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Coughing, exercise induced asthma, inhaler not helping, allergy. Treatment ?

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I am 48 years old and have participated in the sport of triathlon for 25 years. The last 3 years I have had problems with coughing during training and races, as well as exercise-induced asthma during hard efforts especially during a race (a race last anywhere from 2-6 hours). I am seeing an allergist, but we are not making much progress. I do now carry an inhaler (the one with a counter, brand name I forget but starts with a V) and that seems to control the asthma during a race (raced with it 2 times now), but I still cough a lot. The inhaler doesn't seem to reduce my urge to cough. I tried Advair for a week, but gave that up because it seemed to make my coughing worse. Now I'm in my third week of Singular, but this isn't helping. My doctor wanted to try Singular and if that didn't work give Advair another try (for longer than a week next time).

Oh, I did an allergy test and I am allergic to grass and mold. I don't have any of the usually allergy symptoms (itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, sinus problems).

So, a few questions: 1. Why can be the cause of my cough? 2. Is it reasonable to expect Advair to make my cough worse before it gets better? and 3. What else should I try?
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
The cause of your cough may be allergy or dryness of throat or due to exercise induced asthma. You can try keeping some cough lozenges in your mouth while running to keep your throat moist to avoid coughing. Also take fluids more frequently during the exercise. For allergy adding an antiallergic like allegra in addition to singulair will be helpful.
Advair can make the cough worse if you are using the rotahaler. You try using an inhaler instead of a rotahaler and see the improvement.
You can use a humidifier in your room, take regular steam inhalations and practice XXXXXXX breathing exercises for more relief.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
Wishing you good health.

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