Weird scary cough, not covid - British Lung Foun...

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Weird scary cough, not covid

O2Trees profile image

Evening everyone.

Ive been having a cough for the last five weeks which came on suddenly after being exposed to cold and wind outdoors. It is very violent, choking and spasm-y and it can go on for hours or just for about half an hour and I cant control it. Most of the time the mucus seems to arise in my throat (post nasal drip?) and it will often block off my airway entirely while Im actually coughing. Finally when it comes up there's a huge amount of clear mucus and I can breathe easily again. It never looks infected.

Apart from this my breathing is good, no asthma at all and my oxygen levels are good throughout. I manage to exercise (15' walking up and down the house) during the periods when Im ok. My oxygen nurse listened to my lungs last week and said the air is going in and out very freely though she did say there is a little bit of stuff at the bottom of the right lung. She cant work out what is happening with the mucus as it seems to get stuck just below where I swallow so its odd that it wouldnt just come up easily. I use steamers and my flutter device and they can help but not always. Never had a cough like it and wondered if anyone has had anything similar. Ive not had chronic bronchitis in the past, just emphysema/asthma/bronch, but Im wondering if it could be that. I dont normally get mucus from the bronchiectasis.

Hope you're all as well as possible. Stay safe, hugs to all x

69 Replies

Sorry to hear about your problems Jean. It could be post nasal drip but I honestly don’t know. Pete coughs on and off quite a lot but not for long periods at a time. Mucus sometimes blocks off his throat so he coughs out but can’t get a breath in. He has COPD (chronic bronchitis) and sarcoidosis. Can you get help from a doctor as you really need to know what’s going on. I hope you can find a solution soon.

Sending love and good wishes to you. Carole xxxx💜

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to sassy59

For now Im hanging in there Carole, but I will contact GP if it doesnt go. What Pete has with the blocking of his throat seems similar to mine - i kind of use my diaphragm to put out against the block, then I can breathe in. It seems quite a few of us have this problem, I guess worse this time of year. Hoping you and Pete are well, much love to both of you xx❤️xx

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to O2Trees

I’m glad you’re hanging in there Jean and hope things get sorted out soon. I just try and stop Pete from panicking and things gradually calm down. We’re both doing ok though thank you. Much love to you and Rita. Xxx💜❤️

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to sassy59

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

A rare posting from a respected friend,i have developed a most unpleasant amout of hard to shift mucus over the last year or so Jean and i am convinced it is not being produced by my lungs which are completely knackered by now anyway and more associated with my Barretts Esophagus which i know you also suffer from as it appears to be associated with my throat.I imagine like you we both take a regular dose of omeprazole to reduce silent reflux etc etc bt i am constantly clearing my throat of this uncoloured and horrid stuff though thankfully i don't have an associated cough.

Love and best wishes for a speedy resolution to your problem.

Ski's and Scruff's

P,s about once every two or three months i also produce blood in my sputum which lasts for 3 days or so and then vanishes thankfully.

😊😻 xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to skischool

Ah, you're too kind Mike. I dont get on here enough these days. Dont get out enough either

🤣

Im sorry you're troubled with throat mucus. I do take a ppi, lansoprazole 15gm, an hour before bed. My gastro consultant says I should take it an hour before my evening meal but Im nervous of disturbing the delicate balance I appear to have established. I may try it and see. Im not monitored by endoscopy now as my consultant says unless you have displasia they dont do that any more. I wouldnt mind having an endoscopy just to check though since it's about 6 years now since Ive had one.

Hope you and Scruffs are in good nick - relatively of course :) Love to you both

❤️🙀💚

I have a cough had for nearly a year had all tests done everything clear.Now trying carbestine which I have used before. It does loosen cough off .doesn't affect my chest not covid. I just seem to have very loose cough. X

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Spacecat1

I hope the Carbocystine works for you Spacecat1 - I dont get on with it but I know it works well for many. All the best :)

Don't you have bronchiectasis O2? Do you have a nebuliser to use? Maybe one of these would help. I would suggest going to your doctors though or maybe give your consultant a ring? Hope you get it sorted soon. x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to hypercat54

I dont have a consultant now Bev - been binned off by the Brompton as too well for them! Which is of course encouraging but I only have my GP now and she often doesnt know what is going on. Ive never been troubled with bronch mucus before but always a first time, and I understand the airways that it can affect are not just in the lungs but all the way up to your nose, throat etc.

