Night-time cough: Sorry, me again... - Scleroderma & Ray...

Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)

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Night-time cough

volvox45 profile image

Sorry, me again. Every so often I wake up at night because of a big coughing fit. Doesn't last long and I go back to sleep. How do I tell if it's acid reflux (which I don't knowingly suffer from but have been told I must have because my oesophagus is damaged) or a lung-based cough (I have bronchiectasis)? or even postnasal drip??

13 Replies

Try sleeping elevated if you don't already. You can buy a wedge pillow which may help? Are you on any acid reducing medication?

volvox45 profile image
volvox45 in reply to amc282

Thank you, but as I said, first I want to know what sort of cough it is? I tried omeprazole for six weeks but got fed up as it just made me think about acid reflux all the time but I don't have any symptoms. I keep telling people that but no one believes me!

bearman profile image
bearman in reply to volvox45

I have had an irritating cough for a long time. The rheumatologist said it was probably reflux though I didn't have any obvious symptoms either, and put me on lansoprazole. I also have a wedge, though do tend to slide off it. The cough hasn't gone but is heaps better, so think it probably is reflux. I just take one tablet at bedtime.

The_Bear profile image
The_Bear in reply to volvox45

I think they’re suggesting treating reflux then if the cough improves you’ve your likely culprit; silent reflux is a thing. Also damage from acid can become serious over time so even though you’re symptomless it is not harmless.

Could be side effect from medication

I have this and it's horrible. wake up suddenly gasping for breath and coughing. Its always down to reflux.

Thank you everyone, especially the two Bears (!). I'm so glad I'm not the only one to apparently have "silent reflux" – it's a lonely place to be! I may go back on the omeprazole just to be a good patient, even though I don't like it, because my oesophagus is already damaged – I have to believe that as I've seen it on X-ray – and perhaps it might help heal it a bit, which would be a very good outcome.But then… I cough a bit all day and that's definitely bronchiectasis… I think? Why is it so difficult to link particular symptoms to the relevant cause? (I don't expect an answer to that!).

I have had chronic cough for over 10 years thought at first to be asthma but it’s silent reflux. Ppi’s don’t help silent reflux as it’s pepsin coming up from stomach with acid. Pepsin then gets activated when you eat more acidic foods and I think it then makes me cough as sensitive voice box/larynx area. It happens at night when I first lie down or if I get up to the toilet I can be coughing away for ages which then affects my breathing as scleroderma has affected my gullet too and can affect reflux and gut issues. I think it might be part of the breathing problems and PH but can’t be sure like you.

volvox45 profile image
volvox45 in reply to Natbec4541

Sometimes I guess we have to accept that the medics can't be sure of everything....

Natbec4541 profile image
Natbec4541 in reply to volvox45

Many have never heard of Sibo and look at me strangely when I mention it but scleroderma does weird things as recently diagnosed. My gps never understood the cough just gave inhalers which didn’t work

Do you have dry mouth? I think sometimes the mucus gathers in your throat & maybe that can also be causing your cough 🙈 I met another sufferer recently whose lungs ate quite badly affected & she has an irritating cough all the time

I do, and I think you're right! I think it's my lungs and a bit of gunk gathers overnight when I'm lying down. What puzzles me is that acid reflux is very common indeed (just look at the shelves in the chemist!) but bronchiectasis is quite rare, so why doesn't everyone with acid reflux get damaged lungs? Yet another mystery…

My night time cough is certainly reflux. Most of the time Rolaids takes care of it, but if I get up out of bed it normally goes away. In rare situations, I have to eat a little something to make it go away. If it goes away under those circumstances, I would label it reflux. I also sleep on a wedge now. Hope this helps

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