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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have cough, excess phelgum and acid reflux. Could this be congestive heart failure?

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Dr. Ram Choudhary

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 2272 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: My elderly father (76) has had a cough for the past several months. He describes it as a ticklish cough, though says there is some phlegm in the back of his throat too. When trying to sleep, he says if he lies on his left side, the cough stops, but if he lies on his right side, the cough continues. Doctors have told him that it is allergies (runny nose causing phlegm buildup in chest), and even acid reflux, but treatment for these two conditions has not stopped the coughing. A few years ago, my father also fought off non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and is now in remission. Could this be congestive heart failure? Where should we turn next? I listened to my father cough uncontrollably for almost an hour straight last night after he went to bed, and am very worried.
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Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX,
Thanks for posting your query.
I can understand your worries.
He is having runny nose, excess phlegm and over that doctors have impression of allergic cause then there must be sense in it and your father should be protected from exposures to cold and should XXXXXXX full sleeve cloths to keep himself warm.
He should be evaluated thoroughly.
Please get CBC, RFT, Chest xray, ECHO and CRP.
If there is significant cardiac history then an ECHO would be good test to rule out cardiac cause for respiratory problem.
The cough in a particular posture indicates a fixed obstruction. If it is reproducible and has monophonic wheeze then there may be an external compression of bronchus.
Causes can be a malignancy, a reactivation of NHL, an abscess or any like problem.
Your father should undergo a physician consult in person and get appropriate diagnosis and management.
differential diagnoses are many and physical examination is the key.
Hope I have answered your query.
If you have any questions I will be happy to answer.
Please close the query if you have no other questions.
Wish you a good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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