Persistent hoarseness, throat-clearing, short breath & mucus drainage
56 yr old, 180 lb. 6' 1", Caucasian male. Overall good health. Exercise 4-5 days per wk. Caught a cold Nov 09; nasal/post-nasal drainage, sore throat, hurt to swallow, cough, fatigue. Took standard OTC meds. 3 wks later no better. Got Azithromycin 6 tabs x 250 mgs, Cheratussin & Benzonatate 200 mg; I had never taken codeine; had a pretty severe nighttime anxiety attack after taking these meds; dr suspected codeine; took me off all meds above, prescribed Xanax, Lexapro, Claritin and later an inhaled steroid to open up sinus & avoid BP problems taking a decongestant; all symptoms left except post-nasal drainage, hoarseness and shortness of breath; not much coughing;referred to an ENT dr last week; laryngoscopy was normal--no nodules, cysts etc.; dr theorized acid reflux and/or stress requiring speech therapy; prescribed Nexium. I'm dubious. I rarely have heartburn. Been on Nexium 3 days, still hoarse & can't seem to get a full breath. I just don't buy the acid / stress diagnosis. I'm a part-time college prof and part-time minister, public speaking only 3 times a wk. Thinking about a 2nd ENT opinion.
It's always hard to argue against a 2nd opinion (particularly when this won't result in a financial burden). Having said that, I would encourage you to give the 1st ENT doc's diagnosis more consideration. Do a little investigation into "Laryngopharyngeal Reflux" or "Silent Reflux". Not having the symptoms that people normally associate with classic heartburn is a big hurdle in getting patients to go along with this diagnosis. Most patients with LPR do not have any symptoms other than the symptoms you described. Other possible causes for this are allergies and food intolerances.
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