Patient Comments: Chronic Cough - Diagnosis

Question:

How was the diagnosis of your chronic cough established? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: KK, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I have been coughing for almost two years. My doctor said it was asthma. They first thought my chronic cough was due to the ACE inhibitor I took for blood pressure so changed my blood pressure medicines. Then they said allergies and I was tested and negative for everything. Then the doctor thought GERD so took those medicines and got an inclined pillow. I am still coughing. I have been to a regular doctor and an allergist. Now they want me to go to a pulmonologist. I am so tired of this. Advair and inhaler haven’t helped.

Comment from: Mom2345, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I also had a chronic cough for over a year but ignored it. Eventually this led to getting a licensed mold inspector out to my home. Please get this checked if you feel like you have any of the symptoms of black mold poisoning. Unlike the name implies the mold spores are in the air, not someplace that you can see them. We had a new home and home inspection done, but this is not looked for. I am not fond of anything medical so did ignore it for a while. This can kill you if you do not take action.

Comment from: joan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I have had a chronic cough for at least 25 years. I think it started after having undiagnosed pneumonia in 1992 which wasn't treated. I had allergy testing done 21 years ago, but it didn't indicate any allergies. I finally went to a pulmonologist who suggested sinus irrigation. I did that for a while, but it did not provide any relief. They did a CT scan of my sinuses and lungs and it did show some inflammation in my sphenoid sinuses, as well as some lung nodules. I was prescribed albuterol inhaler, but that did nothing for me. I was also told to try Flonase and Claritin, but, again, they didn't work. I went to an ENT doctor who looked in my sinuses and noted a slight deviation, and he suggested taking GERD medicines and sleeping on an inclined pillow. Again, no relief. I have several coughing spells during the day, and just drink water to try to quell it. I know it's irritating to my coworkers to have to listen to me cough, and, of course, it's irritating to me. My ribs always hurt and I used to enjoy singing, but the cough has irritated my throat, so that's gone now, too.

Comment from: Coughing My Life Awa, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I have had a chronic cough for 6 months now. I have gone to my primary care physician several times for this. He put me on different allergy medicines and inhalers and nothing has worked. I went to see him today and they discovered I have developed a heart murmur and this is probably causing my coughing. I've had a chest x-ray today and I'm being referred to a cardiologist for an EKG and possibly some other testing. Unfortunately there isn't a lot they can do for the cough. I was prescribed Tessalon Perles that are supposed to turn off my coughing reflex (hopefully). I'm relieved they found out why I am coughing and hope I'm on the way to some relief.

Comment from: Lillyandra, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

I have had a chronic cough for the past 30 years. It is a dry, barking cough that sounds like a sneeze, and I frequently hack up clear mucus. I am constantly hoarse, have a sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis, and occasionally, I throw up from hacking so hard. I have been to allergists, doctors, surgeons, and lung specialists. I have had surgery on my sinuses, 10 years of allergy shots, nasal spray, inhalers, pills, cut out dairy, removed my pets from my home, etc., and it has not done one bit of good. I sound like I am always sick, and I don't blame people for wanting to steer clear of somebody who is hoarse, has a barking cough, the sniffles, and is constantly blowing her nose and clearing her throat. I wish that there was something that could help me. I don't want to spend the rest of my life this sick and miserable, but I've given up on life being normal or good.

Comment from: Little , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I've been coughing for 16 years now. The doctor said it is acid reflux.

Comment from: rbarlow72, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 11/2014. I have a chronic cough for the last five months now that currently is active. I had a break between this cough and my last series of coughing from July to November 2014. It is annoying and getting out of hand. I am being sent for a sleep study and told my esophagus is small too. I have reactive airway disease, as well, costochondritis, osteoarthritis, etc. So I was looking to see if this cough is related to fibromyalgia too since everything is getting a name and tends to be related. I get mucus in my throat constantly and get hoarse and sore throat from time to time with the coughing. Just tired of all of it. My primary care physician says most people with fibromyalgia should be sleep apnea tested, more than none have it. A small esophagus and sleep apnea can cause acid to build up and cause coughing too he says. I will know May 2015.

