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What is the causes and treatment for respiratory tract infection? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 25-Mar-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User:Hi, I have throat irritation each time I swallow, feels restricted. difficulty breathing through nose due to enlarged turbinates, especially on the left side. a mothball taste that comes and goes which becomes stronger with sugary drinks. I'll often feel a gagging sensation due to what feels like a very dry sticky mucus build up in the throat which is very difficult to cough up and often results in the dry retching feeling. This has lasted for more than two years.
User:Hey there
User: my name's XXXXXXX
Doctor:How can I help you today?
User:Basically I have been suffering from a condition for about two years now, and I haven't really had a proper diagnosis as of yet and hoping to get a fresh opinion to try new steps I haven't thought of or other tests
User:It started off as just headaches, very vague and constant headaches throughout the whole day
User:Then it started on my left ear, it started sounding like it would drop frequency or I would be submerged under water on my left side and a ringing sound
User:A few days after that, I developed an unusual taste, the only way I could describe the taste was it was like the smell of mothballs
User:I then started getting a restricted throat, the feeling of sticky phlegm caught in a dry throat and difficulty breathing through both my nostrals
User:I've had tests and found inflammation around the larynx, which was suggested it may be due to reflux but reflux wasn't causing the taste. CTScan showed sinus was clear but did pick up on 2 mucosal polyps on the floor of left frontal and maxilary sinuses
User:the throat feeling is what kind of stopped me in my tracks, it causes me at times to stop and choke on my own phlegm getting caught, dry retching sensation where I can't cough it up
Doctor:Do you have white coating of tongue?
User:Not really, it's probably vaguely white if anything, doesn't look abnormal to me
Doctor:Have you gotten a microscopy of the sputum or throat swab
User:No, my GP didn't think that would help with anything because I did ask for one
Doctor:Do you get this all the time or it comes and goes?
User:The throat problem is always there, the taste comes and goes and I noticed if I drink anything sugary it'll get stronger
User:even breathing feels like I'm irritating my throat with just oxygen
Doctor:The taste seems to be because of infection
Doctor:Even the nucous has some cause
Doctor:Do you have problems with digestion too?
Doctor:Are you there?
User:I have had problems off and on, such as diarrhoea, that has kind of stopped now though and returned to normal. I will get some rather sharp pains in my chest as well
User:Yeah sorry, there seems to be a bit of lag inbetween us
Doctor:Do you have any idea about how it started?
User:The only thing I can relate it to was when I arrived back home from over seas, I was in the Philippines. I did have a problem with the air pressure in the plane which I thought was a problem with the cabin pressure itself but everyone else around me looked normal and I was in complete agony
User:Felt like my head was about to explode as we descended.
User:I was deaf in the left ear for about 2 days before it cleared up
Doctor:From your history it seems that the mucous is coming from some type of injury to the lining of ear or maybe respiratory tract
Doctor:But on second thought it is possible that the tube connecting ear and throat got blocked
Doctor:this resulted in rise of middle ear pressure ad the feeling of something exploding
User:I did have an audiology test done on my ears and they didn't point out anything abnormal with the eardrum tests
Doctor:This blockage may have been due to inflammation
Doctor:Thus the inflammation may have started in Phillipines
Doctor:Did you take any antibiotics in Philippines or you were under some stress
User:Nope no antibiotics, I did catch a flu over there though, twice. One lasted about 6 days the other was 24 hours
Doctor:I was thinking if it is related to candida
Doctor:But we need to rule out other chronic infections
Doctor:Have you gotten blood tests done?
User:My initial reaction was 'it tastes fungusy' but I did take antifungal losengers which didn't seem to help with anything
Doctor:Anti fungals only help temporarily
User:Yes, they all came back fine. My WBC was 7.8, the only thing was my liver enzymes were a bit high, which is suspected to be from fatty liver
Doctor:Were you ingesting the lozenges?
Doctor:Now the issue is mainly respiratory inflammation and episodic diarrhea
User:Yeah, I was just sucking on them until dissolved. they told me to keep it around in my mouth a bit before swallowing
Doctor:I think you have altered normal flora
Doctor:It may be causing these symptoms
Doctor:My advise is as follows:
Doctor:You need to take steps to increase immunity like exercise daily for 20 min and take enough fruits and vegetables in a day
Doctor:Secondly drinking pure water should help in curtailing any fungal component to the problem
Doctor:This step will help you deal with both diarrhea and sticky mucous
User:Ok great I'll do that, the white tongue thing you asked before, was that in relation to candida as well?
Doctor:Mostly reverse osmosis technique produces clean water
User:Ok I'll look into that and get on it.
Doctor:If occasionaly you have too much mucous then take antiallergics like cetirizine etc
Doctor:You will find this water in grocery stores under some brand names
User:Ok, I'm taking nasonex at the moment to try help with my nose but it doesn't seem to be doing anything and often just irritates my throat even more. swallowing becomes a bit more difficult then
Doctor:Avoid taking medicines to suppress fungi
Doctor:and forget about curing candida completely
Doctor:It may also be due to inflammation of salivary glands
Doctor:thus causing difficulty in swallowing
Doctor:Take the above mentioned steps and you will feel better
User:Ok will do, thanks a lot for your help today
Doctor:Thanks for consulting
User:Should I go ahead with the throat culture?
Doctor:Yes of course
User:Would that identify a fungal infection or mainly only bacteria?
Doctor:It will diagnose only bacteria
Doctor:Fungi are considered normal part of sputum
User:Ahh ok
User:Any way to tell if there's too much fungi?
Doctor:so even if present in excess it wont be diagnosed
User:ahhh ok ok
Doctor:dont worry too much about it
Doctor:After certain age , people usually get this
User:Ok then =) So just focus on a few tweaks in life style and see how I go!
User:Will do :) thanks again for your advice today. greatly appreciate it
Doctor:sometimes simple things help
User:Yeah well after all the tests there's still no solid diagnosis so it sounds like it's probably something as simple as that
User:Take care and thanks again!
Doctor:Do you have any other question?
User:Nope that was everything thanks a lot :)
Doctor:Take care
User:Bye bye!
Doctor:Bye bye
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