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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Cold, cough, fever, sore throat and runny nose. Taking omnicef. What is the disease?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2363 Questions
I have had a cough/cold since Dec. 7th. It started with a sore throat and a runny nose. I did not feel like a had a fever and my temp was 99.2. Then I got the dry hacky cough. The cough got worse over the next week to 10 days. I had severe coughing episodes that were worse at night and would make me feel like I was gagging. The coughing was so severe that I actually vomited a couple of times. I did not have any chest pain or shortness of breath. I saw my doctor on Dec. 17th. He said that I sounded a little congested and told me that I had bronchitis. He prescribed a Z-pak and a cough syrup with codeine. After a couple of days on the antibiotic, I was feeling a little better and i was not coughing as much. About a week later my cough seemed to be mostly in my throat and I also had increased nasal congestion with a mild headache. I saw the doctor again on Dec. 27th. He listened to my lungs and said that they were clear. He thought that it was going into a sinus infection and prescribed omnicef for 10 days and Pro Air for the cough.

Now when I cough it feels like I have a lot of mucus in my throat. I still kind of have a gagging/choking sensation when I cough and sometimes if I cough really hard it seems like it is hard to catch my breath. This feeling only lasts a few seconds, but is kind of scary. My voice will sound raspy one minute and normal the next and I feel like I have to clear my throat a lot.

My daughter had a similar respiratory illness back in November and still has a dry cough. I came down with this 3 weeks after she got sick. I am really concerned that this could be something really serious, like lung cancer or throat cancer.

Would acid reflux symptoms aggravate a respiratory illness or vice versa? I have some acid reflux symptoms, but have not ever been diagnosed. Symptoms include, heartburn, belching, coughing after eating, feeling like food gets stuck, throat clearing after eating, occasional bloating after eating.

We have also had a couple of cases of whooping cough in our area recently. Could I possibly have whooping cough?

I am really concerned. I have never had a respiratory illness that has acted like this one. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Sat, 19 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 3 hours later

Thanks for the query

According to the description, you seem to be suffering from acute sinusitis. Sinuses are the empty cavities in the skull to protect the brain. The acute infection and the inflammation of the sinuses are termed as acute sinusitis.

Following an attack of common cold, there will be nasal congestion, because of which there is blockage of the sinus opening leading to stagnation of the secretions inside the sinuses and increased viscosity of the sinus secretions. Stagnation of these secretions gives rise to headache and nasal infection. Once the infection sets in, the secretions which drain into the throat from behind the nose will induce cough and throat pain.

Secondly the cough and the phlegm in the throat can also be caused by gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). When the acid from the stomach regurgitates into the throat, it causes burning of the mucosa of the throat leading to inflammation and swelling of the mucosa of the throat. The swelling thus formed gives rise to foreign body sensation, cough, and excessive phlegm in the throat, chest discomfort, etc.

In your situation both the sinusitis and GERD have been improperly treated. It requires little modification in the medicines as well as some home remedies to treat this problem.

My suggestions to you are:
1. Drink plenty of warm water to keep the nose and the throat hydrated.
2. Use saline nasal spray followed by steam inhalation 3-4 times a day, this helps in reducing the nasal congestion, clearing of the mucus and reducing the cough.
3. A mucolytic (such as ambroxol or bromhexine) to reduce the viscosity of the mucus and control cough.
4. Proton pump inhibitors (such as Esomeprazole, Pantoperazole) and prokinetics (Domperidone) are beneficial in reducing the acid production and the reflux.
5. Avoid coffee and chilled beverages.

Do not worry! With the above measures you will be definitely be alright.

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

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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