Comment from: LKY, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I had a chronic cough for over two years. One day my heating and air conditioning in my car went out. Within a few days my coughing stopped. Right after that I read an article in Reader’s Digest that water in the hoses can collect moisture which turns to mold, and then we blow these in our faces every time we drive. Also room air conditioners get water in the bottom and we blow those in our faces too. A few shots of Lysol in the car vents will help. Clean out any wall unit with bleach and Lysol. It saved my life. To this day I cannot take fans or air blowing in my face. Hope this helps someone.

SLIDESHOW

Cold and Flu: Finding Fast Cough Relief See Slideshow
Comment from: Coughmeister, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

In 2002, shortly after being diagnosed with H. pylori, I developed a chronic cough. I was sent for X-rays, CT scans, etc., which all came back normal. An ENT specialist said I have GERD (after having my tonsils out a few years back to help the coughing). Another doctor said I had bronchitis. A pulmonary doctor said I have asthma. The albuterol and Advair helped, but it didn't go away. I tried steroids and codeine syrups, but nothing seems to work permanently. My cough is productive, but my throat gets irritated from it, and I sometimes wet my pants a little when having an attack. It seems to be worse when the weather is damp or muggy. I cannot go inside a used bookstore or most of the large clothing stores. I go into coughing fits and start gagging, my eyes tear up, and I run for the door! My chronic cough keeps me from doing things or going around people for fear of having an “attack” and being embarrassed (again). It is particularly bad after eating a meal. I'm tired of clearing my throat all the time and coughing my head off. I feel bad that my coughing may annoy my husband, but he says it doesn't. It's been almost seven years now, and I have no more energy.

Comment from: priscilla, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

My doctor tells me I have post nasal drip. I went for a CT scan and all was well. The cough is so persistent and does not react to any medication. The sputum is colored blackish and this makes it so irritating. It’s been 2 years now, no change.

Comment from: Perry, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have had a chronic cough for 20 plus years. I have been to so many doctors and had so many tests. They tell me there is no reason they can find that I should cough. Sometimes I cough so much I feel like I am going to pass out. I cannot get my breath (so scary). I am almost to the point I do not want to go out anywhere. I just start this chronic cough for no reason and it is very embarrassing. Don't think I can handle this as I get older.

Comment from: Beverley, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I have had a chronic cough for about 3 and a half years now. I have had 3 mammograms, 2 chest x-rays and a spirometry test, all negative. It is driving me mad now, my husband harps on all the time about me getting it sorted, so I now take to sneaking into the bathroom and coughing into a towel to disguise the noise, I cough nightly and sometimes during the day but its constant. I have a lot of phlegm at the moment too, it can get quite bad at times to the point where I almost stop breathing, and I don't know what to do next. I take lozenges but they only give temporary relief, I also wear pads cos the cough is sometimes so severe I can't help but pee at the time, it is embarrassing at best.

Comment from: Pat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I have suffered from a dry chronic cough now for 10 months. I am a 47 year old female. The cough started after a virus I had 10 months ago and has continued. The cough seems to occur after I eat and when talking. I do not cough at night. Also, it seems to be better when I am outside jogging (cold or warm weather does not matter). I am a high school teacher and this chronic cough makes things difficult. I was treated for 5 months with different acid reflux medications (GERD) and was on an oral steroid Z-Pak for 1 week. I was also placed on an antibiotic for two weeks. None of these have helped. I also had a scope of my throat and voice box which indicated no problems. I am now waiting to see a pulmonary doctor. Oh! I also have had a chest and sinus x-ray which also came up okay. I have noticed that chewing gum helps with the cough. I am frustrated!

Comment from: Angel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

My 8-year-old son has a chronic cough. Cough syrups do not work very well. He has had a couple of visits to the ER within the last two years. His doctor is skeptical about calling it "asthma" even though he prescribed an inhaler, which does little to settle the coughing spasms. We recently visited an ENT because we know his tonsils are big and enlarged and felt if he has his asthma/breathing difficulties maybe alleviated by removing them. We had to cancel the surgery last week because he was wheezing on the day of the surgery. He still has his chronic cough, and I am now skeptical about having his tonsils removed until summer vacation. I need to visit with someone who can help my family determine if it's allergies and not his tonsils that are causing the chronic cough.

