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    What causes dry persistent cough?

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Posted on Sat, 20 Dec 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I have had a dry chronic cough now for 10 months. The cough started with a virus (cold/flu-like symptoms) back in January. I was given an antibiotic but did not help with the cough. I did get over my essential illness but continued to have a dry chronic cough. I was placed on antibiotics a second time with no success. I have been off and on different acid reflux medications for the last four months. I had a nasal scope of my nose and vocal cords. All looked ok. I have recently had a chest x-ray and sirus x-ray. Also came back ok. I was put on a oral steroid (z-pack) for 6 days; this did not work. I do NOT cough at night. I seem to cough only after eating or when talking. I am a runner and when running I do NOT cough and I can talk to my running partner with no coughing. I have NO wheezing. I just have a subtle dry chronic cough. I am scheduled to see a pulmonary doctor next week. If acid-reflex is the cause, how long does it take for acid reflex medicines to kick in to notice the cough getting better. Also, my cough has not gotten worse or has not changed! The acid reflux medicine I have been on omeprazole 40 mg. for 2 months. I then was not on any medicines for a month or so. I have been on Lansoprazole 30 mg for the last 6 weeks. I was also given ranitidine 150 to be taken in addition to Lansoprazole which I did for only a week or so (seemed like a lot of medicine). I am a teacher and I do NOT smoke. Thank You
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Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
GERD can cause chronic caugh.

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear, thanks for your question on HCM.
In my opinion you should consult pulmonologist and get done PFT ( Pulmonary Function Test ). Dry persistent cough can be due to bronchitis or early asthma. So to rule out these PFT is must. PFT will also tell you about severity of the disease and for treatment severity is necessary.
So PFT is necessary in your case.
If PFT is also normal than GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) can be the cause. This is due to laxity of gastroesophageal sphincter. Because of this the acid of the stomach tends to come up and cause the symptoms.
You should follow these, along with proton pump inhibitor (lansoprazole) for better control of GERD.
1. Avoid hot and spicy food.
2. Avoid large meals, instead take frequent small meals.
3. Avoid stress and anxiety.
4. Go for walk after meals.
5. Keep 2-3 pillows under head in the bed.
So if your PFT is normal than better control of GERD is needed to treat chronic dry cough.
Hope I have solved your query.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14653 Questions

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