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What causes severe persistent cough along with chest pain?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15941 Questions

Posted on Sun, 21 Oct 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: My brother who is 48 has had a cough for 2 years we have been to lung doctor and a ear nose throat and no one can find anything wrong but he coughs all the time that it hurts his chest and says about shortness of breathe any ideas
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Different possible causes

Detailed Answer:

The most common reasons from chronic cough are:
(1) Upper airway syndrome which was previously called post nasal drip syndrome
(4)Non asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis

A person may sometimes have a combination of reasons for a cough.

Other causes would be side effect of medications such as ACE inhibitors (Lisinopril, Enalapril, Ramipril etc) , due to smoking, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, mass in the lung (would have been seen on x ray),heart failure.

Out of these,upper airway syndrome/ post nasal drip syndrome, is the most common. 20% of persons, are actually unaware of the drip itself and only present with the annoying cough.
Has been found to be the cause in over 50% of persons, some studies up the 87% of persons.
Treated with antihistamine/decongestant combination even if there is no nasal congestion eg Zyrtec d, Allegra d, Claritine d, Benadryl d
Montelukast/singulair can be used with one of these. It can unfortunately take 2 to 3 weeks for the medication to kick in, so need to be used consistently.

Non asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis has been the cause in 13 to 33%.It is treated with inhaled (not oral or nasal) steroids for at least 1 month

Since the cause is not clear- he may want to consider one of the anti histamine decongestant combinations for 3 weeks at least,with the montelukast.
A inhaled steroid can be added.
An anti inflammatory pain killer would temporarily help with the chest pain EXAMPLE: Ibuprofen or Naproxen etc.

Hope I have answered your query.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Michelle Gibson James,
General & Family Physician

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

The User accepted the expert's answer

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