My mother is 66 and has had a persistent dry chronic cough for almost 10 years. She has shortness of breath and is unable to take deep breaths without it causing a coughing fit. The doctors have given her bronchodilators and allergy medication and her condition does not get any better. They now insist that its acid reflux. However, the medication does not help. She sometimes has a low grade fever and her body is super achy from all the coughing. She has had biopsys done and ct scans all come back normal. Still no definitive answer on what the cause of the cough.
Often a blood pressure medications can have this side effect. Ace Inhibitors (Ramipril and others ending in 'pril') are usually the culprit. This may be a long shot but I have frequently seen this problem.
Acid reflux definitely irritates the esophaugs and elicits a coughing reflex. Medication helps to block the hydrochloric acid from forming in the stomach. However any damage previously caused will take time to heal.
Her symptoms could be attributed to GERD, (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), where the acid contents of the stomach come up into the esophagus. Since medications don't seem to be helping much she can try life style measures: Take frequent small meals. Eat dinner about two hours before sleeping. Elevate the head end of the bed. Keep a food diary and note down what aggravates your symptoms and avoid them. Ensure to maintain optimum weight by regular exercise. Avoid non steroidal anti inflammatory medications NSAID's, quit smoking, eliminate alcohol and reduce stress levels. These measures need to be practiced long term for results.
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