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Suggest treatment for persistent dry cough and wheezing

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2569 Questions

Posted on Thu, 29 Oct 2015 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Today it is Friday, Oct 9th. I have been coughing for more than 5 days. It is a persistent dry cough, occasionally accompanied by a slight wheeze. The coughing goes on all day and night. Sometimes it is continuous, and lasts for 5 or more minutes. Sometimes it stops for a while. But it never stops permanently.
I have missed several days of work as an assistant teacher of preschool children.
I am a healthy 80-year old woman, have never smoked, or had asthma, or bronchitis. I am not suffering from a cold. Twelve years ago, I had a pacemaker installed. My blood pressure is a bit high. I work 5 days a week, 3 hours a day.
I have been to my internist twice in the past 5-days. At first he prescribed a nasal spray and an anti-biotic. Neither seemed to help, the coughing was not affected. Earlier today, uring the second visit, he prescribed BENZONATATE, 100MG capsules, three times a day.
it is now 5:00AM; so far I have taken 2 capsules, the 1st at 5PM, the 2nd at 11PM when i retired for the night; I intend to take the next one at 7AM. Neither my husband or I have seen any improvement; in fact sometimes it appears to worse than ever.
i am at my wit's end -- I slept a few hours yesterday during the day and again a few hours last night. My sleep is continually interrupted by the coughing. Today, I have not slept at all, either earlier today or this past night.
I am exhausted and weary; and am starting to grow hopeless. I do not know what to do. I am considering visiting the emergency room and/or seeing my ENT physician during Saturday.
I look forward to some practical helpful advice that will eliminate this 5-day long coughing spell

Please advise what the Fee is for your services before proceeding
Thank you.

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Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Visit an ER to rule out pacemaker dysfunction.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for your query.

1. Since it has been about a week since the dry cough has been troublesome, you should check if any blood pressure medication or reflux is causing this.

2. Request your physician to prescribe an antihistamine, an antileukotriene, a cough syrup with codeine and try the following home remedies. A mixture of cream & honey (4:1) with a few drops of ginger extract should help. Turmeric in warm milk will also settle any inflammation.

3. Rarely, the cough may also be linked to the pacemaker function. This will require checking, possibly in a nearby ER. A chest X-ray should also be done.

4. Cough is a protective reflex and hence the cough itself is not a cause for worry.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

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

The User accepted the expert's answer

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