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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: severe cough, chest pain, bronchial pneumonia?

 estrada08 - Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:12 pm

Hi, i got this cough about 3 wks ago and its getting worse, its a very dry cough with a tickly feeling, I get to the point where if i do anything i have this cough "attack". I have coughed up some phlegm here and there, a light yellow in color and because of this cough i have got sick 5 or 6 times. The color was real red but i wasnt for sure if it was blood or maybe something red i had ate that day. The stomach muscles are starting to feel sore and my chest is starting to get a bit of pain because of all the coughing. My mom told me she thought i had bronchitis and that if i didnt see a doctor it could lead to bronchial pneumonia which scares me.... can you please give me some advice? thanks
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:35 pm

User avatar Hi there --

I think you either have bronchitis or possibly a new presentation of asthma. However, since the phlegm has been yellowish it's probably due to an infection, and while bronchial pneumonia is a potentially very serious disease, bronchitis doesn't automatically lead to it, and in fact it's mostly seen in small children and the elderly. Still, if this doesn't resolve soon you probably should see a doctor, especially if the cough becomes so spasmodic that it makes you vomit. (The color could be caused by blood, and that warrants investigation on its own, although it probably wasn't due to the cough itself). You also could have pertussis (whooping cough) which often does cause a mostly dry, unproductive cough that frequently becomes uncontrollable, causing gagging or vomiting. This usually resolves on its own but can be pretty uncomfortable, and there are medications to treat the symptoms til it resolves.

You also (if all else is ruled out) might have asthma/bronchitis related to gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause the same sort of symptoms but happens most frequently during exercise. ("Exercise-induced asthma").

I'd see a doctor just to be sure there's nothing more serious going on, and to have something prescribed to break up the phlegm (whcih isn't moving as it should) and suppress the most severe coughing. You'll feel better and if there's an infection that needs antibiotics you'll be able to have it taken care of at the same time.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you. Follow up with us as needed.
 estrada08 - Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:51 am

thank you very much for your help. I have a doctors appointment on thursday because it feels like its getting worse, especially at night, so i will let you know whats going on once i find out. Again thank you and have a nice day.

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