Comment from: Wynnie, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 06

I have had a chronic, dry cough off and on for several years. I find that when I eliminate wheat or gluten from my diet, my sinuses dry up, the coughing stops, and I feel better. This usually takes five to 10 days to clear my system. This means removing bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, buns, and hidden gluten in sauces, soups, cheeses. It is not easy living without the above items, but there are other products I can eat: rice, corn chips, spelt bread, gluten-free pasta. I hope all this will be of help to some of you.

Comment from: Skerley, 45-54 (Patient) Published: January 06

If you have a chronic cough, think about having an endoscopy performed. I've had this cough for several years with vomiting. I’ve gone through sinus medications, thought I worked in a "sick" building, and then I just began telling everyone it was allergies. Recently, I was hospitalized for something else and had an endoscopy performed. It came back with Barrett's esophagus. I am told this is the beginning of esophageal cancer. So if you cough all the time, ask your doctor to schedule an endoscopy!

QUESTION

Which illness is known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection? See Answer
Comment from: 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

When I was little, I was diagnosed with asthma, and I had pneumonia when I was 6. The asthma went away until around middle school. In eighth grade, I was coughing constantly. My mom kept shoveling cough syrup down my throat, but wouldn't take me to the doctor until I cracked a rib... from coughing! What a stupid way to crack a rib! The chest X-rays also showed I had pneumonia again. This incident led to multiple doctors’ visits and an eventual diagnosis of allergies and the return of my asthma. I'm now a senior in high school, and I'm still coughing. It's annoying and embarrassing. It drives everybody crazy. Sometimes Mucinex helps but not much. I'm going to go crazy. How can I go through college if I'm coughing so much I can't hear any of my classes?!

Comment from: Cherie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

My chronic cough started in 1995. It wasn’t too bad at first. Now I cough about every 15 minutes. In the mornings, I throw up as well. My nose is only full in the mornings, and I can feel nasal drip. I have been on inhalers, different sinus and asthma medications, and cough meds. The doctor says there is nothing wrong with me. I have been taking Mucinex Extra Strength one tablet every two to three days, alternating with sinus or cold OTC medication. This seems to help somewhat. If I take the Mucinex every 12 hours for two days, there is no more mucus, but I have an extremely dry cough that makes it hard to catch my breath and does not subside as quickly as when you clear the mucus. It's horrible!

Comment from: Kathleen, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 03

I began chronically coughing about four years ago. I was diagnosed with allergies, GERD, then asthma, then emphysema, and then back to asthma. I have had every inhaler you can think of. I purchased a clear air machine for $900. I also purchased special non-allergen sheet and pillow protectors, but still I cough constantly. It’s worse at night because I start to choke until I vomit. The only things that have helped me are steroids (prednisone) and a cough syrup with an opiate. The doctor who diagnosed me with emphysema put me on a cough syrup. I was on the cough syrup for a year (1 tsp at night), and it worked. Then my regular doctor decided it was addictive and didn't think I should continue. The cough came back almost immediately, and I have been suffering ever since. I am at my wits end.

Comment from: design911, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

After each summer, we turn the air conditioner off, and soon after, we turn the heat on. I realized that as soon as the house is closed up tight, I get a chronic cough and my allergies and asthma flair up for the entire winter. My whole system starts to disintegrate. I have been told that there are toxins in gas stoves, wood floors, etc., which are expelled into the air that exacerbate allergies and asthma. These toxins can cause rhinitis, hence my post-nasal drip and cough. I now open my windows, regardless of the weather, and try to circulate fresh air throughout the house each morning. I find this helps, along with Allegra, Singular and drinking lots of water to keep hydrated. My cough is starting to go away, but it will take a while.

Comment from: Coughing Still, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I have had this annoying chronic cough for almost two years and nothing has been found to be wrong with me. It started shortly after a cold or shortly after I started on Indapamide. I had less of a cough after I switched to hydrochlorothiazide for my hypertension. Although it is better now (it’s not as frequent), the coughing is just as intense. Dust, certain air conditioning systems, stress, high humidity, eating too many sweets, and just smelling tobacco smoke will set it off. Pantoloc will help sometimes, but not all the time, so I don't think I can blame it on reflux. Less dust certainly helps. Oh, I never cough when I am outside. I’ve tried all the puffers and the anti-nasal drip medications, but nothing helps!

