I live in the SF bay area and for about 10 months now I've been plagued with a chronic, constant throat clearing which sometimes leads to a whooping type of cough. It started when I came down with a cold or flu type illness in Nov. 2006 which passed like any other typical cold/flu, but left me with this throat thing. It's absolutely maddening! And no one seems to know what's going on or what to do to cure these symptoms.
It starts as soon as I wake up, that feeling of something in the back of my throat that causes me to start the "aheming" which goes on all day long. For a while my ribs were hurting because of it. I think at this point my body has adapted so that I don't hurt from it or lose sleep, but it's still just absolutely crazy making! It's as if there's something in my throat that I can neither cough up or swallow down, triggering both a very hard, constant swallowing and throat clearing. The symptoms remain constant no matter where I go in or out of town.
I'm not on any medications other than the ones I've been given to treat this, whatever it is. I've had a chest x-ray, endoscopy, an allergy test. All my vital signs are normal, healthy. I've seen the allergist, internist, and gastrointeroligist. Each one sees signs of possible causes related to what they're looking for and thus I've been put on Rx (Protonix, Asiphex, Prilosec) for reflux and (Claritin-d, Allegra, Flonase, Astalin and local bee honey), for allergies, even though I don't experience allergies nor heartburn-reflux type symptoms. For several months now I've been popping pills and sniffing nasal sprays, still no help.
My doctors seemed stumped. Medications are not working. This throat thing is driving me crazy and I don't know what to do next! Can anyone out there help me?
There is a non-allergic condition call vasomotor rhinitis. This is an inflammation of the lining of the nose and sinuses. It can cause chronic drainage which can be any time of the day, but usually causes more problems when you lie down. One test not mentioned below to be sure this is not a chronic infection is to have a CT of the sinuses. If you have already had this and it is normal or you have one in the future, it is reasonable to speak with your physician about a trial course of oral steroids for a few days. If this is, indeed, vasomotor rhinitis, it will get dramatically better, but unfortunately will reoccur when the steroid effect wears off. However, it will help you to make a diagnosis.
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