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Asthma, allergies, congestion, cough, throat lump, azithromycin, robitussin

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hello Dr,

First of all, I am a 19 year old male. I weigh about 170 pounds and am 5"11/6" feet. I do not have any major medical issues. The only things I do have are asthma, and allergies. Since around May 2nd, I have been suffering with what seems to be congestion and a cough. During that week, I had a lump in my throat which would go away whenever I would drink liquids. I was scared about it because my brother had just passed away from pneumonia (my brother, however, had a disease called progeria, so his body wasn't as strong as mine.) After a couple of days of just dealing with it, I went and talked to my physician (talked to him on Thursday May 5th to be exact.) He looked me over and saw that my lungs were not infected, but did say if I got a fever or if I started coughing of anything that was of color, to call him immediately. He ended up, however, prescribing Azithromycin which I took the same day and ended up finishing the pills by this week (Wednesday I believe.) Since then, I have also been taking Clariton and Robitussin Cough and Congestion. Those two seem to be working, but my cough and congestion have still not gone away. I do not have a fever and have not had one since this started. In addition, I have been checking my blood pressure and it seems to be normal (there have been times when it was slightly high, but once I stopped drinking caffeine and eating salty foods it went down.) My question to you is. is it normal to have something like this persist for two weeks? In addition, if this does not persist, when would be a good time to schedule another appointment with my physician?

Thank you!
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query. Two important points in your case are:
1)     There is no history of fever.
2)     You have a history of asthma and allergies.

Since you are having cough, congestion and a feeling of lump on the throat along with a history of asthma and allergies, there are three possibilities which are needed to be evaluated.

These are:
1)     Allergic rhinitis causing sinus congestion and formation of post nasal drip which trickles down the throat causing congestion and feeling of lump in the throat as well as cough not associated with any fever.
2)     Second possibility is of reflux of the stomach contents into the esophagus causing reflux esophagitis which not only causes an irritating cough but a feeling of lump in the throat as well.
3)     Third possibility is of any acute bronchitis. It is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks producing a cough with or without production of sputum.

If it is any of these three conditions it may persist for two weeks or even longer but these conditions are not normal. You have already taken a course of antibiotics but still the symptoms are persisting. In such a case I suggest you to consult a physician as well as an ENT specialist and get some investigations done. You can consult him in 2-3 days and get investigations done. These include an evaluation of the sinuses, a chest X-ray, blood tests like ESR and C reactive protein, trans illumination test and maybe an X-Ray sinuses and CT sinuses.

Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
1.Inhale plenty of steam or use a humidifier
2.Eat small nutritious meals at frequent intervals instead of a heavy single meal.
3.Exercise frequently and take your dinner atleast 2 hrs prior to bedtime.
4.Raise the head end of the bed by 2 blocks.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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