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Chronic cough/shorness of breath/hearing loss... what does it mean?
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Chronic cough/shorness of breath/hearing loss... what does it mean?

I am 38 year old female and I have had a chronic cough for the pasty two years.  Sometimes it can be a dry cough but most of the time I cough up spit with flem (phlegm) and saliva or just flem (phlegm) by it self. A lot of the times I have an urge to inhale deeply to be able to cough or to inhale through my nose to collect mucus to have a more productive cough. Other times, I have to hold my chest together in order to cough up what ever it is and relive the tightness. And other times, I have a choking sensation behind my throat that feels as if I was going to choke to death.

I also notice that I am no longer able to laugh or do certain activities with my children. My cough gets the best of me.  I seem to get shortness of breath any time my heart start pumping faster.  The doctor have said that my test have been negative.  So where does that leave my constant cough, gagging sensation, tight chest, shortness of breath, ear pressure, and occasionally dizzy spells?

I have experience some lost to my right ear. I have seen an ear doctor, an allergy doctor, a pulmonary doctor, and yet with all their test and studies none of them have been able to properly diagnose me or given me any effective medication.
I need help understanding what is going on or what I need to do. This cough is coming between me and my family. I keep people up at night and I can’t even barley talk before I need to cough up some flem (phlegm) again.
Is there anybody in this world that is able to give me an answer please!!!!  
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587315_tn?1333556383
Hi, first of all-do you smoke?  If you do, then this could be chronic bronchitis, and you should quit ASAP before it progresses to something worse.  I won't blame everything on smoking, though.  This also may be allergies, GERD(acid reflux). or an infection.  Is the phlegm you cough up colored?  If so, that points to an infection.  

This sounds like the same thing I've been going through for 2 yrs, and it *****.  The doctor's think I''m full of it because my tests are normal.  I've also had shortness of breath for 2 years.  Our problems are real and require us to be aggressive in getting tests done, be a jerk if you have to.  It''s your body and you know how you feel-fight for your health.  Ask for a CT scan, pulmonary function test, you may also possibly need to get tested for acid reflux-you can have it, but show no signs of heartburn-they call it "silent GERD".

Good luck to you, and keep me posted
Staci
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Staci thanks you for your response.   In regards to do I smoke N0! I do not and don’t care for the smell. As a mater of fact when my children and I go shopping and there is someone smoking we either go around the other way or cover our nose because of the  that second hand smoking consequences people who do not smoke can get.  I also don’t drink  I don’t feel I need to I like me and am very careful with the example I give my children. Regarding the test you mentioned, I had the test you’re referring to done to me.  I have been checked for asthma and lung capacity ect. I had a CT done on my chest about six months ago because there was some density on my chest x-rays but that when the results came back from the ct, it did not show anything.  I was so excited I thanked God for good results. However, I still had a need to know that if that was not the cause than what was...  The phlem i have is clear saliva with white mucos in the middle. As for the alergys, The allergy doctor said I was a little bit allergic to dogs and grass but I don’t have grass and the dog stays outside. I’ve tried allergy medications as well as stuff for the sinus and sprays but they don’t do much. I have bottles and bottles of cough syrups with and with out codeine but those don’t make it stop.  I do not care for medication to much I rather take home remedies that don’t put your health in a greater risk. I drink a lot of water especially when my chest feels tight.  I have also been given some strong pills that are supposed to be real good for acid reflex just in case that was the problem but nope that was not it either. On a different occasion I was given some real expensive steroid medicine  a ten day treatment for about $92.00 but all that did was make me gain weight! I don’t know what other test to ask for. My doctor is really good at referrals but to whom next?
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587315_tn?1333556383
Hi, wow, you really did have a bunch of tests!!!  Have you thought about getting your heart tested?  Better to be safe and rule out whatever you can.  The other test I thought of was the chest CT with contrast, that'll show possible pulmonary embolism(which does NOT show up on a standard x-ray or a CT).  Pulm. Emb. only show up with the contrast.  The contrast is injected through an IV through the vein in your arm and will make blood vessels visible to detect blood clots.  Blood clots in the lungs definitely causes shortness of breath.  Please ask your doc. about possible pulm emb.  It is a real possibility-and can be life threatening.  I don't mean to scare you, though.  But, this is more common than a lot of people realize-in fact, I was hospitalized with it Jan of this year.