Hope you're keeping well, xx

Just thought of another couple of things. Now that the weather is colder use a loose scarf round your mouth and nose. Also why not call the BLF helpline. x

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to hypercat54

I do this hypercat54.it helps to warm air

Not Covid , so I guess you have been tested . Another different virus , could it be ? No temperature at all ? I have a mucus producing cough , from my throat and upper airway only now , after years and years my lungs are clear but still very breathless. But I am asthmatic .

When you feel the cough starting could you try sips of water. Try a warm drink , even just warm water .Take gentle gentle breaths to try and help control , let the mucus come up gently .

But I would consult your gp and ring the BLF helpline too.

Take care .

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to knitter

Cant be covid knitter - I never see anyone outside and friends who come round are nice enough to do lateral flow tests first (which are now thought to be more accurate than previously) and they stay a couple of yards away from me. I do use a steamer but sips of a warm drink, not so far. That's a good tip which I will try. Many thanks and take care :)

Morning, I get that a lot I have bronciactsis. Have been told to take saline through my nebuliser after my ventolin. Sometimes it works or I just carry on coughing, worth a try, I had clear mucus last time I had a nasty bug in my lungs to you might like to take a test in, this is the first time it's been clear and infected. Good luck.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Egpa

Clear but infected - interesting. My GP says sometimes infection can "hide" in the lungs. I do use a saline nebuliser when I have an infection but that's not been for some time. Maybe this is a time I could give it a try! Thank you :)

Egpa profile image
Egpa in reply to O2Trees

Good luck.

I think water to try and weaken the mucous,but I suppose you have tried this.Hope you can get some help

Regards

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Ragrug

Thank you Ragrug - yes always loads of water :)

I suffer with a similar issue. I have pulmonary fibrosis and was finding in the mornings and evenings especially, I was coughing up copious amounts of thick sticky mucous. Like you it’s just below where I swallow. 3yr ago I had a nasal scope to look at my sinuses as I had the horrid smoky smell all the time, resulting in nausea. I have an inflammatory arthritis which also affects my jaw. The ENT specialist said I had chronic inflammation of the sinuses and prescribed a steroid nasal spray. I stopped it earlier this year. However that’s when the copious amount of phlegm started. I decided to restart the nasal Monetasone again, and thankfully it has done the trick. I have a minimal cough now, so it seems to be post nasal drip was causing mine. Just a thought, might be worth trying the spray for a few weeks

Im so glad your cough has reduced so much Maureen. I have taken so much steroids since dx in 2000 that I now have pre-diabetes so loathe to take more but if it doesnt resolve fairly soon I may have to try a steroid spray.

I do understand I too have prediabetes from years of steroids. Unfortunately I have severe adrenal insufficiency and produce no steroids naturally, so am in them for life. Including carrying an emergency intramuscular injection I need to use if vomiting, injured, Ill or even stress can cause a crisis. It was diagnosed when I had a severe stroke at 52 due to an adrenal crisis, and was diagnosed 3 weeks later with severe adrenal insufficiency. Nasal steroids however, very little is absorbed into the system, and my endocrinologist is happy for me to use in addition to my oral steroids. Take care 🤗

Useful info re the nasal steroids Maureen, thank you. You've certainly been through a lot of difficulties and have a lot to cope with - I do hope you are as well as possible now. All the very best :) :)

Thanks, it has been a 10 year roller coaster. I’m a very positive person, and have a wonderful hubby who supports me. There is always someone worse than you. I recovered well from my stroke, except I have dreadful issues with my memory, but that’s a small price to pay. Take care and hope you manage to resolve the cough 🤗😁

Can't help Jean but I hope you get to the bottom of the problem soon and get some relief. Best wishes Carole x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to CDPO16

I do have pnd plus Barretts but they never caused such a problem before. This was triggered by cold weather so Im hoping it will go. Pretty housebound at present although when Im not coughing Im feeling very well. Bit of a paradox! Hope you're ok Carole :)

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to O2Trees

I do hope that it settles down for you soon Jean. Perhaps it's a good sign that you feel well and it was triggered by cold weather.I sympathise with you being stuck indoors having been in the same situation for over a month now with breathing difficulties not responding to various treatments and of unknown cause. Posted an update eatlier.

Take care xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to CDPO16

Oh I so hope you improve Carole. Thinking of you xx :)

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to O2Trees

Many thanks Jean. I hope the same for you xxx

Sorry that I have no solutions but it sounds awful and I hope your GP can help. Take care.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Walkwalkwalk

Thank you WWW 🙏

Hi j, I'm racking my brain here, the incessant coughing sounds like when my asthma took a downturn years ago though I didn't have the clear mucus. I too was thinking about your Barretts. I've also got troublesome sinuses & was wondering if a steroid nasal spray would be a help (I use the Numark pharmacy brand to prevent a build up in sinus cavities & the headaches the pressure causes) or a harmless Sterimar Nasal Spray, I noticed there are several different ones to buy now on the pharmacy or supermarket shelves. If you try & it makes a difference at least you will have achieved something.