Comment from: Ryan127, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I have had a chronic cough for the last several years. Last February, I ended up with pneumonia and was hospitalized. Not responding to treatment, I had a CT scan of my lungs and was diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Several months later, another CT scan revealed that I no longer had bronchiectasis. I have been chronically ill ever since. In June, I was hospitalized again with wheezing, coughing, and completely blocked sinuses. Two months later, another CT scan revealed that my sinuses were fine. My pulmonologist stated that my lungs were now fine, but I am still sick all of the time. My throat swells, which causes shortness of breath. I cough constantly with large amounts of mucus. I am usually tired and ache-y all over. Every test I have had comes back normal, even a sputum culture.

Comment from: Still Coughing, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I have had this cough for a year. I have been to my PCP several times. He said it was acute bronchitis. He gave me medicine; the cough did not go away. He said that maybe it is viral or some type of bacteria causing this cough. Again, I was given medicine and no change. I was sent to two pulmonary specialists. The first one took X-ray of lungs and the second one took a MRI. I was put on mouth inhaler, nose inhaler, allergy medicine and acid reflux. There was still no change. Several tests were done. He thought Lupus and I went to the rheumatologist. I do not have Lupus. I went to Ear, throat and nose doctor.

Published: July 22

I have been sick with a cough on and off for about 9 months. I will cough until I throw up. Its non stop and keeps me up all night. I have been to the doctor; they gave me an inhaler, medicine with codeine and a nasal spray. All of which were short term relief. I don't know what else to do, this cough won't go away.

Comment from: leela, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I have been coughing nonstop for 2 hours today.

Comment from: Bseiwald, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I have coughed for 15 years. I am not sick. Tussionex is the only thing that gives me a half normal life. I've had every inhaler, test, medications, etc. The cough syrup is now 200 per bottle and insurance does not cover.

Comment from: Julie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

Ever since about sophomore year of high school it seemed that whenever I caught a cold I was left with a moderate to severe cough for about a month or two. It concerns and bothers everyone around me. I was taken to the doctor the first time I had it, but all they did was give me some cough syrup that didn't help at all. Everyone tells me to drink some water, take some medicine, or suck on some cough drops, but they don't understand that it's my lungs causing the problem and not my throat! Since nobody will listen to me, I'm not sure what to do about it besides wait it out.

Comment from: tired one, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I"m 42 years old and have had a chronic cough for 9 years. I’ve been to numerous doctors, have had more pills than you can imagine. It’s exhausting, I"m tired and my job as a server is hard. No doctor can find anything wrong.

Comment from: Abby, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I am 26 years old and have been coughing for 19 years now. I don't sleep a lot, and it can be very embarrassing in public to be couching until choking. It's worse when I get hot or nervous too. I've had spirometry tests, chest X-rays, and all kinds of inhalers that don't work and drug after drug that doesn't work. I've tried natural therapies with little relief, and now I take codeine daily as it's the only thing that stops my coughing so I can get to sleep. It’s not ideal though. The doctor has put it down to me “just having sensitive airways,” but I think there must be something that can be done. My whole life is disrupted -- work, family, everything -- I wish someone could find a solution because if I have to put up with this much longer I will go crazy. It seems there's nothing I can do but just soldier on. I hate it.

Comment from: Susanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I went to many specialists for my chronic cough. I had been to an allergist and had allergy shots, medications, and inhalers given to me. Then I went to a pulmonary doctor and was given sleep tests, lung function tests, and more inhalers. My regular doctor gave me more ACE inhibitors. I had been coughing for a long time. I went to a rheumatologist. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. He is the one who suggested that my blood pressure medicine was causing my cough. I stopped taking the medicine. I know it's not recommended, but I was at my wits end. Low and behold, I stopped coughing in four days. I am going back to the doctor and am trying to get a blood pressure pill that is not an ACE inhibitor. I can actually sleep pretty good at night now without the constant coughing. I hope some of this helps you.

Comment from: VH, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I have had a chronic cough for more than eight years. X-rays have always come up clear. It is mostly non-productive. Sometimes, the coughing spell is so bad that I have pain in my lateral back on both sides. Now it has gotten so bad that I wear pads in case I leak from my bladder or have dry heaves/abdominal cramps. It's worse when I first lie down or wake up in the morning. I'm at my wits end. I have eaten cough drops for just as long, as they give some temporary relief. I am only 48 years old. This is something I want to stop. It is quite embarrassing in public.

