Coughing affects my head: Afternoon all... - British Lung Foun...

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Coughing affects my head

Afternoon all. I’ve not posted for ages, hope you are all as well as can be expected. I have stage 3 COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. My cough has become a lot more intense lately, to the point where I very often become dizzy, shaky and light headed for a few seconds - and briefly feel like I may pass out. Is this normal in anyone else’s experience? I have now developed two hernias and severe osteoarthritis so could do with coughing less - not more! 😂

26 Replies

Ooh that sounds rough!!! It might be due to lack of oxygen? I know when mine is low i get really bad headaches.

Best wishes and i hope you feel better soon x

in reply to

Hi Hope4321 :) My next COPD check up is in about three weeks, not sure whether to leave it till then or get down the doctors (yet again lol!)

in reply to

Lol trust me the hospital is my first home and my house is my second home lol so I understand !

But it’s honestly best to go now . .. lack of oxygen is so dangerous. Three weeks is a really long time especially when you’re not well .

in reply to

Thank you 😊 I’ll make an appointment and get this sorted out 😊

in reply to

Hope you feel better soon

Welcome back Hidden from your little break and its good to know you came back. Sorry to learn that you have a nasty cough and Im curious to know if that caused your hernia? You've sure not had a great time and I would agree with Hidden and advise you to please go to your local Doctors and seek some help. Its no fun feeling shakey and lightheaded,so seek advice.

Best wishes.

in reply to SquirrelsHolt

Hi SquirrelsHolt. I’ve had a read from time to time but like many of us, sometimes I have nothing positive to say so prefer to say nothing 🙂 I’ll get to the doctors this week and find out what’s going on 😊

madametobacco49 profile image
madametobacco49 in reply to

i hear ya there Brisara---hugs,MmeT

So sorry to read this, it must be really awful. I was wondering how you were doing the other day. I agree with the advice on here, three weeks is a long time to wait, as you are suffering so much.

Can you get the doctor out to you? I am sure they won't mind, please put yourself first

Sorry I can't be more help than that

Best wishes


Hi Brisara, hope you are now feeling better. Whenever I get on a sticking, continuous, violent coughing jag , I am susceptible to what is called ‘ syncope ‘, a temporary fainting episode. It is , apparently, a quite common result of continuous coughing jags. Please ask your Doctor about this. Just so you know, violent coughing can, indeed, cause other health problems. I broke three ribs in a coughing jag, confirmed by a CT scan. Keep on keeping on, and all the best to you. Kind Regards, judg69

Hello Hidden .

Long time no see. 😊 I am sorry you aren't doing so great at the moment. When it rains it pours. You need to tell your doctor about this, as everyone has suggested. I'm sorry I don't have any words of wisdom, but wanted to say welcome back. It's nice to see you.

Take care,

Cas xx 🌞🐳

Maybe you could ask doctor to check you heart and have an ecg?

I cough a lot and it’s got worse in the hot weather. I cough up phlegm from my lungs and a lot of sticky mucus from my mouth, throat and nasal areas, when I get rid of this the coughing stops. I find if I sit or lie for a while, when I begin to move I begin to cough- or when I lie down to sleep, the coughing begins. It makes me double incontinent when coughing - sometimes I cough for up to 3 hours getting rid of the mucus.

The doctor gave me Carbocisteine which thins the mucus which was marvellous. However it’s not in the general side effects, but it made me very tired all the time.

I now thin the mucus by drinking a lot, 1 pint water, 1Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a splash of lemon juice, drunk hot or cold. I often add a vitamin C tablet. It’s not as good as the Carbocisteine was, but it’s no longer a big problem as long as I remember to drink enough.

If your coughing is linked to mucus it may help to drink more to see if it helps. I drink about 5 pints of this apple cider/ lemon/ water a day sipping it gradually.

I also use a Neti pot sometimes but I’m not very good with it yet.

Hope this was of some help - good luck

X jo

Ergendl profile image
Ergendl in reply to Jomo46

Just watch your teeth - although the dilute apple cider vinegar is a weak acid, it can still remove enamel from your teeth over time with constant use. Do rinse your mouth out with plain water regularly too.

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Ergendl

Thanks for this advice Ergendi I use this in my honey, lemon and ginger drink and have this daily, so must remember to rinse after. X

santisuk profile image
santisuk in reply to Jomo46

Hi Jomo46. If you liked the effects of carbocysteine but the side effects were counterproductive then talk to a doctor or pharmacist about an alternative particularly NAC-Acetylcysteine. I've tried both over a 6 month self-trial against my bronchiectasis. I found both to be equally good at thinning mucus and making chest clearance easier (some may have noticed my self-test posts before in which I initially concluded several weeks ago that carbo was marginally better (have finished the self-trail and decided that best-in-class could not really be awarded to either one).

We are all different but worth a try, rather than giving up on myucolytics altogether. I think NHS in the UK plumps for carbocysteine - possibly because it is about 20% cheaper than acetylcysteine (based on my buying prices over the counter in Thailand*), so you might have trouble getting it on free prescription if you are a Brit-resident Brit. NAC-Acetylcysteine also inhabits the health supplement market - I have no idea whether it's exactly the same as the medical product I take, made by a (German) pharma company, but I have seen it for sale on online supplement websites, delivered internationally without prescription. Maybe I should extend my self-test trial!

*that's another correction to my earlier self-test posting where I said that the prices were similar. I looked again recently and realised I must have dismissed them as being insignificantly (to me) different price that price would not be a decisive factor but then misrepresented that in a posting as there being 'very little difference or some such.

mistymim profile image
mistymim in reply to Jomo46

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a Neti pot, and is Carbocisteine a inhaler type medication? I am from Australia and some of the drugs that are used in England vary to, and, are named different to what we use here...

Jomo46 profile image
Jomo46 in reply to mistymim

Hi Mistymim

A Neti pot is a small pot of warm salty water that you turn upside down and pressing a button, it squirts rhe water up one nostril through a small pipe. You breathe through your mouth and the water goes up one nostril, then comes down through the other nostril. It loosens the mucus and helps clear your sinuses. I got one from eBay. Google it or you tube.

The Carbocisteine is a medicine that makes your mucus thinner. - not an inhaler. I tried inhalers that we’re supposed to dampen down allergy effects, but they made no difference to me.

Hope that helps

Best wishes jo

mistymim profile image
mistymim in reply to Jomo46

Thanks Jo, that explains a lot for me..

Hi Brisara, wish I could give you some helpful advise. Is there any deep breathing exercises that could help after a coughing fit, thinking that may help to get the oxygen back into your system.

Oh dear this seems like lack of O2 resulting in dizziness due to continuous coughing. A soothing cough medicine , honey, or linctus of some sort may help . See the GP as quickly as you can to see if he can help. It is not good for you and we all want you better.


Getting to dizziness and wanting to pass out is very dangerous for you and possibly someone you live you drive...with just those 2 questions in mind what do you think the outcome could be....get help now

Thank you all for your help and advice. I have an appointment with my chest nurse this week so hope to get to the bottom of it :)

What is causing the coughing Brisara. ? Is it mucus on the chest, or some other reason. It obviously needs sorting . Good luck . I’m glad you are seeing the chest nurse.


in reply to Jomo46

Mucus I imagine. Thanks, she is seeing me on Friday :)

Hi, It seems like it's Cough Syncope as Judge 69 suggested . Worth a read on Google. I have experienced this myself a few times. I have found that taking Co-codamol when a coughing fit occurs really helps. Don't get up suddenly when coughing try to stay sitting down.

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