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Coughing, sleeplessness, did not improve after reducing humidity level. Do you know what it could be?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I have had a cough that has been with me for the last 10 weeks or so and at times prevents me sleeping. I intially thought it could be to do with the humidy level in my house which was damp so I reduced the humidty level with a dehumidifier. This was over 2 weeks ago and the cough is still no better. Do you have any theories on what it could be?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later


Thanks for posting your query.

Persistent cough for over 10 weeks might be due to an upper respiratory tract inflammation - larynx and bronchi / bronchioles.
1. Virus could be the most likely cause.
2. Apart from the infection, dust and dry conditions can trigger allergic response leading to the above symptoms.

Since you have been suffering with this problem for weeks, you may need oral anti allergics / anti inflammatory agents like montelukast along with some antibiotics like azithromycian and steroid inhalers for a few days. These are prescription only medications. Hence I encourage you to consult your primary physician. Further you may need a few tests such as blood test and radio imaging (X-rays/CT scans) to rule out the aforementioned causes.

Meanwhile, I suggest some simple measures for relief from your symptoms:

1. You may use over the counter cough lozenges to soothe the throat if you have throat irritation.
2. Try mixing essential oils such as menthol, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil during steaming for improved results. Do steaming at least twice a day.
3. Use warm water for drinking.
4. Dietary and lifestyle changes such beverages, soups, avoiding oily food, light diet, adequate rest can benefit you.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Coughing, sleeplessness, did not improve after reducing humidity level. Do you know what it could be? 4 hours later
Thanks for your answer. I will make an appointment with my GP as you suggest.

I'm hoping you can answer one other unrelated question:

I have always found it very hard to sleep at a consistent time. It seems that every night I end up sleeping an hour or so later than the previous day until the day comes when I have no sleep at all and have to go to work. To give an extreme example I have only managed to sleep one of the last 3 nights.

What would you suggest I do because besides from being inconvenient I am guessing this is very unhealthy?

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 6 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

From your description it seems that you have a sleep onset problem.

To get a good nights sleep follow this routine:

1. Take a warm bath, go for a relaxing stroll, or practice meditation/relaxation exercises as part of your regular nighttime routine.
2.Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol, particularly in the evening.
3.Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning. This includes weekends.
4.Get plenty of exercise during the day.
5. Block out surrounding environmental noise.
6.Avoid napping in the afternoon.

If the above said measures do not help then medical treatment is needed after consulting your physician.

Hope my answer is helpful. Further queries are welcome.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you a trouble free speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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