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Old 07-20-2004, 05:08 PM   #1
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Mecpcpj HB User
Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Hi there. I have had these symptoms for 4 years now and I was wondering if anyone has ANY idea what it could be. I am in good overall health, I've never been diagnosed with asthma or any other breathing problem.

I feel that I constantly have to clear my throat. I always have something blocking my airway and it gets especially bad when I lay down at night. It feels like it might be phlegm but I never cough anything up, rather I just keep having to clear my throat. When it's really bad I just keep coughing. Has anyone else experienced this? I've tried allergy medicine (didn't work) and gargling with different things (didn't work either). Thanks!

 
Old 07-20-2004, 09:57 PM   #2
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mecpcpj
Hi there. I have had these symptoms for 4 years now and I was wondering if anyone has ANY idea what it could be. I am in good overall health, I've never been diagnosed with asthma or any other breathing problem.

I feel that I constantly have to clear my throat. I always have something blocking my airway and it gets especially bad when I lay down at night. It feels like it might be phlegm but I never cough anything up, rather I just keep having to clear my throat. When it's really bad I just keep coughing. Has anyone else experienced this? I've tried allergy medicine (didn't work) and gargling with different things (didn't work either). Thanks!
The three most common causes for a chronic cough/throat clearing are:

1. Cough variant asthma
2. Acid reflux
3. Post nasal drip.

Do you ever have problems with heartburn? Even if you don't, sometimes instead of a feeling of burning that most people get with heartburn, you get a tickle or a foreign sensation which causes you to cough or clear your throat. Have you just tried taking an antacid? If that doesn't work, your GP might try you on a trial of a proton pump inhibitor like Losec which often helps this.

Another thing might just be overactive mucous membranes in your upper airway passages. You could try taking an extra strength sudafed which will help vasoconstrict and reduce the need to clear your throat. Finally, have you ever tried a nasal spray called atrovent? Sometimes anticholinergic sprays can help with this problem.

 
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Old 07-21-2004, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Do you have shortness of breath or do you find your self not being able to make it through a sentence without having to take an extra breath?

Reflux can cause your symptoms, and like previously mentioned, you can have reflux and have no symptoms of it at all. A doctor can do a laryngoscope on you and view your vocal cords. If they look inflamed, it could be caused by reflux.

I happen to have a rare condition called idiopathic tracheal stenosis. Basically, it is a condition where your trachea starts closing up on itself by growing scar tissue. It is commonly misdiagnosed as asthma or allergies. The clearing of throat and coughing without producing anything is one of the symptoms. Shortness of breath, stridor, and wheezing can also be symptoms.
Stenosis is not difficult to diagnose, but many doctors don't even know about it. My family doc is always asking me about my condition when I go to him for other visits. Definitely a learning experience.

 
Old 07-21-2004, 08:08 PM   #4
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

I've only had a few occasions where I've felt like I wasn't getting enough air to breathe in. Other than that, I've been fine breathing wise. Thanks for your advice!

 
Old 07-21-2004, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Ldolson, though I agree with your post, I do think it is a little unfair for you to make the statement "many doctors don't know about it". Doctors undergo many years of training to get to where they are, and their heads are full of a TON of knowledge. In fact, though it's rare, tracheal stenosis is one of the first things you learn about in otolaryngology when discussing congenital or acquired upper airway obstruction. That said, a family doctor may not have seen or heard of tracheal stenosis for a while, and I think it's great your family doc was willing to learn about it.

Did you have stridor?

 
Old 07-22-2004, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

I do not have stridor at this time. This is after six laser surgeries. The reason I said that most doctors do not know about it is because of the fact that most of us diagnosed with it are initially wrongly diagnosed as having asthma or allergies and it takes going to a specialist to have it correctly diagnosed.

 
Old 08-16-2004, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Hi There:
I noticed you have said you have Ideopathic Subglottic stenosis. I would love to talk to you in regards to your condition. I have had it for 2 years now and had (2) dilations. Both times it has come back. I am now in the process fo trying to find the source of inflammation because I don't just want to keep doing surgeries and have it come back.
I have been going to a Naturopath since Jan/2004 and have been taking supplements for adrenal exhaustion, hormone imbalances, food allergies and more recently mercury and tin in my system. All could be contributing factors... Look forward to talking to you.
Erin

 
Old 08-16-2004, 08:39 PM   #8
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ldolson HB User
Re: Constantly clearing throat... coughing...

Erin,

I believe you are a member of the same online support group that I am about tracheal stenosis. At least someone by the name of Erin posted there today about reflux and you going to a Naturopath. I believe that that group is the most well informed group of people you will find online about this condition. I think I could be banned if I named the group, but I am sure that you know what I am talking about.

Good luck,
Denice

 
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