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chronic cough and mucus in trachea (Page 1)

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Hi All:

I have been dealing with a chronic cough for 3 + months and have tried nearly everything imaginable. This came on slowly out of nowhere with no obvious illness preceding. First my symptoms:

Constant Need to Clear the Throat, a feeling of loose mucous around the trachea that only goes away briefly after clearing, along with occasional rattling when breathing. Another member described it well in this post: Quote "But the worst of all was and is the feeling that I have loose mucous in my trachea.This feeling is there when I breathe in and out.It feels like a rattle but there is no sound."
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/284428

Coughing in episodes some more days than others.
Fluttering/Spasm type feeling in the throat right around voice box/thyroid area.
Mild burning/pulsatng type pain coming from the voice box/thyroid area.
Tickle in throat that is exacerbated when leaning head back or sideways, causing cough.
Post nasal drip is definitely occuring

Treatments:
Phase one: Flonase nasal spray several weeks along with Albuterol
Phase Two: Added Flovent inhaler, along with course of Z Pack antibiotic (2 weeks)
Phase Three: Protonix 40MG once per day along with Allerx twice per day (3 weeks)
Phase Four: Added Astelin nasal spray and double Protonix dosage (10 days)

Testing:
Normal Chest XRAY
Normal CT Scan Sinus

Pending:
Barium Swallow

So, nothing is helping and the sensations are very troubling. IT is worth noting that I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroidits about one year ago because of active anti thyroid antibodies. My Thyroid function is still good and there are no palpable abnormalities per last exam (3 months ago)

So, I am at a loss as to what to do next assuming the BArium swallow shows nothing. This sounds to me like classic Laryngeal Reflux/Post nasal drip, but the therapies do not help. Am I missing something?
Anyone?

Thanks,
J
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First Helper karebear581
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replied February 15th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Do you have excessive or thick nasal secretions?
Do you often need to cough and vigorously clear your throat after awakening?
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replied February 15th, 2008
hi mandms thanks for reading

I do experience some nasal secretions. The Nasal spray and allerx dried that up pretty good but did not help the throat.

Also, my problem is best in the morning

J
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replied March 11th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Have you noticed some swallowing problems?
Are you suffering from acid reflux?
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replied March 11th, 2008
According to a barium swallow I have acid reflux. PPI's/Zantac have not helped me. If anything I think I have Laryngeal Reflux. I have been getting a feeling of burning and globus in the throat. I do not have any problems swallowing as of yet.

Still trying to figure it all out.
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replied March 12th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I'm sure all of your symptoms are due to acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux can cause swallowing problems, which may result in accumulation of solids or liquids in the throat that may complicate or feel like post-nasal drip.
Less commonly, but GERD may produce symptoms that occur in the throat, like the ones you are experiencing. That is a acid laryngitis, condition that includes hoarseness, dry cough, the sensation of having a lump in the throat, and the need to repeatedly clear the throat.
Laryngospasm (spasm of the throat), throat pain and burning or acid sensation in your throat is caused by acid reflux.
Do you experience occasional hoarseness?
Do you usually get heartburns?
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replied April 27th, 2008
throat problems
I posted other throat problems I had on another e-health forum that I finally got relieved from 2 years ago. NOW I've had a cough for over a year and a half but it's TYPE of cough has changed. Just like you were saying, it seems to produce mucous from the treachea area. I DO NOT cough while I'm sleeping. Earlier I got on inhalers, etc and it helped some and then one day I felt a burning behind my nasal passages and then it turned into a chest cough which NOW is a trachea-type cough. The cough comes on real fast. I've started back on my Nexium and my Nasacort. It's so embarrassing working in an office where everyone's saying "You still have that cough?" Somedays I feel like I need to use my inahaler and then my cough sounds croupy. Anyone got any relief or figured this out yet? I guess I'll start my running back to the docs like I did a few years ago when I guess I had cricopharyngeal spasms after a long coughing bout. Donna
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replied July 26th, 2008
chronic cough/acid reflux
I also have had same symptoms problems. Presently am also doing voice therapy for vocal chords from damage due to cough...hoarseness.
Therapists have given me some idea to help when feel coughing spell coming on, though find clearing throat is more of an issue now.

I understand frustrations at work, testing, etc.
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replied July 26th, 2008
chronic cough/acid reflux
I also have had same symptoms problems. Presently am also doing voice therapy for vocal chords from damage due to cough...hoarseness.
Therapists have given me some idea to help when feel coughing spell coming on, though find clearing throat is more of an issue now.

