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Constant Prolonged Cough - 4 Months now
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Constant Prolonged Cough - 4 Months now

On June 3rd at ~11:30 I had noticed I was getting a sore throat, I ended up being sick over the weekend (weak, coughing, sore throat, headaches, etc).  After I got better, my cough still persisted.  I went to the evening clinic after around 2 more weeks as I started to feel sick again (really bad at one point).  I was given perscription cough medicine (which did nothing) and 1 weeks worth of Antibiotics.  These seemed to do nothing.  After about 3 more weeks, I went back to the clinic (I had a 5 week long wait for my doctor) at this clinic I was given Nasonex and Advair Discus.  I have to say I have seen no change since taking the Discus for just about 2 months now but my doctor insists on continuing with it.

My doctor has sent me for a Chest and Sinus X-Ray, and after waiting, and waiting for those to come in (I ended up phoning the Hospital myself), they came back normal (if they didn't lose them...).  Then my doctor sent me for a Pulmonary test, which I found very hard on the chest.  Still waiting for the results on this as my doctor went on Vacation for 3 weeks just when she should have recieved the results.

I was sick again last week, and my cough which started as a Wet cough turned to a semi-Dry cough is now back to a Wet cough.  And I got mucus by the truck loads over here!

My doctor has mentioned Asthma but I do not suffer from weezing.  She did mention my openings in my nose are a little smaller.

Any advice or anything you can give me is greatly appreciated...this cough is wearing me out!
Related Discussions
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Coughing is a fairly common complication of postnasal drainage.  The normal sinus x-rays probably means there is no infection.  However it could be an inflammation, not caused by an infection.  If this is the cause, it might respond to a course of nasal steroids, or possibly oral steroids for a short time.

As far as asthma, this can occur even if you are not wheezing.  Cough is the most common symptom.  The best way to make this diagnosis is to have spirometry, a pulmonary test, both before and after an inhaled medicine that opens up your airways.  Hopefully you will have the results of this test soon.

It sounds like you are frustrated with the time it is taking to see your doctor, get tests and then get the results all the while you are still sick.  I would talk about this aspect with your doctor when you get to see her, as well.  The best bet from not seeing you or your tests is that the cause is coming from the upper airways and further therapy is indicated.  Your doctor remains the best person to make this determination.
27 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, and to add to that before anyone comments, I do not smoke, have never smoked, and do not plan to.  And I'm young.
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Avatar_f_tn
You do not state your age. However, doctors underestimate how many young adults are carriers of whooping cough, caused by Bordatella pertussis. Yes, you were probably vaccinated for this when you were young - they're finding, however, that the vaccines don't always last into adulthood. Young adults like you could be the reservoir host for this disease.

Do you ever cough until you can't catch your breath? You do state you have a lot of mucus. The disease is less severe in young adults, but you can have a chronic cough that lasts a long while.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/pertussis_t.htm

http://www.parents.com/articles/health/5878.jsp  (good explanations here)

http://www.siumed.edu/news/releasesFY05/WhoopingChaud.htm

http://tinyurl.com/e3tck  (here is some lab information)

http://www.aap.org/family/whoopingcough.htm

I'm not stating that this is what you have - just that your doc should consider it in his differential diagnosis, as Bordatella pertussis outbreaks are happening more and more often.

It sounds as if they're treating you for asthma, but I would at least bring this up to your doctor. You can also insist on seeing a pulmonary and/or infectious disease doctor.

If this is what you have, and even if you don't find out exactly what you have, please stay away from infants who haven't been vaccinated because this disease can be fatal to them. Doctors don't tend to think of this as a first line diagnosis unless it is known that there is an outbreak locally.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Your situation seems a lot like mine at "chronic cough following sinus infection".  I've described my situation 3 postings before you.

