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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Sporadic Coughing for a year now


 patient12007 - Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:26 pm

I am a 22 year old male and have been having sporadic coughing for a year now. The cough does not have a specific time, it occurs at any time of the day, but never when I am sleeping. The cough's time last's about 5-10 min and then dissapears. It is sporadic in the sense that it may occur one day,then 2-3 day's or even a week later. Sometimes I do not cough for a month,but somehow it returns after a while

I think the coughing is dry, but I do have excessive saliva in my mouth, so I really don't know weather to classify it as a dry one or a wet one. I do feel some extremely mild chest pain while I am coughing, but nothing after the cough vanishes.

Inspite of this irregularity in the cough I did manage to come up with some causes when the coughing starts.
The cough almost every time starts when I am tensed, especially an hour or so before my university exams or other exams which I take. The coughing also starts when I have'nt eaten something for a while but drank only water in that time.Sometimes the coughing starts when I am around smokers but not always. The coughing also starts when I drink or eat something cold, especially icecream or soft drinks. But in some cases no matter how much icecream or soft drink I consume, I do not cough.

I have never had any previous surgeries. Here are the dignostics :-
Chest X-ray came out normal when I showed It to my doctor.
I did some blood tests ( I apologize if I misspell them)
Blood CPESR (normal)
CXR PA viear (normal)
Pulmonary function test , which I have taken twice in about a year, both results came out normal.
I also took a blood sugar test came out normal.


The doctor's prescribed me the following medications
Ventide Inhaler ( 1 puff as required )
singular tablets ( I have been taking one tablet per day continously for 25 days )

So far these medicines have not work, my family does have a past hsitory of asthma, But nither did the reports or the doctor's indicated any sign of it. I am currently taking no medications.

Please help me because I have heard that coughing like this could lead to more serious diseases later in life.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:16 pm

User avatar Hi Patient12007,

It sounds like you've had quite a work up at this point. There are a few other things to consider. One is the possibility of gastroesophageal reflux. Occasionally, there are no other symptoms, only a nagging cough. Treatment with an antacid can help. Your symptoms are so inconsistent in timing that this is probably less likely. Also, it would be expected that this would continue during sleep.

With your description I am suspicious that this may be a psychogenic cough. By this I do not mean that the cough isn't real. Rather this cough usually is the body's way that it has learned to react to things. In particular your mentioning that stress brings on the cough and that it never occurs during sleep are very suggestive of a psychogenic cough.

There are various methods to help treat this if this is what is going on. A pulmonologist can be of help.

Best wishes.

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