Comment from: Sruti K., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 03

Every year, from October to January, I cough. This has been going on since 1972. It’s a very dry cough that irritates my throat. It’s the heaviest in the mornings and evenings. I sweat heavily and my eyes water when I cough. I have seen no improvement after taking homeopathic, allopathic and ayurvedic medicines.

Comment from: Gail, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I have had a chronic cough for months. I was treated for an upper respiratory infection, but I’m not cured yet. I got the infection in the summer and now it’s November/December. Sometimes I use an inhaler. I’ve also tried cough meds with codeine, and Sudafed. I am always tired, especially from coughing. At first, I thought it was asthma, but the doctor said it wasn’t.

Comment from: Help, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I have had a chronic cough for five years. I just start coughing, and then I vomited. I’m so tired; it just won’t stop. I can’t go places because when I start coughing, I can’t stop. I have been to doctors, but they can’t find out why my chest X-ray keeps coming back fine. I get embarrassed at times because I also pass gas when I cough. I really can’t help it People look at me as if I have the plague. I tell them I’m fine, I just can’t stop coughing. I have been on all kinds of medicines, and nothing works.

Comment from: Concerned Aunt, 13-18 Female Published: November 18

My 17-year-old niece has had a chronic cough for about a year. She has had chest X-rays, and she tested positive for the milk scan. Her doctor put her on medication for GERD, but it is not helping the cough. Since she doesn't have the cough while she sleeps, one doctor told her the cough was in her head. Incidentally, the cough first appeared roughly two months after my niece’s grandmother passed away.

Comment from: normed1, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 18

I have suffered with heartburn and regurgitation for the past two years, but for the past one year, it has worsened. For the past three weeks, this has now led to a kind of chronic cough that worsens at night or when I’m lying down. The cough also worsens when I'm in a warm environment. I have spoken to my primary doctor, but we haven't achieved a better answer for my problem.

Comment from: Annie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I still have constant sinus infections, pain, and smelly mucous, plus asthma, and chest infections. I have asked my general practitioner to send me for an X-ray, but as of yet, I have not had this done. I constantly produce phlegm, which varies in color and feel permanently exhausted. I just want to feel well enough to enjoy life and my grandchildren.

Comment from: coughalot, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I have had a chronic cough, tickle in my throat, some sinus drainage in my throat, bronchial spasms, and wheezing for more than three months. I have had a chest X-ray, pulmonary function test, and all the allergy tests. Of course, my doctor says nothing is wrong with me. But I still have this awful annoying cough. I have been on allergy nasal sprays, albuterol inhaler, and steroids. Nothing has helped.

Comment from: smalltownlady, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I have had my cough for three years. I have had asthma inhalers (no help); have been on GERD medicines (three types/seven pills per day); two endoscopies; cat scans; lung X-rays; pulmonary lung tests. All of them came back perfectly fine. I also had a 24-hour esophageal halter to wear. As soon as I put a piece of food in my mouth, it sets off an avalanche of coughing (very embarrassing and gross when dining with others)! I also lose my voice when talking and coughing, and sometimes I throw up. My doctor has suggested tests for Parkinson’s disease. Are you kidding? I am at my wit’s end!

Comment from: Jeni, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I've had a chronic cough for more than 15 years. I've seen specialists, had x-rays, ct scans, allergy tests, you name it, with nothing that shows and still the cough persists. There are only two things that doctors have given me that work to control the cough, codeine and albuterol. I can't have codeine on a regular basis because of the addictive properties, they think I'll become a junkie, and I hate using albuterol all the time. Anyone else have this kind of persistent cough?

Comment from: Relief from Coughing, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

My story is a lot like the September 17th posting. I get a cough that turns into a chronic cough. I have the trickle thing I can feel in back of my throat. I have had this for about 18 years. I cough all the time and sometimes until I throw up. When I get this I will have this for months. I've seen lots of doctors and no one knows how to treat me some treat me with acute bronchitis, allergies, coughing asthma. I did MRI and X-Ray, allergy testing, have good lung capacity (note I never smoked) and they thought I had Lupus too and went to rheumatologist I did not have Lupus. I have inhalers which do nothing. I just want some relief to stop coughing.