I have had a chronic cough for 4 months! I am not a smoker... never have been. Had all the PFT testing done and it all came out normal. Now, I have develped SEVERE bronchial spasms that are not improved by any of the standard asthma meds (albuterol, spiriva, flovent, etc). I've been on steroids for 4 months now and just seem to be going downhill! I feel like I am dying and no one seems to know what is wrong with me! I cant even talk (and I'm a speech therapist) because talk=cough! Narcotic cough meds don't help! Here is a list of all the meds they have tried to no avail:
Spiriva, Advair, Flovent, Albuterol, Tessalon Perles, Steroids, Antibiotics, singulair and on and on and on! I'm at my wit's end and don't know how to proceed to try and find an answer! Any advice would be greatly appreciated~!
Hi, are you on any other medications for other issues? If so check the side effects of them especially B/P meds as they usually make people cough.Could it be allergies ? Have you thought about seeing an ENT? Do you use a humidifier ?
Just throwing some suggestions out there.
Thanks for the responses guy! Reflux?? could be... the Dr mentioned it but i am on nexium and have been for many years so im not sure about this one. I don't notice any outwards signs of reflux during the day.. Allergies?? no... been tested repeatedly for this one. No B/P meds and no heart meds. I do take ambien at night so maybe im just so asleep that i don't notice the reflux?? Who knows? I am about ready to abandon ship and stop ALL of the asthma/allergy meds/inhalers because none of them are helping and they just make me feel worse! Especially, the prednisone! I have gained 8 pounds and feel like a big, fat blow fish!! I am scheduled for the metacholine challenge tests on the 26th but I honestly don't know if I can wait until then and even if it DOES turn out to be "just" asthma, obviously they cant get the treatment correct since i have been on asthma meds for months now! The only other option that I will be exploring is pulmonary hypertension/congestive heart failure which run in my family and DO have a tendency to cause a chronic cough; however, in my mind, I'm not leaning toward this direction (might be in denial)! Anyway, thanks for your suggestions and replies, it keeps my spirits up just having someone know what you are thinking!
Chronic cough can be difficult to pin down and get accurate diagnosis. Do you have any symptoms of wheezing or shortness of breath along with the cough? While you could just have a cough-variant asthma, typically you would also experience shortness of breathe and wheezing. I have personal experience with cough-variant asthma and I can tell you that no amount of the normally-prescribed cough medicine could control it. Tessalon pearles were like eating skittles. The only type of cough syrup that helps me is something with hydrocodone, which is now limited to one type of very expensive cough syrup that also contains a decongestant.
Reflux is also worth checking into. Could be acidic or non-acidic reflux. Silent reflux can be big contributor to chronic cough, where you may not have noticeable symptoms except for the cough. A 24-hour pH impedence test is the gold standard for diagnosing.
Upper airway cough syndrome is another possibility. Do you have any nasal congestion?
You will have to go off your asthma meds to do the methacoline challenge, so it will be interesting to see if your PFTs change even in pre-test being off the meds. I would definitely keep the appointment for the challenge. If you do not respond, then I would start pushing hard for more answers. Prednisone is nasty stuff and horrible medicine to be on for any length of time. Not just the weight gain, but cataracts, bone loss, immune issues, etc. It basically speeds up the aging process in your body. I also always have terrible withdrawal symptoms, horrible muscle aches, depression, mood changes, etc.
Finally, some other questions to consider: Is your cough productive? Do you bring anything up? If you cough up mucous is it clear or colored? If it is productive cough, definitely get the sputum cultured, as you could have slow-growing lung bacteria creating the cough. Have you been tested for aspergillus?