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Cronic Cough
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Cronic Cough

Last year I came down with bronchitis.  After some antiboitic therapy it went away, except for a cough.  I could almost set my watch to the time that the cough would start (7pm).  This lasted for approx two more weeks before I went in.  My doctor prescribed some albuterol and Inhaled stereriods and said that it was probably a post-viral cough.  The cough got a little better, but now would come at any time of day or night.  Upon seeing him agian, he prescribed some Serevent to go along with the Flovent.  This thearpy has been continued for the last 3 months with pretty good results, except for the last week, when it seems to have come back.  To the point where I had to use my Albuterol in conjunction with my Serevent and Flovent.  I went back in to the doctor and he scheduled me for an asthma test and gave me some Prednisone (sp?) for 5 days 2x per day.  It has made it better, but it is still there.
This cough is a dry non-productive cough sometimes with a raspy sound.  It never wakes me up, but usually starts with an hour or two of waking.  It sometimes gets better towards nightime.  I just have a kind of slight burning-itching feeling in my wind pipe and coughing makes it go away for a minute or so only for it to return.  The doctor gave me some medicine for GERD, but it didn't help.  Sometimes I have no symptoms at all and on some days/weeks it is more nagging.  I do not have any shortness of breath, but can hear a slight vibrating noise during heavy inhaling. I stopped smoking two months ago after doing so for 8 years.  I am curious if you might know what this is.

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There are many causes of this type of symptom.  What has been happening is that you have been treating symptoms without finding the cause.  The cause could be the upper airways, such as allergy or a sinus problem.  The problem could be due to a lower airway cause, such as asthma or bronchitis (from the smoking) or possible gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is causing a lower airway reflex.  The best advice is to find the cause of the cough and then treat this cause.  Some likely tests might include, lung function test (spirometry before and after a bronchodilator), chest x-ray, sinus CT scan, tests for reflux.  Not all of these are needed, but might be helpful in finding the cause.
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He has me scheduled for a pulminary function test on the 15th and he has done a chest x-ray.  I wonder if this isn't related to GERD due to the limited effects of the asthma meds.  I consistently wake up with a sore throat and have always burped up some food and/or acid after eating.  I frequently feel a burning in my throat with tightness when swallowing.  And this feeling aggrivates the cough.  He tried some anti reflux meds, but only for 3 days worth.  Everything that I have been reading has said that it takes awhile for the throat to heal.

Eric
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Avatar_n_tn
my problem has been very similar.  it started 2 yrs ago after a mycoplasma pneumonia.

was placed on all kinds of inhalers, svn txs, prednisone, antibiotics several times, did pulmonary function tests, peak flow meters and a bronchoscopy, ct of the sinus and lungs.  still am not satisfied as the symptoms recur everytime i get a little sorethroat or cold.  all of the tests come out normal...but when i get these episodes it starts with a mild sorethroat, postnasal drainage, leads to the cough and coughing up green mucous. then the cough becomes tight, hacky and wheezy.  a tickling kind of cough exacerbated by cool air ...such as a fan or a/c blowing.  sometimes it's ok then other times it bothers me.  no consistant time of the day.  asthma meds do not really take care of it.  they may deminish the cough for a short period.  i don't feel short of breath or chest tightness.  but i do feel my throat area constricting with the cough seeming to make the wheeze.  it feels like it is spasming or tickling and constricting some.  i'm wondering if the problem is in my trachea area.  i do not run fevers either.  i just cant seem to accept the diagnosis of "asthma" and the allergy theory could be quite possible..but as a child the allergy symptoms were so much more severe.  they hardly bother me as an adult.  i am confused too.  but again wondering about disorders of the trachea.  what do you think?

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Avatar_n_tn
Eric, your symptons are exactly the same as mine.  I, too, can set my watch as to when I will start to cough.  Usually around 9 p.m. I also cough a little just before waking up.  My GP cleared me of anything serious after I had the cough for 2 months, but told me to get a chest x-ray if it persisted. I went for the x-ray after three and half months of coughing and it showed nothing.  I am now going on six months of this cough that comes and goes, but never really goes!  I have another appt with my GP and want to be more informed this time.  I've never had a cough for more than a day or two my whole life and this is strange.  At 31, I'm very fit and a non-smoker and generally have very good health. Any update on your current status?  I'd be very interested in knowing how you're doing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, I went in for an asthma test (which wasn't cheap), and it came out negative.  My lungs actually were 150% of predicted...I stopped seeing my doctor and switched to one that I have been waiting for a spot to open up with.  I think that my coughs are affected by stress.  I visited a specialist and he gave me some xanax and they seem to help alot.  I also notice that the more I stress out, the more I cough and the more that I worry about the cough.  It is kind of a vicious circle.  I made an appointment with my doctor, because the cough is kind of coming back...  I just want to speak to him about it.  Keeping a peppermint candy in my mouth seems to help alot too.  Partly for the vapor like action, and partly that it takes it off of my mind.  Hope all turns out well for you.

Eric
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