Merck photo of Dotty who overcame her chronic cough

Sponsored by Merck

Did you know that coughing is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor’s office? When coughing persists longer than eight weeks in adults, it’s considered a chronic cough. People with the condition commonly cough in “bouts” they cannot control and usually feel a strong urge to cough or a “tickle” in their throat before a coughing bout starts. It can be hard for people with chronic cough to explain to their healthcare provider how often they cough and how it may affect their life.

Dotty’s perspective living with chronic cough

Chronic cough can interfere with talking and singing as well as some daily activities and social gatherings. For someone like Dotty, who has been living with chronic cough for over 35 years, the condition limits her lifestyle and impacts the activities she takes part in.

“I only attend performances if I can secure an aisle seat where I can quickly get up and leave if a coughing bout starts,” Dotty says. As a trained singer and music teacher, Dotty pivoted from singing classical to jazz music, which is an easier style of music for her to control her breathing and coughing.

Despite the difficulty she has experienced living with a chronic cough, Dotty is grateful that she has friends with the condition who understand what she is going through. “It’s been helpful to talk with one another about our experiences,” she says.

CoughTracker: A tool to support those with a persistent cough

For people concerned about their coughing, including the estimated 12 million adults in the U.S. who live with chronic cough, CoughTracker offers a way to track and record how often one coughs. The free and easy-to-use app can help uncover possible triggers and potential cough patterns that may otherwise go unnoticed, which may be useful when explaining to a healthcare provider how often one coughs and how it affects one’s life.

People can choose when the app listens for their cough and set reminders to turn the app on at certain times of the day. For some people, coughing may disrupt their sleep, so turning the app on at bedtime may be helpful to track the frequency of coughing while sleeping.

For more information and to download CoughTracker, visit The Cough Chronicles, an educational resource sponsored by Merck in collaboration with the American Lung Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and Allergy & Asthma Network to support those living with the condition.