My problem started at the end of June as a sinus infection (or something resembling a sinus infection).  I noticed a slight fever at work at about noon and went into the doctor's office that afternoon.  You can get the rest of my story at my posting.  I think I caught this from a co-worker who was coughing all winter and spring.  He eventually ended up with bronchitis, but now is well.

My doctor put me on Azmacort, which seems to be helping.  I still have the cough, but the severity is reduced.  I think this is prescribed for reactive airways disease (RAD).  But the cough just won't go away.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok, I read your post, and some sounds farmilliar.

Only thing is, I'm like ALWAYS tired, and I don't feel 100%.  I have these periods where I just don't feel good at all.  But recently that could be due to the cold or whatever I'm still getting over from last week.  But all summer I wasn't 100% either so, I don't know...I'm still waiting for my doctor to get back.  My GF's mother want's me to go see someone like NOW, so I might goto Outpatients or something, but I don't know what they're gonna be able to do for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have not felt very good this summer.  I haven't had a fever (other than the first episode), but have been lethargic and I have gotten tired quite easily.  I made a list of all my symptoms the other day to take to the doctor, but they were all so vague that I knew there was nothing he could really do.  I think that what we have is some type of virus, that will eventually run its course.  When it does, we'll feel better.  But there have been times this summer when I've wondered if I would ever feel normal again.

If you go to the doctor, let me know what he/she says.  I'll do the same, because it sounds like we're dealing with the same thing (or close to it).  It has only been in this past week that I've started to feel a bit better.  But I still have the cough.  But it's becoming less frequent.  Ask about Azmacort.  It seems to be helping me (but slowly).

I will be gone until Sunday night, so I'll check back then to see if you have an update.

Good luck.  We'll both get through this.
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Avatar_n_tn
Common causes of chronic coughs are:  post-nasal drip, asthma and gastric reflux.  You do NOT have to wheeze to have asthma.  One form of asthma is called "cough variant asthma," & patients with this type of asthma cough instead of wheezing.

Hope your doc helps continue your evaluation & helps you get to & resolve the cause(s) of your chronic cough.
Starion
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Avatar_n_tn
Has your cough been diagnosed properly yet?  I have similar cough -- mine's going on three months now.  It started when I got a cold back in late July.  The cold only lasted a couple of days, but the cough persisted.  It started as a completely non-productive cough but has recently evolved into a slightly productive cough.

The coughing spells only last 10-15 seconds, but they are VERY severe.  I have about 15-20 coughing spells a day.

I think I "caught" something.  Not sure if it's viral or bacterial.  The doctor put me on two different antibiotics, neither of which helped.  Tests for whooping cough were negative.  I'm now on Advair, an inhaler, but it doesn't seem to help either.

The worst part is, I think two of my 3 kids have this too.  My five year old boy and my 6 month old daughter.  Their coughs aren't as severe as mine (I don't think, anyway), but they are noticeable.

A buddy of mine at work told me today that he's had a similar cough for over a YEAR now.  Doctors can't figure his case out either.

I'm starting to worry that this will NEVER go away.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well I don't know if I'd say it's been diagnosed yet...My doctor finally took me off Advair and put me on a new one, uhm...heh, starts with a B I beleive.  Anyway, I'm going for an Allergy test on the 16th, so maybe that'll show something.

It wouldn't surprise me if it's the building I work in causing it.  It almost makes sense.  Someone I works in the next office wanted me to tell my doctor I've had the cough since February (which is true) and I didn't start back to work full time until near February...and have had the cough since then.  When my Grandfather passed away last week (Monday) I hadn't worked all week and my cough didn't seem as bad.  Now I still have it all weekend or night when I'm not at work so wether it stays in my system for awhile, or it's not the building at all, I really don't know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh MY GOD I've had the same exact cough now for 3 months exactly this Friday.  At first it started out with a soar throat and developed into this hacking cough to the point where I was vomiting.  The cough was very dry at first and then I developed lots of mucus.  It was making me very weak and I thought it was the flu so I didn
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Avatar_n_tn
My cough started in mid september..it's the end of November and...still going!!
it began as a sinus infection and I got antibiotics..it did nothing..4 weeks later I had such a couging fit that I checked into a clinic and the doctor told me the first antibiotics probably were not stong enough or it travelled down into your lungs after you finished the dosage because you now have bonchitis..so he gave me a stronger antibiotic but the coughing is still here..the funny thing about this cough is that I never cough at night or in the morning..the coughing starts in after I have breakfast or a coffee in the morning and continues on throughout the day but mostly after meals...