Its so horrible & concerning when changes occur. Thinking of you and hoping you get to the bottom of this - you've put up with it long enough. P ××××

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to peege

Hi P - yes I will try that if I have to. At present Im holding out as this was triggered by the cold quite suddenly. It's definitely not asthma as Im not breathless at all in between coughing. If it's not one thing, it's another! Hope you're doing ok P and your asthma isnt playing up. Take care, ❤️xxx

peege profile image
peege in reply to O2Trees

Hope there's an improvement for you by now J 🙏. I'm alright, asthma isn't bad considering I'm shattered. Diving back & forth across country from here to Suffolk (sister) & Cambs (Nellie with new baby last week) 🥱😴

Thanks so much everyone - lots of good suggestions and yes, it could be connected with Barretts. I have horrendous day today - 40 mile trip to Folkestone for mammogram, nothing nearer, a (regular) zoom meeting in a moment with local friends and urgent probate duties (some will know my sister died early September) - so it will probably be tomorrow when I reply but I really appreciate your replies. Enjoy the day friends - sunny here :)

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to O2Trees

Thinking of you Jean. Xx💜

Gladwyn profile image
Gladwyn in reply to O2Trees

Hoping your awful day was easier than you expected. 🥺🙏

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Gladwyn

Hah!! I had to cancel my appointment as coughing too much. Rita (partner) took charge and phoned to reschedule and thank heavens they have opened their nearer mammography department at Canterbury - just 8 miles, not 40! And only a 2 week wait, whereas it took 2 months to get Monday's appointment. Take care Gladwyn :)

Gladwyn profile image
Gladwyn in reply to O2Trees

Lol I’m glad to hear it worked out well for you in the end . Coughing can be hell and I’m sorry you suffered so badly. Hopefully it won’t happen again 🙏🍀🦋. I end up sipping hot lemon and manuka honey and I like to think it helps but in truth I’m not so sure but it does stop in the end. 🤪

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Gladwyn

Here's hoping 🤣

I have developed a cough after having the covid booster and like you it gets stuck in the throat with a clear mucus. Tried all the usual things and nothing works. My son in law suggested leaving crushed garlic overnight in water and drinking this first thing in the morning which does seem to have helped alot. My cough seems to be worse at night so am thinking of changing this round and drinking it before bed. Anything is worth a try. I hope this clears up for you but think a call to your gp maybe the next step x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Izb1

Thank you. I have a lot of garlic in my food. I will call my GP if it doesnt clear up but she usually just refers me to my oxygen nurse who is good around oxygen needs (which have been stable for about 6 years now) but doesnt know much else. 🤣

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to O2Trees

Yes me too O2 I cook with it nearly everyday, but the overnight soak seems to do something else. Lets hope your nurse sorts you out if the gp doesnt x

I hope this simple solution helps but when I'm getting my daily phlegm up ( usually after my nebuliser) I drink a hot lemon and honey drink and it really does help to get those stubborn globules up before the airway gets completely blocked and it helps with the uncomfortoubleness , good luck anyway, have you tried mucoclear nebuliser fluid ? That works

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to soulboy118

Mucoclear? Not heard of that before, thank you! I control pre-diabetes with diet so wouldnt have honey but I actually like lemon unsweetened in drinks so I'll try that. :)

soulboy118 profile image
soulboy118 in reply to O2Trees

Mucoclear is a nebulised ssline solution that comes in 3 to 6% solution , lol it does exacally what it says but i prefere the hit lemon

Please get a chest CT is you can asap. If nothing more, than for peace of mind.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to counslr

I have wondered about a CT scan, havent had one for some time. I'll see how it goes. Thanks Counsir :)

That sounds really horrid. I think you need to speak to your doctor. I hope you can get rid of the cough really soon. xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Alberta56

Thank you Alberta :)

Hope you feel better soon 🐞

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Nicholatracy

Many thanks :) :)

