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Throat tickle leading to productive cough, runny nose and sneezing. Negative allergy tests. Is it asthamtic cough?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I have a long standing problem with episodic tickle in the throat which leads to a cough - often productive, followed by a very runny nose, and often considerable sneezing. I can lesson the severity of these by drinking water and chewing gum. I sense that exposure to cold air or drafts may initiate these episodes. I can have these as I am trying to go to sleep but rarely will be awakened during the night. When I have a bad spell I may experience a hot flush. Allergy tests are negative and antihistamines don't help. All secretions are clear, no fevers, and otherwise I feel great for being 75 years of age. I have been told I have asthmatic cough but steroids did no good.

Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

An episodic cough with runny nose and sneezing with allergy ruled out is most commonly seen due to a sensitivity to environmental, physical and sometimes ingested (food) factors.

Precipitation of these attacks on exposure to cold air points towards its relation to the environmental factors.

Although the symptoms are similar to that seen in allergy, the allergic tests are often negative.

Avoiding sudden temperature changes and regular steam inhalation twice daily will help. You need to drink plenty of XXXXXXX warm water and add vitamin C supplements to your diet to boost your immunity.
Cough lozenges and keeping the throat moist will also help. In these cases prevention is always better than cure.

These are some general measures that can help you in reducing the problem.
You can take anti inflammatory agents like Montelukast daily for six weeks to decrease the airway and throat inflammation. You can get it prescribed from your physician in appropriate doses.

Using steroid sprays will help in relieving the acute symptoms.

I hope this answers your query effectively.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wishing you good health.

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