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Chronic cough for 7 months with no relief and no diagnosis

Help. I've had a cough now for 7 months and I can't take it anymore. I'm 26 year old male who was relatively healthy. This cough started shortly after a common cold and has not gone away since. It is usually a dry cough, although on rare occasions I can feel mucus flying around. Also, it has caused me to sometimes clear my throat constantly. Furthermore, since this started I have had near constant nasal swelling (ie hard to breathe out of one or both nostrils).  Sudafed helps a little but not completely.

Sometimes I do have a sensation of shortness of breath, usually accompanying severe full nasal congestion. Just feels like my throat is inflamed when I have this feeling.

I've seen my GP and pulmonologist. I've tried inhalers including ICS with labas. They don't seem to help much. Albuterol sometimes seems to temporarily reduce the cough, but not completely. And other times it seems to do nothing. I've tried a 5 day pack of prednisone on two separate occasions which did not stop the cough.

I've been on protonix for 3 months, Claritin for 3 months, and qnasl for 3 months. All with little or no relief.

Had several chest x rays that were all normal. One of them showed a very mild hyperinflation. I've recently had a full blood work up, awaiting results. I'm scheduled for a methacholine challenge next week as well as complete PFTs. I also had a CT sinuses which I am waiting results.

Had 2 consecutive courses of zpack with no change.

I can't stnd this anymore. I've never had a cough nearly this long or breathing issues ever! It's gotten to the point where it is affecting my daily life significantly through stress. I've lost close to 15 pounds over the 7 months due to stress, and have been forced to take my 0.25 mg Xanax almost daily to calm myself down. I'm normally not anxious but this cough has gotten to me. First time I've had to take Xanax in nearly 4 years.  I'm scared to go out on weekends now and stopped exercising due to the fact that sometimes my cough gets worse than exercising.

What could this by and why hasn't it responded to any treatments? I haven't had a single day without coughing for 7 months, I would absolutely love just 1 week without coughing. Please help what can I do to heal this and what can I reccomend to my doctor?

I don't smoke.
I do chew tobacco daily.
Never have heartburn.
No family history of asthma in entire family.
No history of allergies, but blood test showed an IgE level of 152.
I'm Caucasian and live in the Midwest near Chicago.

Nothing has worked and the constant tickle in my throat is killing me!!

Any and all help would be much appreciated. I will happily share more info if requested although my post is long enough but I have 7 months of symptoms to report.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a doctor, but it sounds to me like allergies that are causing post nasal drip to bother your throat. I had the prick testing done last year and am allergic to everything but horses and feathers. Sudafed does not cut it for me at all. It is possible you need a stronger med like Claritin combined with an antihistamine like Benadryl. I take both of those daily to help take the edge off my allergies. If not, I get a bugger of a sinus infection!.
A question...is the itching/coughing worse when you lie down?
Avatar universal
Also forgot to mention they have prescription nasal sprays that can help such as Flonase if the nasal congestion is not getting better.
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