Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

120 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Having dry cough, pain in back and chest. Could it be due to the smell of paint?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11329 Questions

default
Posted on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Question: I'm having some back pain and a dry cough, and I'm worried it might be because they painted the elevator in my building with a spray and no ventilation at all. I live in Colombia, so safety standards don't exist. Two days ago when they started, the smell was so bad I sat on my balcony for an hour. I was more or less trapped, they didn't warn us they'd be spraying. I left the door to the balcony open, so there was ventilation, but they did not clean up the dust until two days later and, in fact, kept spraying the following day (I left the building when they did it yesterday and returned after they'd finished). The pain is under my right shoulder blade, and radiates around to my chest. I have had some back pain issues before, so I don't know if I'm being overly worried about this. However, recently my back had been fine.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
The pain in your back and chest and near the scapula can be due to the bronchoconstriction caused by the spray painting. Most of the times, it causes an allergic spasm which is relieved spontaneously in 2-3 days.
You can self monitor your symptoms for a spontaneous improvement. Steam inhalation is sometimes helpful in opening up the airways.
In case the symptoms persist then antiallergics and steroid spray will be helpful. You can get these prescribed from your physician after an examination.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 30 hours later
Thanks for the response. I went to the doctor yesterday, and she listened to my chest and didn't hear anything suspicious. I've got a dry cough, still (4 days after), though, and the best way I can explain the feeling is that my throat is 'constricted', i.e., I have no problems taking a XXXXXXX breath (what she was listening for), but it still feels like there's something there, and when I breathe in, it feels like I have to make more of an effort than normal. I don't think this is psychosomatic - I'm not having trouble sleeping, and it seems neither better nor worse at any points of the day, though when I'm talking for a while (I'm a teacher), I cough more. Basically, it sounds like I have a smoker's cough, but I'm not a smoker, and I didn't have this 5 days ago. How long should I wait to see if this resolves?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Hello.
Thanks for writing again.
The symptoms you have are likely to be due to an allergic cough. Having cough lozenges and keeping the throat moist will be helpful.
Take plenty of fluids orally.
The problem should improve in next 5-7 days.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 27 hours later
Well, as I don't have allergies, and never have, and I got these symptoms after inhaling paint fumes, I don't know that I feel safe in saying that this is an allergic reaction. At any rate, the cough is better now, but I would like to know if it's possible to do lasting damage from one semi-sustained bout of inhalation of (lead-based) paint. I know that I am not going to die tomorrow from this, but I am concerned about what happened. There was a fine layer of dust on the floor in my apartment when the workers finished, which I did not notice until two days afterwards. I also don't imagine that there is much I can do about this right now, but I would like to know if it is worth going to a pulmonary specialist to find out.

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
A single exposure to the paint fumes is not going to cause a lasting damage to your lungs. Still to calm your mind , after all your symptoms subside, you can get your pulmonary function tests done under the guidance of a pulmonologist.
Best regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 14 days later
Hello Again,

Sorry to bother you again, but I have now had a cough for three weeks. About two weeks ago, I went to another physician, who diagnosed me with bronchitis and prescribed an antibiotic and two types of inhalers. For a few days, the cough was so bad that I could not sleep. It has since subsided somewhat, but the course of antibiotics finished a few days ago and I am still coughing. There is no expectoration, but is 3 weeks a normal duration for an exposure-induced bronchitis? It seemed to be improving, but in the last five or so days it has definitely levelled off. I had a chest x-ray on Monday which was clear, but I'm concerned as to how long this should take to resolve. If I were in the US, I would just go to my doctor, but as I am in South XXXXXXX I'm somewhat skeptical of the care I'm receiving.

Thanks again

XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 38 minutes later
The cough caused by exposure induced bronchitis can sometimes persist for 6-8 weeks. Usually it can be taken care of by taking steroid inhalers, cough lozenges and keeping the throat moist. You can also use a humidifier in your room.
The treatment you have been given is correct. You can continue using the inhaler for an earlier relief.
Warm regards.

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

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,  
Lab Tests

Recent questions on  X ray

doctor1 MD

Hi, i am writing on behalf of a friend. He had been diagnosed with having IBS when he was 13, without a colonoscopy, and now he is 25. He has been having abdominal pain and interchanges of diarrhea and constipation all these years but a month ago it suddenly got really worse (after having some fish, but even if it was bad, he had never experienced such excruciating pain again), as in one day he started to ache so much he couldn't get up off the floor. It was like stabbing and ripping him apart. He went to the hospital and had blood work done and an X-ray and they said it was normal but suggested a colonoscopy but he didn't go through with it. Ever since he has been having really severe abdominal pain and interchanges of diarrhea and constipation and he has been to several doctors, one prescribing him with amitriptyline and antibiotics for the intestine, and another after that giving him mebeverine hydrochloride alone. He took the antibiotics and amitriptyline for almost a month and it helped him a bit but in the evening he would none the less have the return of the severe pain in his entire abdomen, sometimes centering on the left upper side of it. Then he went to the other doctor who perscribed mebeverine hydrochloride, telling him it would instantly help, without that being the case when he tried it. He had extensive blood work done and everything was normal, no inflammation or anemia, and the doctor said he didn't need anything else and should just take the mebeverine. But he is still in pain and i was wondering if it could be something else with these symptoms. Should he have a colonoscopy or some other less painful test? He also has Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

doctor1 MD

Yes, I have a 13 yr old that has been vomiting and has had constipated/diarrhea for a month now. She has been seen by her physician and was prescribed Prilosec and miralax. She appears to be full of stool ( according to her x-ray). She is still having dull stabbing pain in her stomach and is still vomiting daily. She expresses vomiting is not always with nausea. I hope she will not need an endoscopy. I am wondering if it s GERD or IBS. Thanks for your response.

doctor1 MD

Dear Dr, I am 30 years Male. I had productive cough in morning for last 2 months and I was suffering from sinusitis also. The sputum was green. Now the cough is gone and only sinusitis remains, no that much sputum. I done a chest x-ray last week which came normal. However doctor told a elevation in Diaphragm and enlagement of heart. What will be the reason of this?. Active Pulmonoray TB not there, but will it be Miliary TB symptom or Amoebic Liver Abscess or anything else?? Please advice me for the next step

doctor1 MD

Hi there. I am a 35 year old female 5'7 155 lbs with a 7 month old baby delivered by cesarean. I have had shortness of breath that worsens with physical exertion since the last month of my pregnancy but am otherwise in good health. The last 2 months it has been getting progressively worse to the point where I have to catch my breath sometimes in conversation. I am taking domperidone to increase my breastmilk production and have been for 2 months. I have been to the ER where I have had an ECG, ct scan, x-ray and bloodwork, as well as a pulmonary function test. All results were within normal ranges except my oxygen levels in my blood were low - however the test was taken peripherally, not through a central line. Also, my resting heart rate was 118, and when I did a stress test, within 2 minutes my heart rate was at 200. They are sending me for an echocardiogram next. Do you think this could be adult onset asthma or a reaction to domperidone or is it my heart?

doctor1 MD

I am having a frozen left shoulder kind of symptoms for last couple of months. My left shoulder doesnt rotate as smoothly as the right one. My second problem is I have constipation atleast few days a month and suffer from piles as a consequence

doctor1 MD

I have very shortness of breath will divan help this ?

doctor1 MD

I have to urinate often ..... if I stand up from sitting position or sleep position. And I empty out every time. My family Dr. thinks my bladder has fallen and there by impairing the normal muscle function that holds the urine until some normal...