Suggest treatment for persistent cough in an elderly person

default
Posted on Tue, 16 Feb 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: My husband 94 years, healthy for his age, has constant phlegmy cough. Is there a cure?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
post nasal drip is the most common cause of chronic cough

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

The most common causes for persistent/chronic cough are: (1)post nasal drip (2) GERD- reflux (3) asthma

Post nasal drip is the most common of these 3. Some persons may not be aware of the drip of mucus to the back of the throat and present with the signs/symptoms of the drip such as cough.

Post nasal drip is treated with the use of decongestants/anti histamine combination. Topical nose sprays would also be helpful as well eg nasocort, nasonex, flonase, rhinocort

If he has reflux symptoms such as burning discomfort in the chest, acid taste in the mouth, bloating, nausea then he may need to consider reflux medication

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 days later
Since he already uses your suggestions I have to accept that we are stuck with the problem. Thankyou.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
then consider NAEB or asthma if using medication consistently

Detailed Answer:
HI

If he is already consistently using medications for post nasal drip (the nasal sprays , decongestants and antihistamines) and reflux medication then other less common causes would need to be considered eg asthma or a condition called non asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis (NAEB).

NAEB is the cause in 13 to 33% of persons with persistent coughing.
It is diagnosed easily with a sputum sample showing increased amounts of a type of white blood cells called eosinophils.
Treated by using steroid inhalors (like used in asthma), response is within 4 weeks




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

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

Recent questions on  Eosinophilic bronchitis

doctor1 MD

I developed lung issues after using a cpap machine (had really bad sinusitis duing this time). Now I have been diagnosed with eosinophilic...

doctor1 MD

My wife has been coughing for weeks. She has been on 2 antibiotics ans cough meds., over the counter, and none of these has helped. About 5 months...

doctor1 MD

I've had a bad cough from Bronchitis for about a month. Last night I coughed so hard I now have a piercing pain in my lower left back, like a...

doctor1 MD

Hi doctor,I'm having cough for the past two months and phlegm is clear and transparent . Was pregnant and delivered baby last month 29th. Here it...

doctor1 MD

I am a 70 year old female diagnosed 5 years ago with eosiniphillic fasciitis. Otherwise healthy. I have had a cold with cough for 3 weeks now. The...

doctor1 MD

Hello,
I have had a chronic cough off and on for about 3 months. When it first started, I went in to my physician and he gave me a z-pack. Didn't...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

148 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
backtotop2