Persistent Cough

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Aby suggestions to what to do about a persisitent cough ? Ive had one for the past 6 weeks....At first I and my doctor thought it was a touch of the flu, than when it didnt go away she gave me a five day course of antibiotics, and I still have it...Its pretty bad at night, and during the day if Im out and about breating cold air that kind of sets it off. Its the kind of cough that really knocks you out and makes you double over. I dont smoke, not cigs anyway. Up until about two months ago I did smoke copious amounts of herb, but stopped once I started feeling bad and havent touched it since...

    Worse of all, I dont think my doctor really believes me, as when I visit him I dont really exhibit any symptoms....
  2. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Antibiotics don't treat any variant of the flu. Smoking anything causes inflammation of the respiratory tract - not just cigarettes. You should persist and go back to your Dr or seek a 2nd opinion. Out of interest - any other symptoms?
  3. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Well, the doc. prescribed AB's in case it was bacterial..I dont really have any other symptoms.....The coughing leaves me slightly dizzy afterwards, but thats about it...

    Normally I dont get sick or overly concerned about medical stuff (because Im hardly sick), but six weeks seems like a long time to have a cough like this...

    Do I be honest with him about my pot smoking though? Im not so sure I want something like that in my medical record...
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Of course you should be honest with your doctor.
  5. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    I've had the same issue for years. Dry cough (no mucous, clear lungs) that lasts for weeks (sometimes 2-4 months), even cracked a rib from severe coughing spasm. It was finally diagnosed as chronic bronchitis. Antibiotics never worked for me either. What fixes me up is a steroid inhaler to reduce bronchial irritation and Astelin for nasal irritants. 2-3 weeks later I'm fine.

    You didn't mention if your cough was dry (non-productive) or not. I think that makes a difference. See if your doctor will refer you to a respiratory specialist. You'll probably be set up for a pulmonary function test. Good luck.
  6. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Cancer, Asthma or a reactive airway disease, a side effect of a medication you are taking such as an ACE inhibitor, esophogeal reflux (GERD), nasal drip.... so many possible causes.

    Your doctor can send you for chest x-rays to see what's going on there, a methacholine challenge test to look for the development of asthma, tests such as a 24 hour pH monitoring test to look for GERD, etc.

    Google chronic cough and you'll find a lot of information. Your doctor can actively investigate this, so I'd go back in for another visit.
  7. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008

    Yes, it is completely dry......thanks....hearing your story makes me even more concerned. How does your situation affect physical activities such as bike riding, running, etc???
  8. spacemanps macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey

    STOP BLAZING! ha.. jk i know you said you stopped... drink hot water with lemon and honey. Take robitussin and get some throat drops... also... an old trick that helps get rid of a nasty cough is taking honey, filling a tablespoon and heating it over the stone in the spoon, and mix in a little BLACK SALT.. (dont ask me where to find it.. parents gave me a big old bottle of it that i have had in my closet for years now)
  9. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    I ride my bike (went biking yesterday), go to the gym, no problem. Not a runner though. As long as the coughing is under control I can do anything I want.
  10. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    I work at a large elementary school. Last year we had a couple different teachers who had the dry hacking cough for months. Finally went away. If you want a folk remedy, try mixing this in a glass and drinking twice a day:

    2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 cup orange juice

    The taste will kill you, but it works wonders on coughs, colds and jock itch. (just threw in the jock itch to see if you were paying attention...):D
  11. TheOnlyJon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    If it's dry cough, it could be linked to GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease...acid reflux) like I have -- I've always had a dry cough/tickle in my throat. I drive my parents insane but there's nothing I can do about it. I think they're used to it by now anyway. :eek:
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    This may sound trite, but make sure you're getting lots of sleep. I used to deal with similar symptoms all the time. Any kind of cold or sore throat would always turn into chest congestion and then the same dry, chronic cough. It would take weeks to clear. Like a previous poster I too was once diagnosed with a mild form of bronchitis when one bout of coughing went on for weeks. I remembering being doubled over in pain every time I coughed. It took much stronger medicines to calm that one down.

    Anyway, I dealt with that sort of thing on almost a yearly basis, until the year I got laid off from work and started taking graduate classes, which were mostly afternoon and evenings. It occurred to me that I was no longer getting really sick (well, much less often). I'm pretty sure it's because suddenly I was sleeping in every day instead of rushing to wake up at 6:00am to catch the bus to school or work. My body was being stressed a lot less and was able to heal itself much more quickly.

    Nowadays I still get occasional sore throats that lead to chest congestion and mild coughs, but they go away after a few days with no need to see a doctor. The trick is when I start to feel off, I turn off my alarm and let my body sleep for as long as it wants. I have flexible hours at work so they're OK with this, and I feel much better these days.
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Potential causes of persistent cough: post viral airway hyperreactivity, pertussus, post nasal drip, asthma, laryngopharyngeal reflux, and a whole lot of less common things.

    History is most important - what makes you cough, daily patterns, associated other symtoms, pruductivity, etc.

    One a couth lasts 4-67 weeks it falls into another categoty - chronic couch. And therapeutic trials (as indicated by history) for allergies, asthma, or reflux are indicated. If worrisome signs, further evaluation indicated.

    NEVER lie to your doctor. We've heard it all and are not judgemental. Withholding information makes the doctors job harder (and may prevent true cause of your illnesses to be uncovered).

    However, the best advice you will get here is: DON'T SEEK OUT MEDICAL ADVICE ONLINE, PARTICULARY ON A COMPUTER FORUM.

    Get thyself back to the doctor!
  14. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    You should ask to have an xray just to rule out anything serious. I was thinking pneumonia from the description. I've had pneumonia several times. The first time the doc didn't believe me but gave me some antibiotics to be sure. The antibiotics were too weak and actually made me worse. Long story short: I nearly died.

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