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Lung diseases

Dizziness with coughing

07/17/2006

Question:

I have been battling a sinus infection for about 4 weeks...I just finshed my second round of antibiotics. I still have a lot of thick post nasal drainage, that has left me with an annoying hacking cough. At times I cough and clear my throat so hard that I get dizzy and feel like I am going to pass out. Can you tell me what this is and do I need to be alarmed? Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Lightheadedness or even fainting may occur with severe paroxysms of coughing and is called cough syncope.  Contributing factors to the lightheadedness are infections such as your sinus infection, dehydration, and underlying heart conditions.  As the infection and cough clear, the lightheadedness should resolve.

It is very important that you notify your regular physician about these symptoms because they will know your complete medical history and can determine if any further evaluation or treatments are needed.

For more information:

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati