What to do about a chronic dry cough?
August 1, 2009 4:43 PM Subscribe
I've had a chronic dry cough for going on two weeks now and two doctor's visits later it's not clearing up. Can anyone give ideas on what could possibly be causing this?
posted by schroedinger to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About two weeks ago I came back from a weekend trip with a mild respiratory infection--a hacking cough with lots of mucus. No other symptoms, no fatigue or fever, no runny nose, nothing. A few days later, the mucus cleared up with no incident, but the cough has continued and even worsened. It's now a chronic dry cough that keeps me up at night and has given me fits so bad I've vomited a couple of times at the end of them.
I tried Robutussin, sleep aids, gargling with salt water, and tons of Throat Coat tea with honey and lemon. Earlier this week I saw two different doctors. The first I saw on Tuesday, he said it was a cold virus and prescribed Hycodan and antibiotics (?). The Hycodan allowed me to sleep deeply in between fits, but I woke up dizzy and with an awful hangover once the dizziness wore off. I haven't taken the antibiotics because the doctor called it a virus and I think he was giving them to me to shut me up.
On Wednesday, I saw the second one and she diagnosed bronchitis. She prescribed an inhaler (Ventolin) to control the fits and Promethazine-DM cough syrup (without codeine). Wednesday night it worked great. Thursday, it worked less great. Friday, I slept well in between fits but had just as many coughing fits as ever, and it took longer for them to stop. Today, the coughing fits are the most frequent they've ever been and are not responding to either medication. Additionally, I now have the sensation of something trickling down the back of my throat that's making me feel like I'm on the verge of choking.
The medications are getting less effective, the cough is not getting better. I'm planning on calling the second doctor but I don't know how soon they'll be able to see me. I don't have insurance so the emergency room is not an option.
I have never had allergies or anything like that. I still don't have any other symptoms. I work in a warehouse so my job is pretty dusty, I'm thinking that may not be helping things but I wore a dust mask today and it didn't seem to help.
Does anyone have any ideas on what could be going on?