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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Coughing for the Last 15 Years

06/04/2009

Question:

I have been coughing for almost 12 months a year and it has been happening for the past 10 yrs. The cough lasts for 2-5 mins which has occurence for atleast 10 times daily, and at times it seems like I will die. When I drink water or any drink it subsides and I am normal. (I always carry a bottle of water with me no matter where I go) Sometimes the drink too doesn`t help, the only solution is to vomit and that makes the cough go and it feels like something has been lifted out of my chest. I have learnt how to control this cough - but the side effect is that it makes my eye watery and it makes me look like I have cried. My doctor had prescriped me codeine cough syrup even this did not help me and I nearly got addicted to this drug. When everything failed I started to take cetirizine thinking it was allergy but it seems like it is not the case of allergy too. I used to take chewing tobacco (for 8 years) but have left that habit 5 years ago. I have checked with all the doctors and have gone through all the test with no result. Most of the time it is dry cough and sometimes it is white thick slippery substance like mucus. I stay in a hill station, where air is fresh and I do a lot of out-door activity (I sometime go for a trek of 7 days at an altitude of 4000 mts) but my primary job is doing work on a computer (desktop) where the duration in front of a computer can extend upto 14 hrs sometimes. I am not an alcoholic though I like to drink beer moderately - I am not over weight. I never had a history of chest infection and I have done numerous X-rays which is conclusive that I don`t have TB. Before the cough starts there is a tickling feeling just in between the tonsil and epiglottis which just irritates and I have the uncontrol-able cough. I sometime wonder why doesn`t this cough turn into TB atleast I could take medicine and it could be cured. I have tried homeopathy which too did not help me. I have to sleep alone because I cough in the night (though I am not aware - I always get a good (adequate) sleep). Could you please advise me what type of specialist should I be consulting. I am worried that will this cough turn into some cancer of my throat. Please help - I have exhausted all means.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness.  You should see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University