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cough only after drinking water

Im a  56 year old female, For about six months now I cough only after I drink water. It is worse at night or in the mornings. The doctor have tried antibiotics , nasal sprays and losengers for yeast. The ENT dr. The primary doctor and the upper GI Dr. do not know what is causing it. I have no trouble swallowing the water. But as son as I do i start to cough. Sometimes I do not stop until I throw up alot of clear mucas or drink milk or sode or eat something. Anything that will caot my throat and help me to stop the cough. This will happen day or night. I prefer to drink water. But it is hard to deal with the cough afterwards. I do have acid reflux and will go back this mont to see that doctor. My PCP says that it is all in my head because he does not know what is doing it. There is a real problem here please do not tell me it is all in my head.
It does not matter if it is cold or room temperature. Coco made with water doen not have the same affect. Milk or juiced or soda are all fine. It is like a caoting is washed away by the water leaving my throat expossed to irratation. HELP i need a Dr wHo has some experiance with this, I know I'm not the only person that has had THIS PROBLEM. Kit

This discussion is related to heavy Cough after drinking water.
26 Responses
Avatar universal
I am 45 years old and have been experiencing the same exact symptoms you describe.  No one seems to have an answer, but I know it is real.  Cold water is the worse for me.  Once I drink it, I gag like crazy and almost vomit.  Mines started when I had a serious brochial infection, which I caught a nasty cold from my grandson when he was two.  Whatever bacteria I was exposed to, it wiped me out, and my respiratory system has not been the same since.  Sometimes decongestants and expectorants help clear up any phlem or mucous, but I would prefer a more healthy approach.  I hope we can find an answer, or at best, I hope research is done as more people share their stories.  Thank you for sharing yours.  

Coughing too much
Avatar universal
I am 24 and I have been having this problem among other triggers. It happens when I drink or eat something very cold, or when I exorcise or after I laugh really hard. Allergist says it is asthma and albuterol inhaler helped for a while but no longer effective. Also have upper intercostal muscle aches that I originally tied to sleeping on my side. I have neck and back pain and am soon to start seeing a chiropractor when I get a chance. I'm worried though because I have so much trouble breathing when I get these symptoms and also stress seems to be a trigger. Any help would be a blessing.
Avatar universal
I noticed that these posts are a couple years old, and I am having the exact same problem, to the T, and am desperate for help/answers. Have any of you gotten any help or answers or improvement for your conditions?

I am 24 (and never smoked), and ever since I got pneumonia and bronchitis over 3 years ago (with coughing so bad I got internal bleeding!), I have NOT been able to get rid of this cough. It is definitely the worst at night, in the AM, and after exercise (also stressful situations appears to have some impact, though seemingly minimal and infrequently) when I am drinking water (and flavored water, etc.). The problem still usually occurs with other beverages, such as carbonated ones, milk, etc., but is not anywhere near as severe/violent. It is awful because water is the best thing to drink on a regular basis, but the coughing irritates your throat and makes you feel kind of dry, but you can't keep drinking the water! I have to find something else to drink or something to take a few bites off (yogurt seems to be one of the best things for me) until the coughing dies down. When I drink water, I cough until either a bunch of clear mucous is coughed up, or I cough so hard that I vomit up the clear mucous and the water. It has literally been ruining my life, I am a nursing student and my education/career are in jeopardy because of this! Not to mention it is embarrassing to go out in public and be looked at like I am contagious and have no business being out near people.

I have been to my PCP several times, who tested me for infection and did a lung x-ray (all of which have always been negative), but put me on a ten-day antibiotic treatment and syrup with codeine on the off chance that it was an infection that just wasn't picked up for some reason. The syrup only served to at least help me get some sleep, and the antibiotics did no good because it is not an infection. I saw a pulmonologist, who said that it had to be because of asthma and kept messing around with different long-acting inhalers and albuterol for me to try; he became frustrated and put me on an extremely high, one-month dose of prednisone, thinking that the airways must be so irritated that prednisone was needed. End result: About 50 pound weight gain (135 to 185!!) and no luck with the cough. GI doctor: acid reflux/GERD diagnosis, prescribed daily omeprazole and tums as needed - no effect on coughing problem. Allergist - the pneumonia/bronchitis wiped out my immune system and I am now testing positive to allergies for nearly everything, has tried me on 3 different types of allergy pills and I have been getting immunity shots twice a week for a year - no impact on the violent cough and mucous spit up from drinking water. The part about water being the primary trigger always results in the classic "it's all in your head/anxiety" response. Therefore, I ended up at a psychiatrist's office as a last resort, who didn't think I had an anxiety disorder but knew I was desperate to try anything that could possibly be left as a potential cause/treatment, so he prescribed me 1.5 mg of Ativan per day. Again, no effect - definitely NOT in all of our heads. The part that is really frustrating is that they keep saying it must be a psychological thing and then sending me away when what they try doesn't work, but there HAS to be a connection to the pneumonia/bronchitis and something that changed in my body THEN because this was NEVER a problem until then, and has been every single day since I was sick. And how about the fact that there is constantly mucous being produced and spit up in response to water? And as was pointed out by quickcoughing697, Mucinex DOES seem to be the only thing to ever even temporarily or somewhat help at times, but it is definitely not something meant for lifetime use.

If anybody has figured anything out or gotten any help since posting, PLEASE let me know ASAP! I want my life back!

I wish the best to all of you suffering and sincerely hope that you have since found relief and associated peace in life. Thank you guys for sharing your stories, it is reassuring to know that I am not "crazy" and alone, as my doctors have all made it out to seem. If they can't figure something out, then it's best to blame the patient, I guess.
Did you took medication called benzonate before the cough related to water?
Avatar universal
I experience heavy coughing when drinking water, usually ice water. After a cold this past winter I had a post-viral cough lasting about 3 weeks.  That's when I first noticed cold water causing me to feel a sharp tickle in my throat and have severe coughing.  My symptoms eventually got better, but I still was affected by water, but not as severely.

I caught another cold this summer, with cough being one of the symptoms. Since then the problem has returned where ice water causes serious coughing.  It is not psychological, it is definitely a physical reaction.  

It feels as though the water is washing away saliva, mucus, or some other type of coating that protects my throat.  That may not be logical, since other foods or drinks don't seem to have the same effect.  So I am wondering if the cold liquid is triggering a nerve or muscular reflex that leads to immediate irritation and coughing.

Another thought I had was that maybe the composition of the water, and especially the ice, has in it some kind of irritant.  What made me think of that is a memory of eating/drinking Ice Pops as a kid (those multi-colored sugary liquids sealed in plastic tubes that you freeze) and it having a similar effect of tickling my throat and making me cough.  I remember feeling as though the ice (and melted liquid) had micro-crystals that were piercing my throat, like tiny shards of broken glass.

Sounds nutty, but I think I'll see if Ice Pops have any link to coughing.  I might also go to an Ear, Nose Throat doctor to see if there's anything wrong with my throat.

if i could i would hve nerve in throat rmoved   docs think im nuts
Avatar universal
I am 33 and I have been experiencing the same thing. The doctor put me on antibiotics and a inhaler. Nothing seems to work. The only time I'm not coughing is when I'm drinking lemon, honey and a mint leaf. I can't even sleep at night because I'm always coughing. If its to cold I'm coughing. If I'm drinking something cold I cough. If I eat some thing cold I cough. I just wish I had answers. I just want it to stop.
Avatar universal
has anyone found any relief from this????
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