I'm taking musinex dm that seems to help and i have an appintment to see a pulminary specialist in 2 weeks but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on my case??

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Jimmy O, I'm going to the pulmonary specialist tomorrow 11/30 so I'll let you know what he tells me.  Sounds like we're all suffering from the same thing.  I'm going on 4 months now and I just can't take another day of this coughing it's wearing me out.  Although not as bad as it was originally, It's still there and I've developed this chest pain and doctor said it was from my violent coughing.  The doctor also said it could be allergies but I will be checking tomorrow with the doc.  I don't have any wheezing either just lots of phlegm, even though the past two days it's been under control since he gave me a 4th antibiotic, I can't remember the name but it works like Muscenex, dries everything up in your chest.  Hang in there, I feel your frustration and I will keep you posted on what this pulmonary specialist tells me.  

Also my reg doc said to dress in layers and keep the chest warm.  use a humidifier when you sleep and avoid any exercise until it clears up.
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Avatar_n_tn
I started getting a sore throat about a month ago, too. This turned into a cough. Then a sinus infection, which started to go away, thought I was in the clear. Thanksgiving day I started feeling like **** again. Chills, headache. I thought there's no way I'm getting sick again! Well, here I am with a clogged ear and more mucus than I know what to do with. The cough just keeps going and going...I went to the doctor and was prescibed Omoxicillian, which has helped but not cured. I can't take it anymore. I have to start feeling like myself again. I'm 35 years old and feel like an old man. I race bicycles, hike all the time..I can barely get enough energy to mow the lawn these days. Seems like there's something in the air? The symptoms are far too similiar from post to post. I think I need to go back to the doctor and ask for a chest exam. My Wife or Son have remained fine during the whole ordeal, which indicats it's not passed through the air. HELP!
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Avatar_n_tn
How glad I am to find this site. I too am suffering from the same thing. I'm going on 4 months myself. The doctor said it could be allergies but I'm 37 years old and have never been allergic in my life to anything. I understand that it's possible to develop them later in life but come on, this is awful. I occasionally experience some wheezing (new to me) but the phlegm is daily. At first I started out with a soar throat that developed into this hacking cough. The cough was very dry at first and then I developed lots of mucus, LOTS OF MUCUS. I don't feel sick anymore at all but do feel like a phlegm factory still. I hope someone is able to post good news soon. SOON!
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Avatar_n_tn
Reading your comments is like looking at my own situation. I had a "cold" with running or stuffed nose, mild fever and slight cough. The other symptoms have gone away, but this cough is lingering like bad dream. I only cough after being up in the morning for awhile, never at night either.Each morning when I get up I think maybe it's gone and then it comes raging on. I cough really severly and uncontrollably. I have vomited and to my personal embarassment, even wet myself several times. My ribs and lower back hurt from the exertion and I have a headache most of the time. It started the tuesday before Thanksgiving. I had cleaned some cupboards at the home I work at that were very filthy and had lots of mice urine and feces. I thought at first that maybe I had inhaled something nasty and it was affecting my sinuses. But now I don't know what is going on. I went to the emergency room a few days ago because I couldn't get in to see my regular doc and the ER doc said I had a simple cold. Even though the mucous is yellow and I am so fatigued I can barely get dressed. He also scared me when he mentioned COPD. I looked that up and found that it isn't something that comes on suddenly and before this "cold" I never coughed or weezed. Now my daughter has it too! She is exhibiting all the same symptoms. We are miserable and scared. I wish someone would figure this out!
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter and I were just researching this further on the Internet and found some interesting things about pertussis {whooping cough} that was mentioned by bactitech to tylerM. There have been some outbreaks here in Oregon in the last several years. Cases of young adults and adults have been getting this and not knowing they have it. They spread it to small children and other adults. After the initial "cold" symptoms are gone the lingering cough can last indefinately unless treated. I'm going to go to the doctor and tell him to test me and my daughter for this. I'll let you know what the diagnoses is.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone, I didn't think this thread would still be being used.