Before you ask for the CT with contrast, maybe you could ask for the blood test called the D-Dimer-this will tell you whether the body has been dealing with blood clots(it is just not specific as to where in the body).  If this test comes back with high levels, and along with your coughing and shortness of breath, than that would point to a strong possibility of pulmonary embolism, which would call for the CT with contrast.

PLEASE bring this up to your doc ASAP!!!!!

Keep me posted

Hugs
Staci
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, I really have had allot of test done that’s why I decided to post it nation wide. I felt that maybe somebody out there in the world might know what was going on or perhaps they might have had something similar and I would be directed on what to do next. As far as for my heart being tested no, I haven’t really thought about it. Under what grounds should I ask the doctor to give me a referral? What would I be looking for?
In regards to the contrast CT yes, I had some contrast injected in me it felt real warm inside my body as if I had to go urine. That was one of the tests that came back negative. The report read that my heart was remarkable should I still ask to get it checked by a heart specialist? I will take note of the D-Dimer test and ask my doctor to send me to the lab.
Do you have any other ideas? It is really helpful when people respond. Thank you!
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587315_tn?1333556383
Hi, I didn't realize that you'd had the ct with contrast(good god that stuff was HOTTTT!!!).  The d-dimer test was for the purpose of helping to diagnose pulmonary embolism, but if you had a normal ct with contrast, then there wouldn't be a need for that test.  It could still be a problem with GERD though, maybe they didn't get the meds right.  You know that meds work differently on everyone.  An ENT(throat doc) might also be a good referral.  They will use a scope to see what's going on in your throat.  I am going to ask about a bronchoscopy, myself, since my sob has been going on for years.  SO, the ideas that I am throwing at you are exactly what I plan on doing with my problem(also coughing up clear mucus).  

Sorry, if I worried you about getting your heart checked out.  When you are dealing with sob, that is also where you look.  Some tests to consider are an EKG(they put leads on the chest and measure the electrical activity of the heart) and an echo(heart ultrasound), and they can check for heart rhythm abnormalities.  There are also metabolic causes of sob, as well-ex. diabetes, hyper or hypothyroid disorder.

Also, keep ALL copies of all of the tests you get done for your own records and for any other specialist that you might need to see-it'll save you time later.  Other specialist will ALWAYS ask you to bring the copies.

Staci

PS-what were the results of your lung function tests??  Like fev1 and fev1/fvc?
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Avatar_m_tn
Have a open mind, this is what your body needs.
You need to help your body to build up your immune system.The breathing exercises - pranayam is a holistic approach creating extra oxygen supply in the body and will slowly help with the health problem.Do the pranayam to see the benefits.If you feel tired or dizzy or exhausted, stop, and resume after 1 minute or later.Build up your timing very slowly and after two weeks at the suggested duration you will start to notice benefits.

Bhastrika - Take a long deep breath into the lungs(chest not tummy) via the nose and then completely breathe out through the nose.Duration upto 5 minutes.

Kapalbhati -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for upto 30 minutes twice a day.(Max 60 min/day) Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.

Anulom Vilom - Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day(maximum 60 minutes in one day).
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.


Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 10 times
----
Only by doing you will benefit and will feel good that you can do something to help the body.Copy and print this to master the technique.This is  simplified pranayam for everyone and you do not have to go to classes to learn. This is for life unlike short term classes where you do it in the class then stop when classes are over.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow Hava, this is something totally new.  I had never heard of this one before. I started to do some of these exercises as I was reading them.  It is difficult for me to hold my breath as I have to start coughing rapidly. My heart feels as if is going to burst out of my chest the heart begins to beat very fast. Is this normal?
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Avatar_m_tn
Start with 1 or 2 minutes and increase your timing very gradually.There is no holding of breath involved.Stop when heart beats faster, and resume later.Do the breathing gently at a slow pace.Do it everyday.Extra  oxygen and blood will be going through the body, so you may feel dizzy initially, but you will overcome that after a few days.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok.  I will try that.  Do you know how this help with my chronic cough?  By the way thank you for all that wonderful information. Do you know how long I need to this before I start seeing signs of improvement? Do you think it is my immune system that is causing all these symptoms? I use to take Echinacea along with vitamin c but then I heard a report on the news about Echinacea that it is not as effective as one thinks according to a study that was done. So I stopped spending my money on it and started to take a multiple vitamin instead.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Staci!  Yes, believe it or not I have seen an ENT doctor already he put this skinny tube with a light down my trout once I think he was looking for post nasal drip or something but that came back negative as well. The lung test was also good. I don’t remember what level it was I just know that the pulmonary doctor was running out of ideas. The last time I saw him was about six months ago and he said that he was going to schedule me a bronchoscope at the hospital but that he sincerely felt that he was not going to find anything. With that being said and the fact that he said he was going to have to num my nose and that there was going to be some gagging was enough for me not to do it! I felt that if I was going to have to endure all that for nothing than what was the use so I did not do it. I’m not sure if I made the right choice or not all I knew was that he was telling me that he felt it could be acid reflux because it didn’t seem it had to do with my lungs. That was the last time I saw him. Let me know how it goes with you when you do it O.K
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587315_tn?1333556383
HI!!!

