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What could be the cause of severe cough with chest pain and shortness of breath in a chain smoker ?

HI name is Antonis! I am a 27 year old male, and a 6-7 year smoker (trying to stop). Although i am proficient in english im not sure about some medical definitions so bear with me. The last 3 days i ve been experiencing a really nasty cough that starts when i inhale (obviously). The aggravation that starts the cough originates at the base of the larynx (where it connects with the sternum). When coughing I experience strain in that area and also the chest (kind of a burning sensation) and a mild shortness of breath . Also I think my tonsils are swollen and my ears feel clogged (is that a correct description?). Now some more history first of all due to the structure of my skull i ve been talled i am prone to sinusitis . Moreover when i get a running nose some times the mucus doesnt come down my nose but directly in my pharynx so i suppose there is a good chance i have mucus in my lungs... Also about 2-3 weeks i had a pretty nasty sore throat and cough, the area being that of the pharynx, to a point where one morning i spat mucus with blood. My tonsils were swollen then too, and i think my uvula (the grape thingy in the pharynx) looked like it was bleeding. The blood in my spit never happened again. So what do you think???
Asked On : Wed, 4 Apr 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  99
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Dear Antonis,

Welcome to HealthcareMagic forum.

The symptoms your described totally points towards "Upper respiratory tract Inflammmation" or simply URTI. Upper respiratory tract constitutes, nose, sinus, pharynx and its structures, larynx and part of bronchioles, ear and eustachian tube.

Very often as one part of the respiratory tract gets inflammed either due to infection or allergy, the inflammation spreads down to the other structures giving rise to variety of symptoms.

From what you describe it looks like your nasal cavity, sinus, pharynx upto upper bronchioles as well as ears are affected. Though this looks serious and complicated, treatment is simple and easy. Deep steam inhalation, antihistamines (oral as well as nasal sprays), mucolytic syrups along with antiinflammatory drugs should take care of all your symptoms in a few days.

Most of the above drugs can be obtained over the counter; a few such as mucolytic syrups may need a prescription. If you are running fever, I encourage you to seek medical help at the earliest. He/she can then prescribe you all these medications along with antibiotics.

The bottom line is your symptoms are not a serious concern. You should be fine soon.

Hope this answer is useful and informative.

Wish you good health.

Answered: Wed, 4 Apr 2012
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General & Family Physician Dr. Finu Mathew's  Response
Hello Antonis,

Your english is as good as any! Now lets address your medical problems!

Your sore throat,Tonsillitis and Post nasal drip seems to have lead to a Upper Respiratory Infection.Visit a ENT specialist to take care of your Throat problems. A course of Antibiotics may help if deemed appropriate by your doctor.

Meanwhile you could also get your sputum tested and other blood tests done.The course of antibiotics should also help with your Cough and respiratory symptoms!Your doctor will also decide if a Chest X ray is needed after examining you.

Hope this helps.
Answered: Wed, 4 Apr 2012
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