I've been to my doctor almost every month now, atleast once.  I had an allergy test recently, and it came back negative.  Which is good...but still would have been nice if it had explained something.  My doctor took more blood...she takes my blood everytime I see her.  We must be the same blood type and she's hording it all for herself, lol.  Anyway the last batch she's getting tested for allergies too.

I've been going on for ATLEAST 6 months now, although a woman at work would say 9 months.  I'm on a Symbicort inhaler.  My cough isn't as bad as it used to be.  But it's still there...I still feel tired all the time.  I have shakey (shaky) hands at times.  I'm also going back to do that Pulmonary Function Test AGAIN because the first time...I couldn't do it right.  I go for that on the 6th.

My doc says after all these tests, she doesn't know why I'm coughing, but she said it could be caused by stress...
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, after the last post two days ago, today I actually am starting to feel like myself again. When I got home from work yesterday, I changed into my cycling clothes and took off for an hour long mountain bike ride in my local So Cal mountains. I think the fresh air help bring me back. I feel so much better today. My sinuses are still a bit soar, but my ears have cleared and the mucus has thinned to almost nothing. It feels good to be back, or almost back. I'm going to take it easy, hoping not to relapse like last week. Good luck everyone. Kill the cough!
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Avatar_n_tn
Geesh, I feel so bad for everyone but I know what your all going through.  I got some news from the Pulmonary Specialist.  He's been voted Top 5 pulmonary specialists in the country, so I felt much better when he explained everything to me.  The coughing (which he said has been going around) is a form of Bronchitis and has led for a mild form of Asthma (but treatable).  it starts out as a cold, soar throat, lots of phlegm, and can last for a while if left untreated, months.  He listened to my lungs and said they were clear but the wheezing growling sound was from all the coughing and phlegm.  he said all the antibiotics that were prescribed to me (4 different ones see my postings above) killed the bacteria but I needed something to alleviate my chest and upper trachea which was very irritated and most of my coughing was coming from the infestation of that region.  Yes I've vomited and peed my pants too, very embarrassing.  The chest pain was terrible, very tight like I did bench presses and I felt it even when I took a breath at one point I thought I was having a stroke but I'm only 24 years old.  This did not develop until 3 months into the sickness but my head was POUNDING all the time, severe fatigue even after sleeping for 8-9 hours a night.  Doctor said all this is very very common.  All your energy goes into coughing and it really fatigues you especially with the loss of appetite.  So he gave me an inhaler called ADVAIR DISKUS 100/50 (inhalation powder).  2 times a day you inhale it very little side effects, stomach ache, dizzy but nothing as terrible as all those antibiotics that I had to take.   You actually feel the powder going down your throat and after just 4 days what a relief, I feel 95% better, my chest pain almost gone and no more phlegm and for the first time in months I don't feel tired anymore.  He advised for me to stay away from exercise for another 1-2 weeks.  I just hope after I'm done with the inhaler my cough does not come back.  So there is a bright side.    Funny thing is my brother and father were never infected with my cough, but my mom has it but not as bad as me.  I understand all your frustrations and I thought I really was never going to get better.  I'll let you know if my cough comes back but I do recommend going to a pulmonary specialist and get your lungs checked just for your own relief.
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Avatar_n_tn
I found that the Advair diskus didn't really help me...atleast not to the extent that I could tell the difference.  I'm on that Symbicort now.

