passing out when i cough: when i have... - British Lung Foun...

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passing out when i cough

Dave6 profile image

when i have a coughing fit i am passing out mostly just for a second but my daughter has been wittiness to a few longer ones ans says i fitted at least twice one for 40 seconds i have told my gp and he says its OK i am a bit worried

15 Replies

I know there’s a thing called vasovagal cough syncope which can happen in people with lung problems “Vasovagal syncope” is just a medical term for fainting. Would’ve been helpful if your gp had explained WHY there’s no need to worry! Mind you, 40 seconds is a long time so if it happens again for that long I’d ask your gp to check it out anyway

Hi Dave, it’s not ok and your GP shouldn’t be saying that. It could be several things causing you to pass out but it needs further investigation.

My husband does the same and it’s scary to witness. His throat collapses due to many years of steroid use, so the doctor at the hospital says.

I wish you well xxxx

Dave6 profile image
Dave6 in reply to sassy59

thanks good to no


I used to do the same (many years ago) while smoking Marlboro! Seems they irritated my airways and caused me to cough so violently that it blocked a blood vessel to the brain ... one second I was talking, next I was laid on the floor looking up!

I was scared half to death! GP told me that the solution was to stop smoking ... I switched to a milder cigarette and it stopped! (Wish I'd stopped then ... I might not have needed the assistance from this forum now!) explains better than I can.

Best wishes

Ramy22 profile image
Ramy22 in reply to y_not

Isn’t there an actual coughing condition that causes you to pass out? I’m sure there is. You need another GP and to report this one to your practice manager. At the very least he should have told you not to drive... I know where I saw this: on that GP thing in the evening.

y_not profile image
y_not in reply to Ramy22

Thankfully it is all in the past. Stopped smoking Marlboro in 2009 and stopped all smoking in 2012.

Thanks for your reply

Dave6 profile image
Dave6 in reply to Ramy22

They are all the same at my surgery

My O2 sats where on 93 and he said is that normal for you I was dumbfounded

And said no his reply was you must have cold fingers

Ramy22 profile image
Ramy22 in reply to Dave6

Then you need to raise this and report all of them! I wonder why they become gps!

l also have this happening its called cough synec or something similar , l've stopped driving now as its happening 2 or 3 times a day some times more , its scaring the wife witless , but no one seem bothered.

Dave6 profile image
Dave6 in reply to malcolmmason11

That’s what I’m getting of my gp as well

I stoped driving as well would never forgive my self if I hurt someone else

malcolmmason11 profile image
malcolmmason11 in reply to Dave6

Yes , the children persuaded me to stop .seems the cough fainting is quite common.

I just remembered, there's something called a "tilt table test" which can be done in outpatients. You could ask your dr to refer you for that? Generally drs aren't very interested in cough syncope as it's fairly common, but if it's lasting 40seconds & your daughter thinks you might be fitting, the dr needs to take it more seriously. You should have an ecg done first.

Dave6 profile image
Dave6 in reply to Hanne62

I’m thinking of trying the practice manager my daughter is a special needs carer who treats people with fitting on a daily basis

Thanks for the info I’ll try to get a tilt table test

Had my very first episode of this last night! Have had COPD for around 11 years but also have Bronchiectas and Pleural thickening. I was sat on 5he settee and had started to have a drink of lager, about 15 minutes later I started coughing quite badly, the next thing I knew I was coming round on the floor, dog barking, wife panicking shouting what's happening? Are you ok?. I got on to my knees and stayed there for a few minutes. I've got a lump, bruise and small cut on my head where I hit the laminate floor, and my left arm aching from the shoulder down, where I must have twisted it as I fell. My wife immediately thought too much alcohol! No, I had had only a couple of mouthfuls and didn't drink the rest after that. I reckon I had blacked out for perhaps 10 or so seconds, but was scary!

Hello Dave

I’ve often coughed so hard that I’ve almost fainted and gone really dizzy - I didn’t realise it was a thing! Hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Take care 👍

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