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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Chronic

03/15/2010

Question:

I have had chronic cough for about 3.5 months now.

Been to my primary several times (and twice in ER) and no cough syrup worked! Over the course of 3 months, I was given QVAR, Nasonex, Azithromycin, Prednisone, and Allegra. I had a Pulmonary Functions Testing in January that showed I have a Reactive Airway Disease (RAD). I was prescribed an Albuterol inhaler, but cough lingered, although it seems that Allegra made a lot more difference than the rest of the medications. In addition, I have had excessive salivation, throat clearing, itchy dry throat (usually in the morning), choking sensation, but no heartburn. Primary said she`s highly suspicious of acid reflux or GERD, so gave me Aciphex to take once a day. She also put me on Advair. While the coughing has greatly improved since taking Advair and I have not had a chance to use the inhaler, I still have flare-ups that would last a few minutes or so, and I still have all the other symptoms.

In addition, my voice is now hoarse (sometimes in the morning and sometimes all day) and my stomach is constantly aching, relieved only thru bowel movement and sometimes eating. PCP says that maybe IBS. My right nostril is also inflamed (almost 2 months now). PCP says that could be due to a cold. She was going to put me back on Nasonex, but I reminded her that it didn`t really helped before. She has now put me on Aciphex 20mg twice a day for 8 weeks to see if I would benefit from the reduced acid, since the sour taste in my throat has gone away the first time I used Aciphex and the excessive salivation has somewhat decreased. Also continue the Advair 2x a day and the Allegra once a day.

I had asked about a referral to an Allergist (to find out if I may be allergic to some foods or other things), or to ENT or GI, but she said ENTs don`t like referrals for cases that can be treated by primaries, like RAD and GERD. Now, if all else fail, then it`s time to look at other possibilities that could be causing the cough. I usually cough when I try to swallow the accumulated saliva in my mouth, when I inhale dry air (seems that dry air gets thru my nose unfiltered), or when I eat stuff that has crumbs, like garlic bread and crackers.

I just wanted to see a specliast to make sure that nothing else is going on besides acid reflux. I also have a history of gastritis, so I wanted to make sure that it has not gotten out of hand. I have an HMO insurance that requires a referral from my MD.

I am almost cough free, but there`s always that thought that it would come back, plus and all other symptoms are still here. I would like to have a symptom and drug-free life! Am I asking for too much? Any thoughts and advice would help!

Thanks!

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, NetWellness experts try to answer general questions about health. Only a health professional performing a thorough clinical exam is able to evaluate your symptoms. However, NetWellness may have some general information available that you can access through our search feature. Feel free to write back if you still have questions or need an explanation.

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