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Developed coughing spasms from colds. Have sore diaphragm and difficulty to breath. What to do?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
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In connection with recovering from symptoms of a bad cold (nasal congestion, sore throat), I have developed coughing spasms, triggered by irritability in my upper chest, which are not controlled by any over-the-counter medications (cough syrup, cough drops, etc.) I have never had such a problem of coughing spasms from colds or bronchitis in the past. My diaphragm gets sore after coughing spasms, but not my chest, and I do not seem to have difficulty breathing.
Posted Thu, 6 Dec 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Sudhir 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Such spasm spells are due to bronchospasm or a mucus plug blocking one of the bronchiole. Once spasm is relived one may feel absolutely alright.

Cough spasms may need more aggressive treatment with bronchodilator, mucolytics and if there is lung infection then a course of antibiotics would be needed. Codeine containing cough syrups can help to reduce these spasms. You will need a prescription from your treating doctor to avail all the aforementioned medications. Therefore I urge you to consult your physician at the earliest.

In addition since such spells are unusual for you, getting a chest x-ray done to see if there is any chest infection/pneumonia would be good idea.

In the interim, steam inhalation can help to get mucus out and prevent or reduce severity of coughing spasm.

Hope this answers your question. Please ask if there are doubts.

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