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Dry cough, itchy throat. No phlegm, no fever, no weight loss. Took cefuroxime but no relief. Is it due to cold?

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my mother is 71yrs old, she has dry cough for a week already, no phlegm, no fever, no weight loss, no loss of appetite, she only cough when her throat is itchy specially at night when shes in bed, she said that when its itchy she just cant control her cough & its really annoying bec she coughs so hard , she tried flumucil 600mg but it jst made it worst, took cefuroxime 500mg cap for 2 days alredy but no relief..this prob occured this feb when the weather is cold here( I dont know if this info can help)
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

The dry cough in elderly could be due to the following reasons:
1. Aspiration of the throat secretions
2. Acid reflux disease
3. Allergic bronchitis

In the elderly, the commonest cause of dry cough is reflux of the gastric contents into the throat leading to irritation of the throat and hence dry cough. This is usually treated with proton pump inhibitors (such as Omeprazole/Pantoperazole) and prokinetics (such as Domperidone).

The second most common cause is aspiration of the salivary and throat secretions into the respiratory tract inducing cough. This is usually due to reduced sensation on the vocal cords because of the weakness of the nerves in the old age.

Finally, it could be due to the allergy induced bronchitis of the lower respiratory tract causing irritative cough. This can be treated with short course of steroids and antihistaminic medicines.

Without examination of the throat it would be difficult to come to a conclusion. I would suggest you to consult a good ENT(Ear Nose Throat) specialist for a complete evaluation and management rather than taking unwanted medicines which can rather worsen her condition.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Dry cough, itchy throat. No phlegm, no fever, no weight loss. Took cefuroxime but no relief. Is it due to cold? 15 minutes later
she also smoke is it a sign of any cancer? I saw her throat its not red or swollen
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 16 minutes later

Welcome back

So, that says it all. Smoking and throat congestion could be the chief culprit. Smoking can cause inflammation, dryness of the throat and irritation of the throat which ultimately leads to dry cough. If you are sure that there is throat congestion also, then all put together is inducing cough for her.

Please, advise your mother to abstain from smoking and drink plenty of warm water. This helps in reducing the throat congestion as well as hydrating the inflamed mucosa of the throat.

I doubt any possibility of cancer in her, but neither can it be denied completely. A thorough throat examination can provide us the vital information regarding the prevailing condition.

I wish her good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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