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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Coughing and dizziness

09/11/2007

Question:

I have copd as well as pulmanary fibrosis and pulmanary emboli. Ive had a real bad cold, why would I be getting dizzy during the coughs like I could pass out. Also I semmed to have developed a bad headache

Answer:

"Cough syncope" (passing out when coughing) can occur from many different lung diseases. Headaches can occur from too high of a carbon dioxide level, among other problems. When patients with COPD and other lung diseases develop headaches, it is important to measure both the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, usually through an arterial blood gas. As far as the passing out spells, it is important to be sure that you do not also have heart disease, but usually the treatment is to suppress the cough, either by treating the COPD and/or fibrosis or by using cough suppressants.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University