hello i am a 21 year old male who doesnt smoke and since thanksgiving ive had a bad cough.i have been diagnosed with bronchitis and airway spasms during that time but the problem still exist. I was on two prescription medications and neither helped much. I had a ct scan and numerous chest xrays done and they cant find anything wrong. To this day i still have a cough that tends to produce clear phlem and im wondering how long this can last or if anyone knows anything about airway spasms. i also have occasional pain in my arms and hands and sometimes feet but nothing major.
There are many causes of chronic cough, on the basis of disease in the upper (sinuses) respiratory tract, on down to the periphery of the lungs themselves. Chronic cough can also be secondary to diseases outside of the lungs, such as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in which reflux of stomach contents enters the upper esophagus and/or is aspirated into the lungs themselves.
You mention “airway spasms” and that of course raises consideration of the diagnosis of asthma, one of the most common causes of cough and, not rarely, cough occurs in the absence of wheezing. Asthma and GERD and chronic sinusitis would be the first places to look for the cause of your cough. If none of these is found, it may be necessary to repeat the CT Scan for signs of lung disease that might not have been obvious at the time of the first scan.
Many academic medical centers have Cough Clinics, manned by physicians with a special interest and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of cough. This would be an avenue to explore with your primary care physician.
One final thought. The persistent cough that can last up to six months after an acute respiratory illness is that of whooping cough (pertussis). You should also discuss this possibility with your PCP
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