Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic cough recurs every few years

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Timallen20
  • May 5, 2008
  • 05:35 PM

This is far from life-threatening, but drives me nuts for years now.

Every 2-4 years I get this cough. It is a tickle in the back of my throat, affects me day and night alike.

Here is dump of info:

--Comes back every few years, usually following a mild to moderate head cold.
--When it arrives, it stays for 3+ months! Then it goes away.
--Nothing over the counter has ever worked to stop it: antihistimines, decongestants, acid reflux pills. Cough drops cause temp relief (a few minutes).
--Dry, non-productive cough, though my sinuses do have a mild clogginess, I do not have a runny nose but it sort of feeling "wet" up there just a little. No sneezing.
--No pain in my face or pressure around sinuses.
--Breathing is sometimes hesitant but only because of the itch.
--I was asthmatic as a small child, but not in years.
--I did smoke from about age 18-23 and never again.
--it seems to be especially bad in mid-afternoons and when I am trying to talk to people.
--I tried antibiotics one year (the kind specifically that were supposed to work against whooping cough). No effect.
--I am a runner, when I am breathing heavy I do not cough.
--It really seems like a postnasal drip type of cough, but from what and how can I suppress it?
--I am 43, this has been going on since my 20's. I am average height weight and eat a varied mostly healthy diet
--I drink alcohol a few times a week.
--Doctors sometimes say "chronic bronchitis" which seems non-specific.

I am frustrated, going on a big vacation in 2 weeks and will do anything to suppress this! :confused:

Thank you for any thoughts!


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2 Replies:

  • You mentioned most of the causes of recurrent cough (brochitis, allergies, asthma, etc.) and since you no longer smoke it is unlikely that you have a serious condition like lung cancer (unless you work/live around other contributors). A few thoughts:1. You mentioned that acid reflux pills do not work, but have you ever been tested for GERD? OTC pills won't necessarily provide relief.2. Have you ever had an allergy test to pinpoint triggers? Also, allergy medicine varies dramatically for each individual. You may have to try several different types to find one that works for you.3. Do you have enlarged adenoids?4. (Highly unlikely) but have you been tested for TB? Best of luck!
    GD2005 61 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for the thoughts! 1. No on GERD test, but I have looked it up and I have none of the other symptoms (heartburn, trouble swallowing, etc.)2. I will look into allergy test to pinpoint triggers. I've never had allergies, in fact everyone else in my house has them and I am never bothered.3. I don't know if the adenoids are enlarged, if I get this checked out I will ask if they can look at that. 4. Tested for TB? not specifically, I have standard blood work done. The blood work sometimes picks up a higher than normal release of some liver enzymes, but nothing the doctor is alarmed about. To be honest, it just feels like a headcold with post nasal drip that I have trouble shaking whenever I get one. But why would I have trouble fending off a simple cold? Maybe just a sluggish immune system? (my wife says total lack of allergies means my immune system is not as active as hers, but she says this kind of tonge- in-cheek). I am trying a variety of rotating OTC items on trial and error basis now. Thanks again.
    Timallen20 1 Replies Flag this Response
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