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Strange noise when coughing


Might be slightly weird question but does anyone else get a strange noise in their chest sometimes when coughing (apart from the usual strange noises lol)?

Noticed a couple of weeks ago and now it's come back and seems louder - kind of like a growling noise down the centre, not there all the time, but I noticed it several times today. I think it's when I'm breathing in during the cough, but hard to tell what breathing is doing when coughing! Except that now the act of coughing seems to make me more breathless because it takes lots of energy coughing. Grrrrr! (kind of the noise I make...maybe my lungs are just protesting!)

Anyone else had this?

13 Replies

Hi Philomela,

Not quite sure if this is same kind of noise youre talking about, but sometimes when coughing gets real bad it almost sounds & feels like a liquidy growling kind of noise.

Sometimes followed by throwing up, but not normal upchuck. More like frothy snot.

Sorry, bit graphic i know, but cant quite describe the noise or feeling so skipped to the end.

Either way, it doesnt look like anything ive ever eaten, or ever would come to think of it.

Oh yes, forgot to add, after the last lot comes out, it feels like some is still attached & really have to hock last bit out.

However, if this isnt what you meant, hope you werent eating when you read my reply

Howie :)


Thanks Howie...I think ;)

Seriously, thanks for replying. That sounds nasty, hope it doesn't happen too much! Mine is not, err, productive like that. If there is anything down there it's not coming up, I never cough anything up though I've occasionally felt like I'm about to. It's just a kind of dryish growling noise that only happens sometimes.


Um, well I get all kinds of weird coughing sounds (or I did until I got the congenital thing fixed) and I also had a productive cough. One thing I got diagnosed with along the way is vocal cord dysfunction. Have you ever looked into that? Some docs will tell you it's anxiety etc., but it's an actual medical condition that can be triggered by things like reflux and GERD. Mine was triggered by reflux caused by my congenital thing, and my vocal cords were actually quite swollen and closing at bad times when I was already coughing.

Anyways, that wouldn't cause a productive cough I think, and it mainly happened to me after I'd been eating, and then I'd try to breathe in and it wouldn't really work at all. And I'd make this strange, wheezing, gritty noise. Don't you love trying to explain the noises? I can't make them if they aren't happening either.



May be you might have an infection in your chest or through get that checked asap



Like Howie I usually have some interesting gunk to cough up, ranging from frothy water to solid lumps (ouch!), acccompanied by assorted gagging choking and retching sounds (and the occasional whine of complaint (please tell me I'm not the only person to do that!)) but every now and then, when I've got nothing left to cough up I get what I think you're referring to. It's very difficult to describe but there's a really deep sound that seems to come from further down in the lungs than usual and there's a sort of pulling sensation and the feeling that several of those might really achieve some sort of improvement.

Unfortunately, I haven't got a clue what causes it or whether it's a bad sign or a good one, but I'll settle for assuming it's good because it usually only happens when the coughing is tailing off and I know that I'm going to get a break for an hour or two.


You might have chest infection see your doctor asap and he might tell you to get a blood test at your local hospital do that asap if he tells you to go to the hospital


Thanks for the replies! It is really hard to describe the noises, isn't it? I found 'growling' was quite apt for mine though as it really does sound a bit like some kind of animal growling. I don't know if it's the same as yours though Annista as it never seems to signal a break from the coughing!

VCD has been raised as a possibility and is being investigated (I think consultant said she would ring me if she decides to do a bronchoscopy). The physiologist at my repeat lung function tests yesterday said it sounded like I had some kind of restriction/obstruction, which may have caused the problems with getting sensible results from the first lot. I've also had several people comment that when I sing it sounds like there's a constriction in the back of my throat. I always thought that was poor technique (I've not had many lessons and there's a lot of room for improvement there) but perhaps it's not just that.


Ooo howie, what you describe is exactly what my daughter produces!!

She coughs and coughs then is v sick but it's just White frothy mucous 'stuff'!! (sorry if anyones just eaten!) this happens daily when she's going through a bad stint.

As for the noises....I often remark on the noises that come from my husband asthmatic chest! In bed at night, it's all quiet, then he might take a deep breath and it sounds as if I've got an orchestra in bed with me! His chest makes weird and wonderful noises!


Go and see a doctor my mum had that and they did a blood test on her they said she hard chest infection so go see a doctor asap


Hi peeps! i get lots of mucus and clogs up my airways and hard to cough up but every time I swallow its thick mucus.Its always been a problem since having asthma and take Carbocsistine for it daily to help my airways from mucus. i take 4 a glynis xxx


Strange noise when coughing and when I do my peak flow

I had a very loud strange rattleing when I had a chest infection. When I did my peak flow I made a very strange noise when I breath out. Maybe you have a chest infection.

Get well soon.



Hmm, hope not chest infection Rachel, but it is a possibility I guess! Hope yours goes away soon and asthma improves, I read your thread and you seem to be having a hard time of it! Hope everyone gets a break from coughing up gunk, it all sounds much worse than my weird noise.

Noise has been absent today as not so much coughing (plenty of breathlessness to make up for it!) Slightly worried though as going to Italy tomorrow for Easter (which is good, really glad I'm going) but the journey is not the best and every time I've done something even slightly energetic in the last month or so it's stepped things up and made the day to day breathlessness worse. Getting up at 5am, heaving a suitcase around and wandering round an airport/on and off buses is unlikely to improve things...eeekk. And then there's the journey back next week. I'm possibly just being paranoid though, should be fine if not the easiest experience.


Ok what I can tell you is that my had that same thing every time she wakes up she was making some wired noise like an animal makes and she has to vomit at the same time and she had a chest infection so what I would recommend for you is to see your doctor and if he tells you to go to your local hospital to get a blood test to see if they is anything wrong with you


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