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Passed out while coughing
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Passed out while coughing

My husband has passed out three times in the last couple of months while coughing.  Twice while we were sitting talking and once while in bed.  He woke up, sat on the side of the bed passed out and hit his face on the night stand.  The Dr. did an untra sound of his heart and didn't find any thing wrong.  Blood test didn't show any thing.  He is a health 55, but has smoked for 30 years and does have a smokers hack although he did have a cold with the last two spells.  Dr. first said it was a nerve on the heart that the compression of the cough on the chest had caused his blood pressure to drop suddenly that probably caused it, but after 3 times we are all really concerned.  His face was red and scrunched during the coughing spell and his eyes were open when he was out.  When he woke up after a few seconds, he acted like it never happened.  He said he was just tired and was dreaming.  Please give us some ideas.
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What your husband has experienced is called cough syncope.  This means fainting while coughing.  It is not unusual, especially with harsh and/or sustained coughing.  There is no cure for it.  His doctor is right about the sudden drop in blood pressure.  The cough interferes with the return of blood to the heart.

Most people have some, although incomplete, control of cough.  To the extent that your husband has control, he should try to cough more gently.  In addition, to avoid serious injury, when he feels a cough coming, he should sit down or lie down immediately.  He should also drink ample liquid so that he does not become dehydrated since this could add dizziness to his situation.
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