,
Nose & Throat Community

Chronic cough is the most common reason for a visit to the doctor. So what’s causing all the coughing? Long-lasting coughs can be related to hundreds of things, including obstructive sleep apnea, which interrupts breathing during sleep.

In the WebMD ENT Community, one member is worried that her barking cough, enlarged tonsils, and sleep troubles could be related to sleep apnea.

Health expert Rod Moser, PA, PhD, tells her that while enlarged tonsils and adenoids may make sleep apnea worse, they aren’t always related. He says she needs to see her doctor.

A doctor could help her figure out what’s causing her swollen tonsils. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can make it hard to sleep because they can make it hard to breathe through your nose and cause snoring. If people are worried about sleep apnea, a doctor could recommend a sleep specialist who can help you get a sleep study. If you do have sleep apnea, losing weight (if you are overweight) and breathing devices that keep airways open while you sleep can help.

Sleep apnea can also be related to asthma, upper respiratory problems, and acid reflux (also called GERD). These three conditions are responsible for most chronic coughs. If you have those conditions or sleep apnea, getting them treated may help your chronic cough.

After a visit to the doctor, the Community member checked back in. Her doctor told her that her troubles were caused by asthma and prescribed her an inhaler.

Next Article: