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

197 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
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.

Suggest treatment for persistent cold

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3132 Questions

Posted on Wed, 8 Mar 2017 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Question - I have a spouse who seems to regularly get sick from December to March - for the past 6 years. She will get a "cold" which then progresses to her lungs and makes a mess! She simply coughs and coughs for the entire winter - can't sleep and can't function well. The first (4) years were spent in XXXXXXX WA and the last (2) years in New Orleans, LA. She has had many tests already performed - CT of sinuses (looked good), pulmonary function test (MD indicated she has the lung capacity of a marathon runner). For treatment - she takes Guaifenesin and Sudafed to try to loosen the phlegm and treat the cold. But this does not seem to be very effective.

We have consulted (2) ENTs and (2) Pulmonogists who have said, "Well, you have reactive lungs - they really don't like when you get a cold". But this is becoming a "quality of life" issue where she spends weeks functioning at a bare minimum.

Are there additional tests, potential treatments, anything that could possibly help?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this:

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX,

I read through your wife's history, and here are some of my thoughts:

Has she seen an allergist? The months you indicated she is sick would be months when I imagine your house would be closed up and so indoor air quality can go down. If there is a low level allergy, that might be contributing to her increased chance of getting and keeping an infection. Keeping pets out of the bedroom and using dust mite barrier covers might help if allergies are a contributing factor.

Another thought is about possible reactivity to molds. XXXXXXX and New Orleans are both damp places. Cleaning any signs of mold and keeping the house dry might be a consideration.

An evaluation of her immune system including a CBC with differential, thyroid panel, blood sugar, might be a consideration if not done already.

Finally - some tips on not getting the "cold" that starts it off:
I learned, during medical school, during my pediatric rotation (when students are likely to get sick!) to not touch eyes or nose with fingers. Always use a tissue for an itchy eye or nose, and be careful to only use the part of the tissue that your fingers weren't touching. This takes some time to train yourself to not just rub your eye with the back of your hand when it is itchy. (It's ok to give your eyes a rub with the hands if you just washed your hands and touched nothing else since.) After coming home, always wash your hands thoroughly with regular soap and water for at least 30 seconds. If you have been at work or anywhere you may have touched your face without realizing it, wash your face, too, when you come home. In public restrooms, after washing your hands, do not touch the faucet: use a paper towel or tissue to do so.

This is anecdotal medicine, but some people benefit from high doses of vitamin C (500 - 1000 mg) and Zinc (15 mg) one to two times per day used when they first feel they may be coming down with a cold. And continue it for the first 2-3 days. There is inadequate research to support doing this, but for some people (including myself), it can make a difference. In addition, using an alcohol based mouthwash in the first night or two can help too. Get more sleep prior to and at the beginning of menstrual periods (and for some women, around ovulation too).

I sure hope some of this helps. I am truly sorry her infections have become so disabling.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Drug/Medication ,  
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Sinuses

doctor1 MD

Hello Sir/Mam, My self XXXXXXX XXXX and i m 29 yrs old.I m accountant by profession.from last 1 yr i m suffering from Sinus problem.I DAILY FEEL PAIN IN MY FOREHEAD IN MORNING NEAR 11-12 AM. AND IT IS NOT SHARP PAIN .I FEEL PAIN IN MY FOREHEAD AND...

doctor1 MD

Can you get a zit in your nipple? Because I did!!! I didn't know you could get one there. It was the size of a marble and when I squeezed it tons of puss came out.. But it was my nipple!!!!!!!!!

doctor1 MD

I have had a mastoid infection on both sides of my head. In XXXXXXX of 2016 I spent a week in the hospital on iv antibiotics. Doctors where not sure if they would have to do surgery. Now I have had it for 2 months. They put me on a strong...

doctor1 MD

I was in instivise care for two and half days from morphine overdose. I was in hospital all togather for four days. My kidneys was reading high like 1600 which they said it should be between 35 to 135 what ever that means. I would like to know what the long term effects of my whole body is. They worked with me for hour or two in the emeregency room.

doctor1 MD

Hi i had op to remove disc in my neck and removal of spur on another disc 4 months ago.The inscision was from front hence they had to move voice box etc to do op.Since then i feel as though there is something stuck in my throat constantly and i end up gagging and nearly being sick.this is getting worse not better.Do you know what may be causing this.

doctor1 MD

my wife used the urine test kit and tested positive for pregnancy but nearing her period time she blead at night and so she has visited the docter and an ultra scan carried out theyfound out that she had cyst in her right adnexa and that the scan cant detect any early signs of pregnancy at the moment. could she be pregnant or the pregnancy was terminated by the cyst or it wasnt there at all?