Physical Health

Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS)

Upper airway cough syndrome (UACS), formerly termed postnasal drip syndrome, is commonly caused by continuous irritation or infection of the sinuses and the nose either due to allergies or from environmental irritants.

Symptoms: Cough, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, frequent need to clear the throat.

Learn more about UACS from the Mid-Atlantic Pulmonary Clinic:

Asthma/Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome

Some people exposed to the WTC disaster area have developed asthma related to exposure to irritants (also called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome [RADS]).

Symptoms: Shortness of breath; chest tightness; wheezing; cough; phlegm; possible triggering of symptoms by colds, seasonal allergies, exercise, fragrances, or extremes of temperature or humidity; recurrent episodes of respiratory infections requiring antibiotic treatment.

Learn more about asthma from the American Lung Association and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD) are closely related illnesses. GERD results from the flow back or return (reflux) of stomach contents into the esophagus. LPRD results from the reflux of stomach contents into the voice box or throat.

  • Symptoms of GERD: Heartburn, acid regurgitation, upset stomach, cough made worse with meals or at night
  • Symptoms of LPRD: Hoarseness or other vocal changes, sore throat, cough, sensation of having a lump in the throat

Learn more about GERD and LPRD from the Cleveland Clinic and the Lahey Clinic:

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