Patient Comments: Chronic Cough - Diagnosis

Question:How was the diagnosis of your chronic cough established?

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: 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!

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: 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.

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Chronic Cough - Remedies Question: What remedies have been effective for your chronic cough?
Chronic Cough - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, have you used for your chronic cough?
Chronic Cough - Causes Question: Did you develop a chronic cough after an illness? What was the cause of your chronic cough?
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Chronic Cough - Experience Question: Please share your experience with a chronic cough.

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