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What causes persistent dry cough despite being on allergy medications?

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Answered by

Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 813 Questions
Dear Doctor,
My wife is having dry cough for past 4-5 months. We have visited doctor as well and doctor has said that it is allergic cough. After having the medications prescribed by him, there was a bit relief for initial 1-2 days but, now it is back to the old state.

Please suggest what could be the cause and what could be done to get relief from this cough? To add to it, cough becomes worse at night when she goes to bed. During day time it is a bit better. Thanks.

Tue, 15 May 2018 in Internal Doctor Category
Answered by Dr. Arnab Banerjee 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
further evaluation needed

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX Welcome back,
I've gone through your query and understand your concern for your wife,

Well, being allergic can certainly cause such persistent cough. However, since it's persisting despite taking the medications, further evaluation is needed to find out the root cause.

Allergy is a broad term, so it's necessary to find out the probable offending agent at first. For this, it's necessary to undergo a Comprehensive Allergy Panel Check-up to look into it further.

You haven't mentioned which specialty of doctor you've visited (visiting the specialist is important as they're expertized with the relevant branch). As in her scenario, ideally, she should be checked up by either a Pulmonologist/Chest Medicine specialist or an ENT specialist).

Is there any frequent exposure to dust/windy places?

Is she allergic to pollen/dust/any food particles?

Was there any history of childhood asthma?

Is there any history of fever/chronic headache/runny nose/sinus related concerns?

Please note that there are several reasons behind such persistent cough. So a proper clinical examination by the Pulmonologist/ENT specialist along with a few relevant investigations (CBC, Peripheral blood smear, ESR, Sputum for gram stain; AFB; Culture sensitivity examination, Chest X-ray, X-ray of the paranasal sinuses etc.) is necessary to find out the exact diagnosis. Treatment is mainly by treating the cause, so, I'd suggest getting further examined first in order to find the exact reason behind this.

Meanwhile, please continue all the medications as advised by the doctor, along with the gargles and steam inhalation. Since it's increasing at night, take steam inhalation once just before going to bed, avoid cold air exposure, drink lukewarm water.

Please let me know if there are any further queries...

Take Care
Kind Regards

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