Did you know that coughing is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor’s office? Coughing is normally a reflex the body uses to protect the airways when they are irritated. In some people, that reflex may become disordered. This can lead to a long-lasting cough that may impact their health-related quality of life. In adults, a cough that lasts longer than eight weeks is defined as chronic cough.
In the United States, it is estimated that 5% of adults live with chronic cough. Both adult women and men can have the condition, but it affects women in their 50s the most. Chronic cough may have a physical, social, and emotional impact on people. They may feel embarrassed or frustrated about their cough in social settings.
For some people, it may be hard to explain to a health care provider how often they cough and how it is affecting their life. A free app called CoughTracker may be able to help. The app is easy to use and allows users to track and record how often they cough. By tracking their cough, they may be able to find triggers they haven’t noticed before.
For example, a user can choose when CoughTracker listens for their cough. The app detects cough-like sounds and sends half-second snippets of possible cough sounds to a cloud server. This server helps the app tell if the sound is a cough. When used every day, the app can provide the user with details about potential patterns, sound characteristics, and possible triggers of their cough. CoughTracker shows these patterns within a set of graphs in the app called the Cough Report. The user can even set a reminder to turn the app on at certain times of the day, such as before bedtime if they find their cough disrupts their sleep.
Download CoughTracker and Find Support
Chronic cough may be challenging for the estimated 12 million adults in the U.S. who live with the condition. If you have chronic cough, talk with your health care provider and have an open conversation about your cough and how it may be impacting you. For more information about chronic cough and to download CoughTracker, visit The Cough Chronicles. It is an educational resource sponsored by Merck in collaboration with the American Lung Association, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and the Allergy & Asthma Network to support people living with the condition.