I have this periodically.among other diseases i have asthma,bronchiectasis and VCD( vocal chord dysfunction)which causes throat to close,literally, to a pinhole.on its own,I use breathing techniques.but like u,have with acute bronchospasm while ? Asthma/bronchiectasis causes excess mucous,blocking airways struggle to get up with vcd.personally,I go into concentration mode as feels like life or death.i use controlled breathing slowly,pursed lips to exhale,(whilst spasms+ coughing continues). As soon as throat opens,I try to get deep breaths in to get behind mucous plug and force it up.oys extremely tough,takes all my strength.eventually do win and I gargle with cold water whn im able.hope ths helpd

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Patk1

Ps I go into kitchen + lean over sink,cant do it sat down xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Patk1

Thank you for your reply - that sounds very scary Patk1. I think worse than I am currently going through - but I do remember just what you are describing from times I've been in hospital in 2018. That life or death concentration is shocking, just concentrating on getting the next breath. If I breathe in through my nose it helps - that seems to circumvent the mucus which I can hear crackling in my throat if I breathe in through my mouth. I hope you're not going through that at the moment. :)

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to O2Trees

Im glad it's not at that point 4u at present but sounds v bad.i had a bad evening cpl days ago but not since.happens though,periodically.do read up on vcd.i hope u soon improve xxxxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Patk1

Thank you Patk1 - you take care xx

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to O2Trees

Xxx

Hello Jean, So sorry to hear of your coughing. It must be so very tiring. The only thing I can think of is you are allergic to something in your vicinity since this has come on suddenly and otherwise your lungs are doing okay. After my transplant I am unable to smell or eat pepper, funnily enough. It sets me off coughing non stop. It could of course be post nasal drip. I use a nasal rinse twice a day. It really helps with allergies and post nasal drip. I hope you feel better very soon. xx 🌿

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Caspiana

Hi Cas.ive wondered about nasal rinsed for my troublesome rhinosinusitis.how much gets squirted/ sprayed up nose + is it unpleasant x

Caspiana profile image
Caspiana in reply to Patk1

It depends what solution you use Pat. Your doctor could probably prescribe it for you. You get used to it but you have to follow the instructions carefully so you don't accidentally breathe it in or swallow it. But it's not difficult. It is not unpleasant. In fact afterwards after you blow your nose it feels so much better and not stuffy. xx

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Caspiana

Thanku.oh that would be great!prevent constant irritation& headaches I imagine x

Caspiana profile image
Caspiana in reply to Patk1

It helps my post nasal drip quite significantly. I am allergic to pollen and dust so I suppose keeping the nasal canals free of these irritations help. I get mine over the counter because I can't be bothered to make an appointment with an ENT just for nasal rinse. You could try it for a few days and see if it helps. xx

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Caspiana

Yes i will.thanks Cas. I've b thinking about it for a while.c

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Caspiana

Thanks Cas - Ive had post nasal drip for years but it didnt really trouble me. I may try a nasal spray. Thanks for your reply and I hope you are doing as well as possible. Take care

❤️xxxx❤️

Hanne62 profile image
Hanne62 in reply to O2Trees

Hmm, this is a puzzle, & sounds jolly unpleasant. The physios at the Brompton are always nagging about keeping the whole airway system ie nose, sinuses, throat as well as lungs, clear of dust, pollution etc. They recommend Neil-Med sinus rinse. A spray is insufficient (they say), washing sinuses properly twice a day is what’s required. It’s a bit of a faff & takes a practice or two (go gently or you’ll choke on it) but it does help.

I also suggest you should have another scope to check out the Barrett’s (husband just dx’d with high grade dysplasia, btw) and, if none of our suggestions help, a thoracic CT.

I hope something improves it anyway! It’s a bit odd, the way it came on so suddenly - maybe it’ll disappear the same way 🤞xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Hanne62

Neil-Med rinse, that's a good tip Hanne - Ive been turfed off the Brompton list which in some ways is nice as they dont think I need them maybe? Though at some point I might want to talk about valves or LVRS.

Sorry to hear about your husband's Barretts. I had not thought of a thoracic CT. As it came on following being out in the cold for nearly an hour maybe it will go when the warmer weather comes. Im beginning to think its a combination of lung and throat but we'll see.

Hope you both go on ok :) xxx

I can’t help but just want to say hello, haven’t seen you for ages. Probably irrelevant but I’ve now had daily mucus (not a lot) for about three months after nearly two years with none. I have no explanation, I’m not unwell, it doesn’t look infected and my breathing is the same as usual. GP wouldn’t have any more idea than I have so I’m left wondering why? Is this progression, a lengthy blip or something else?

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to teenieleek

Strange are the ways of lung disease TL - so cant answer your question and Im certainly wondering the same for myself. Lovely to 'see' you anyway x

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