I just got the results back from my Allergy test done on my blood.  I have Moderate allergies towards Egg Whites, Salmon, Wheat, Yeast, Alternaria, and Penicillium.  And low to like everything else on the list, lol.  My pin ***** or whatever allergy test came back completely negative...dunno why my doc waited so long to test my blood...she took enough of it.

So after that, I say the air in the house needs to be checked.  I believe that Alternaria and Penicillium is a form of Mold or something to that extend, so that would make sense.  My doctor will go over it all with me on the 21st.  I'll also hear back about my Pulmonary test then aswell.

Until then ;)
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Avatar_n_tn
How's the Symbicort?  If this Advair backfires on me, I need another solution but so far so good.  Just don't have much of an appetite, but I'm not complaining expecailly since it's helped with the cough.  

All these years and now you all of a sudden have allergies?  Why?  Perhaps getting an air purifier just to be on the safe side.  Hopefully it's something you can just eliminate from your life, and you'll stop coughing.  Good luck with the pulmonary results!  hang in there at least your not peeing on yourself when you have a coughing fit.    
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Avatar_n_tn
hey all,
  I am a 26 year old who was diagnosed with broncitis in August.  I was put on antibiotics for the cough but the cough never completely went away.  I have had the cough now for about 4 months.   I have a major tickle in my throat which causes me to cough a lot.  Anybody have any ideas what this could be??
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Avatar_n_tn
Well if you have broncitis, I dunno, but it could be something to do with a nasal drippage.

Nicky, I dunno how the Symbicort is working.  It's hard to tell because you can't feel it like the Advair when you take it.  I've just about finished one full puffer now.  As for my allergies, I have mod allergies to Egg Whites, Salmon, Wheat, Yeast, Alternaria, and Penicillium.  I don't think I'll be cutting out any of the food other than Salmon (I hate fish).  Yeast is a little hard isn't it!?

As for the 2 molds (I think anyway), I should probably get an air purifier for my room.  Maybe that would help some.  We'll have to see :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, yes, and I have about Low allergies to almost everything else on my list!

When I was younger my doc treated me for allergies, but then it said I didn't have any...now they say I do, ragh!  The blood test is more accurate I guess, and I don't know if they had done that when I was younger or not.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same symptons and have had it since 1991. It gets triggered by a cold (sore throat) or sometimes by an unknown substance I may breathe. The cough lasts two weeks to the longest I have had was 4 months. Right now my bout is in the 5th week. I am resigned to the fact there is no cure but to find something (over the counter) that will give me relief till the body repairs itself, which invariably happens. Does anyone have any suggestions other than the 'Halls' type candies ? I have stopped the medications (inhalers etc) my doctor has been suggesting as they don't seem to help the cough but may be doing other harmful things to the body.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello again. I feel kind of stupid having only been coughing for a little over a month! I have now done all the rounds with the doctors and specialists and didn't want to try the inhalers because they make me shaky and nervous. My GP finally found the problem (that all the special ENT couldn't figure out). I have/had whooping cough or pertussis. Most doctors don't think of it in people past 20. In fact, I suggested it when he wasn't sure what was going on because my lungs sounded clear. My test came back positive and he put me on Erythromycin and I feel 200% better after only a week. He thinks I also developed situational asthma from the fluid in my lungs, which should clear up after the bacteria is gone. But throughout the day I still get uncontrollable fits of coughing. My ribs and back muscles are very sore. I actually cracked two ribs from the exertion. My doctor said there are many people in our state that are having the same symptoms and don't seem to get any answers or relief...but I wonder if they have pertussis and the docs don't check for it. Its a special test you have to go to the hospital to get done. They can't do it in the office unless they have the kit.Anyway, thanks for being here you guys. I'm sorry you are suffering, and I don't know if you all or any of you have the same thing, but it was nice to know there were others with the same problem. Take care, and I hope you all feel better soon.
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