I know how frustrating this whole situation is!!  If you know in your heart that something is seriously wrong with you, then you need to go with your gut.  The docs are NOT always right and they are NOT gods.  You know your body and YOU live in your body, they really don't.  Doctor's put us into a nice, neat little stereotype that we should all fit into, and it is quite narrow minded of them to do this.  We do not all fit into the stereotype and they need to look outside the box for some of us.  Where does this leave us that have legit problems?  It leaves us suffering and miserable.

If I were you(you prob. have insurance-I don't), I would probably try STRONG GERD meds.  to see if there are improvements.  If not, then I would definitely do the bronchoscope.  As chicken as I am of it, I would do it in a heartbeat to find out why I've been so miserable for two years.  Hey, you forgot to tell me if the CT was with contrast or not?  And, let me know if Hava's breathing techniques are working!!

HUGS
Staci
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Avatar_f_tn
I believe it was with contrast. I remember the guy from the radiology saying that the stuff they gave me was to make my insides more visible and bigger or something like that. My results on that test state (Unremarkable chest without evidence for lung nodule or mass) it was read by a MD-PS

I don’t know when I can go see a GI I do have a referral but my insurance expires at the end of the month. But I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens. I am going to start Hava's breathing techniques as soon as I get back so I will have a stable routine. I’m going out of town for a short period of time. We’ll see what happens untill then. Keep me posted and feel free to take Hava's advice your self.  It seems it will help  with my lungs.
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587315_tn?1333556383
Sorry, I forgot that you had told me in an earlier post that you did have contrast-OOPS!!  Maybe you can get another lung x-ray to see if that density shows up again, even though you had the ct  And, before your insurance runs out, I would get the heart checked out-echo, ekg, etc.  Maybe there's a heart rhythm abnormality.  I am NOT trying to scare you-just trying to throw some ideas out there.  Oh, I had another idea-have you been using ANY new meds within the past 2 yrs??????  If you have, I would discontinue use-one med at a time, and then see how you feel.

Have a fun and safe trip.  Keep me posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
It would be nice if I could get in to re-due the lung X-ray but I don't know that there would be enough time for it. I had a chest x-ray about a month after my CT at the hospital emergency room because of this cough but again it was negative. I am not taking any meds at this time I got tired of them not doing anything. Occasionally I’ll have some cough syrup but to no effect. Or some Actifed or ibuprofen for the head aches. But not often. Anyway thanks for thinking of me. I hope it all goes well for you.
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587315_tn?1333556383
I wish you the best as well!  Please keep me posted if you learn anything new, if I learn anything new I'll write a new post.  Start a new post if you find out anything,and I'll keep my eye out for it!!

Take Care
Staci
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! I just went to the doctor yesterday. She said it would be a good idea to start fresh with a new pulmonary doctor. She also said that it would be a good idea to get a bronchoscope done regardless of what I have been told in the past. She said that in a CT you could only see so much but when they do a bronchoscope that they can actually see inside and get samples of the mucous. They can also see if there is something inside that is irritating my chest that is making me cough.  It could be anything even cat hair that is stuck so we’ll see.  Anyways, that will be my next step when I get insurance again. . Let me know if it helps you when you get it done o.k., take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey there, I've been having the same problems for a while now except I'm only 17. If you find out what's wrong with you, please let me know.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey there, I've been having the same problems for a while now except I'm only 17. If you find out what's wrong with you, please let me know.
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