Beginnig of Dec.07 I was diagnosed with Bronchitis. I immediately quit smoking after 18 years. just left the hospital and tossed the pack right out the car window. After the antibiotics I began to experience shortness of breathe and my Dr. reassured me that the bronchitis may return. I use to suffer stress anxiety attacks in 2006. So i am very fearful of and medications that may cause my heart to palputate such as Albuterol. He wanted to give me Spirivia tried it once felt like a block of cement was poured in my chest. He then prescribed my Xopenex HFA 45mcg. as a prn. He said this would help in clearing my lungs. The first couple of weeks where torture. I could not sleep from the coughing. I visited the emergency room 5X in 1 week. I had shortness of breathe, coughing, unproductive cough, tightness of chest, wheezing and on top of that trying to prevent myself from going into a full panic attack because I felt I couldn't breathe. Finally from all the coughing I gave myself whiplash. What esle could go wrong. My husband purchased my a humidifier. The tightness in my chest was located under the breast area. That night I coughed up alot. Finally something felt as it detached it self from the bottom of my lungs and came out. I used alot of mucinex and water. But now it seems as if I have stuff stuck in the upper area of my chest and when I lay down I begin to wheeze like light asthma wheezing. When i wake up in the morning about 30min later in seems to go away. I don't want to use the inhaler unless I seriously have too. At times mucus that comes up appears to be string like and any other mucus appears to be clear as opposed to yellow before. Will this wheezing go away? Should I worry? I have had several chest x-rays and everything seems fine. The wheezing worries me. Are these the after effects of not smoking anymore? And if so why and how long may it last and is there anything I can do to make it better or go away quicker?
Believe it or not, smoking can diminish the cough reflex. In effect, the smoke deadens the cough nerve endings. Then, with smoking cessation, the cough nerve endings in the throat become more sensitive. The combination of increased cough and improvement in mucus clearance, results in a bad cough, often with very discolored phlegm. This can last for 3 months or more until your phlegm starts to diminish.
Your doctor might want to give you a trial of an inhaled steroid. This could result in less inflammation of your bronchial tubes, with less phlegm and less cough, as it does with asthma. The cough and wheeze are unpredictable. They may or may not go away, unless treated with an inhaled steroid.
From what you describe, you are miserable, what with the cough, wheeze, phlegm stuck in your throat and shortness of breath. But the odds that you will gradually get rid of these symptoms are high, in your favor. You may be tempted to resume smoking but don't succumb to the temptation. Stopping smoking was a very good decision and, at nearly 2 months, you are almost over the hardest part.
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