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Whooping Cough?
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Whooping Cough?

I was diagnosed with a sinus infection several weeks ago, but I believe it has turned into something else.  I had a strong cough attack tonight (it woke me up from my sleep), and I haven't been able to sleep since.  I've had this "tickle" and/or "itchy" feeling in my throat for just about a week now, and I'll cough here and there (worse at night), and I've been sneezing quite a few times for the last two days, but those are my only real symptoms.

I believe I had the whooping cough in 2004 -- it lasted for 3 months, but no doctor would diagnose me with it.  They kept saying I had asthma, but other doctors said my respiratory and lungs were as clean as a whistle.  I also thought I had post nasal drip since I had a sinus infection, but it wouldn't cause me to have a cough attack as hard as the one I just had an hour ago.

The cough attack lasts for about 20-30 seconds and I can't breathe well when I'm having it.  I'll gag, "choke", and I'll drink excessive water to let the tickling sensation thats causing me to cough so much subside.  This is why I believe it's the whooping cough...but there is no wheezing...as many people may not experience even when they have the whooping cough.  Can someone help me out here?  I have various (minor) symptoms and I don't know how it should be treated.  If I have the whooping cough, I know there's no cure, and the infection will just take its course, but what about the other symptoms?
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Coughing is one of the most common symptoms related to a sinus infection, both when it is active and in the healing phase.  It can cause exactly what you are describing. Whooping cough is a specific diagnosis which has a characteristic type of severe cough that lasts for several weeks.  If you are really concerned that this is the diagnosis, a simple blood test can be performed by your physician.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you treated the sinus infection?  Has your doctor told you the infection is gone?  

If your answer is no (especially to the latter question) you could just be experiencing drainage from your sinuses into your respiratory tract, which is causing you to cough.

Obviously you'll want to talk to your doctor about the sinus infection, et. al., but I might as well change my nickname on this forum to Mr. Lavage as this is the 3rd post in which I recommend this
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks a lot for the link.  I'll check it out.

The only reason why I feel as though I might have the whooping cough is because I get the "cough attack" very suddenly.  But throughout the day, I'm pretty okay, and able to go about my daily routine.  I cough a little here and there, but it's nothing big...at all.  But the symptoms I experience while I have these bouts of attacks are exactly what the whooping cough entails.

Thank you for your help.  I think I will call the doctor and see if my sinusitis has cleared.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, and I still sneeze once in awhile.  The other day at work, I sneezed about 10 times.  I just sneezed right now, so a part of me thinks this might just be post nasal drip, but the severity of the cough tells me it's whooping cough.  Plus, no medication has helped the cough.  Not even the antibiotic.  (I didn't finish the prescription because it gave me side effects).  But I'm wondering if I should just finish it just incase the infection isn't entirely gone.

Where's the forum MD?!
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Avatar_n_tn
Always, always always finish the run of antibiotics you are prescribed.  If you have side effects contact your doctor.  He or she might be able to give you something different.  However, if your side effects are stomach or digestion related (as they often are with antibiotics) there are things you can do to mitigate those effects.  For example, many antibiotics kill the acidophilus that's in your digestive tract.  Acidophilus is the good bacteria that lives in your digestive tract and allows you to process food effectively.  Without it you may notice diarrhea or other side effects.  Acidophilus can be found in yogurt or over the counter supplements.  If taken during or after the run of antibiotics it can help return your digestion back to normal--however, ask your doctor about this because some antibiotics are not as effective when you consume dairy products (yogurt in this case).

Sinus infections are nothing to mess around with.  Failure to properly treat them can lead to all sorts of complications so it's best to check tell you doctor that you stopped your run of antibiotics and talk with him or her to see what you should do before you just start taking your remaining dosage.  

What happens with antibiotics is they stay resident in your system for while, so if you just stopped, say today, you could probably start again, but if you've let it go for a few days you may need to start an entirely new run.  What you don't want to do is hit the infection with the antibiotics, almost beat it, and then stop taking your meds and let the infection rest, regroup and come back at you.  Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean the infection is gone.

The sneezing can also be related to a lingering infection.  Your body may be trying to clear the sinus cavities.  Also the sudden, yet sporadic coughing could also be related to the infection.  If the antibiotics got the infection down to low-grade you may have minor postnasal drip that is draining into your lungs causing sudden attempts to clear them of the offending mucous.  

I don't know a lot about whooping cough, but I like the expression, "the simplest solution is probably the correct one." If you've allowed a sinus infection to go untreated and now you're experiencing respiratory issues, the untreated infection is probably the culprit.

Don't wait for the forum doctor--I'm very impressed at the speed at which they respond to people, but even at their speed it might take them a few days to get back to you.  Each day you delay treating the infection is another day it has to regroup and come back at you.  Call your regular doctor and tell him or her that you stopped your antibiotics and explain your new symptoms as well.

Good luck, feel better.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thorough information -- Thank you.

I'll call my doctor tomorrow before work.  I was actually thinking about finishing my antibiotics, but if you think I should consult the doctor first, I'll do that.  Thanks.  I appreciate the information.
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Avatar_n_tn
Whooping cough can be diagnosed with a simple test.  Also, do you have the "whoop" sound in between coughing spells?  That is suppose to be a tell-tale sign.  My son had all the signs of whooping cough about 2 months ago.  Even down to the sound, I heard it once and when I did, I knew it was the "whoop" sound.  I took him to the doctor the next day, they did the test and 48 hours later it came back negative.  It was determined to be mycoplasma bacteria that apparently is pretty similar in some ways to whooping cough.  I mean similar enough to require the same antibiotic therapy and to be  often misdiagnosed for eachother.   The only reason we had the test done was for health department concerns.  They need to document the cases of whooping cough as well as notify any schools involved.

I had a sinus infection that turned into mycoplasma infection as well.  It affected my ears, my head and my chest.  I had coughing fits for 3 weeks and could barely lay down at night.  I slept with my upperbody raised for quite a few of those nights.  It is better but occasionally while walking in the morning I cough for a good 30-40 minutes when I start.

Just a thought.  I hope you get the answers you need.

Good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been coughing for 9 years and nothing helps.It also starts with a tickle, then it feels like someone blasts an airhose in the back of my throat, then it starts stinging and feels like my throat goes into a spasm, and the fun begins. I start coughing, gagging, choking,crying,nose running, then I start gasping for air,throwing up and get lightheaded, Then I can't breath. I will only be able to get a slight wisp of air into the lungs and it slowly gets better. My arms and legs feel like I've ran to the top of everest. Everything and anything gets me going. Eating, drinking, breathing, sneezing. I never know when it will hit but it happens at least 10 times a day. Then I have the snot glooping down my throat and has also gotten to the point where I am wetting myself from coughing so hard.. I don't have a sinus infection, been tested to whooping cough, TB, all negative., allergy test are negative. I don't smoke. I have been put on Zyrtec D, inhalers, nothing helps. My husband thinks I am ready for the nursing home. HA . He thinks it's all in my head. I think I'm ready for this to go away.
It is embarrasing, and I am so sick of it.
I wish someone would find out how to stop this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been experiencing difficult with breathing Ill cough and throw up air and my bone start to hurt whenn I do that
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