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Does stress cause dry cough?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Dec 2015
Question: I've had a cough now 5 weeks it is a dry cough. I'll get cough jags that causes me to cough 4 or 5 times in a row and then end up sneezing At least once a day now it's couple of times a day I do have gerd. I'm awaken couples with hard dry coughing. Could it be stress? We just down sized and sold our home of 4000 sq ft to a smaller home 1200 sq ft. The coughing started a couple weeks after that. I'm. 85 and in excellent health only take a .20 Lipator everynight
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (46 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Less likely to be stress, more likely to be allergy or from an irritant.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Stress doesn't usually cause coughing fits or coughing with sneezing. As this started after you moved to a new house, it could be something in the house or environment around the house that is causing either an irritant or allergic type of reaction.

About the GERD, if you are bending over a lot to pack/unpack, this could exacerbate the GERD which could contribute to the cough (but would be unlikely to make you sneeze).

So what to do? If the GERD seems worse, I'd recommend taking over the counter Zantac 150 mg twice a day for several weeks. That way you will know if making the GERD better makes the coughing better.

But as sneezing is also involved, there may be some sort of irritant you are being exposed to. I think it would be best for you to see your doctor who can listen to your lungs (and possibly do a chest X-ray) to see if he or she can sort this out.

If you are unpacking, consider wearing a good mask much as the 3M N95 mask which you can get at a hardware store. You may need to do some sleuthing to see if there is something in the new house (or general environment) that you might be sensitive to.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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Does stress cause dry cough?

Brief Answer: Less likely to be stress, more likely to be allergy or from an irritant. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, Stress doesn't usually cause coughing fits or coughing with sneezing. As this started after you moved to a new house, it could be something in the house or environment around the house that is causing either an irritant or allergic type of reaction. About the GERD, if you are bending over a lot to pack/unpack, this could exacerbate the GERD which could contribute to the cough (but would be unlikely to make you sneeze). So what to do? If the GERD seems worse, I'd recommend taking over the counter Zantac 150 mg twice a day for several weeks. That way you will know if making the GERD better makes the coughing better. But as sneezing is also involved, there may be some sort of irritant you are being exposed to. I think it would be best for you to see your doctor who can listen to your lungs (and possibly do a chest X-ray) to see if he or she can sort this out. If you are unpacking, consider wearing a good mask much as the 3M N95 mask which you can get at a hardware store. You may need to do some sleuthing to see if there is something in the new house (or general environment) that you might be sensitive to. I hope this information helps.