I understand frustrations at work, testing, etc.
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replied June 18th, 2010
fume inhalation from hot steam : bowl of steaming water containing olbas oil - towel over head, head over bowl, breathe in through nose, out through mouth - keep the towel covering your head and the bowl - no gap to let in air. Do this as long as possible without pause - at least seven minutes - repeat an hour later.. after three or four sessions of this, at night before sleep, the trachia-itis (persistent cough) will cease.
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replied November 3rd, 2010
chronic productive cough
I have a very productive cough and this has been for eight years. I am worse in the mornings and sometimes cough up mucus for an hour. Have tried all kinds of doctors to no avail and also all kinds of medicines. I am constantly clearing my throat of mucus - any help out there?
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replied November 4th, 2010
concerning my chronic productive cough I attended a free seminar last night informing people of the TIF procedure on the esophagas. This is for people with gerd. What I want to know is if my bronchials fill up with musuc and my throat would that classify as gerd or more likely something else?
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replied April 10th, 2011
Acid reflux productive cough
My husband has been dealing with this condition for over a year and got relief after four weeks of Protonix 40mg but after a good month the productive cough and mucus are back stronger. He has gone to his primary doctor and later to an ENT and after various test, including a nasal passage exam and throat culture. Later he was advised to visit a gastrointestinal specialist and went through the Barium capsule test; the doctor confirmed he has acid reflux but that the esophagus and stomach were clear; the medications have not helped; he took Protonix, then Prolasec (which provided a short term relief). He gets is at different times throughout the day and is worse when he drives. The unusual thing is that when he is a passenger he does not cough;as a driver he will be fine for about 15 minutes then the cough starts and he feels very sick and driving becomes very difficult . He has been using a C-pap machine for sleep apnea for 4 years now and I always thought that may be the culprit but the doctors don't agree. His only relief is when he lies down and turns on the C-pap. Hope someone can help as we are exhausting the types of specialist we can see.
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replied April 16th, 2012
I also have this which is related to GERD. I am over weight (slightly) so my first thing to do is lose weight. When I lose a few kilo's symptoms ease. As soon as I put on a few kilo's my symptoms return. Is weight an issue with everyone else?
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replied June 5th, 2012
I would LOVE to hear from "jittery" how everything turned out because I have had those EXACT symptoms for about three months now!!! I've had a clear chest x-ray, steroid inhalers, ENT scope, am currently trying Prilosec for acid reflux, but none of them seem to make much of a difference! Please help!
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replied June 5th, 2012
I would LOVE to hear from "jittery" how everything turned out because I have had those EXACT symptoms for about three months now!!! I've had a clear chest x-ray, steroid inhalers, ENT scope, am currently trying Prilosec for acid reflux, but none of them seem to make much of a difference! Please help!
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replied June 6th, 2012
Experienced User
What causes the cough isn't the acid but the reflux. If you stop the acid, the refluxate (of bile, enzymes and chyme (partially digested food)) can still aspirate into the lungs.

I was on 80mg omeprazole to reduce the acid but the cough was nearly making me pass out two or three times a day and I would have to sit up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night coughing.

I had done all the lifestyle changes to reduce reflux. For me the answer was to have the anti-reflux, Nissen fundoplication wrap operation 3 years ago.

I am now med free. I still have a bit of a residual cough - probably from some residual damage the years of reflux caused - but nothing like what I had.
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replied July 27th, 2012
Holistic approach
About two years ago, I was having terrible coughing issues, 3 antiobiotics, 3 steriods, xray, nothing helped until I started studying what could possibly cause a cough that did not come from fluid in the lungs or nasal drippage - GERD. I started to change the way I eat and started exercising. Nothing overly strenuous because if I worked myself toooo hard, then I started to get worse. For food, I discovered that in order to reduce mucus production, I was going to have to eat mainly a vegetable and fruit diet. I did not cut out all breads, meats, and dairys, but I limited them as much as I possibly could. I researched those catagories to see which ones did not produce as much mucus. I also researched what makes GERD worse. Some fruits you have to be careful of because some of them are more acidic and can make your GERD worse before making it better. If you don't feel like you are getting answers from your drs, try doing what I did and approach it from a holistic approach. Meds often treat the symptoms to allow your body to heal, but they don't always remove the problem. When you make changes to your lifestyle, you have a higher chance of fixing the problem. This of course is my opinion, but it is based off of my experience. Now, the only time I have coughing issues is when I have been a little lax with how I am eating and not getting in enough exercise. I hope this helps.
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replied September 25th, 2012
I'm scared that the mucus will never go away. It appears when I eat, and fills up my trachea, along with the globus sensation, and just about drives me mad. I will need dental work soon, and I'm terrified that having a dentist work on me will be next to impossible, since I can't lean back without getting a terrible choking feeling.

So does it ever get better, or does the mucus stick around even when GERD is under control?
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replied November 8th, 2012
I am 31 and have been coughing for about a year+ now. It's driving me insane. I thought it was sinus related. It just so happens I did have sinus issues so I had the FESS surgery about 3 months ago thinking that would help. The cough and symptoms never REALLY went away. It's actually getting worse again. I'm now suspicious of GERD. I take Claritin and Flonase daily. I still have problems. I'm not overweight but I have terrible eating habits.(fast consumption, fatty foods, and acidic foods) I can breath thru my nose finally but the chest symptoms never went away. Can sinus issues be related to GERD or something like GERD? I don't really have heartburn but I do occassionally take an antacid and/or anti-gas med. I have to get this under control or I'm going to go INSANE! Should I see a gastro doc?
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replied November 9th, 2012
Experienced User
FESS, Claritin, Flonase - it seems you're treating the symptoms not the cause.

There definitely is a link between GERD & your nasal problems.
1. GERD + LPR means you're aspirating acid into your nose & chest where it is doing damage
2. Research reported in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy July/August 2010, "Gastroesophageal reflux disease and chronic sinusitis" concluded, ".These results support the possibility that a neural reflex exists between the esophagus and the paranasal sinuses via the vagus nerve." - Sorry but this site won't let me post a link to it.

You need to treat the cause which is your dietary habits.
Fatty foods need to be reduced. Fat does not dissolve in acid (requiring the bile it meets in the duodenaum) and stays in the stomach longer being churned about and sprayed with more acid which isn't neutralised. Don't worry too much about acidic foods. It's the "acid ash" (what remains in the stomach) that is more important. Even the most acidic foods you put in your mouth are negligible in strength compared to the strength of stomach acid.

Antacids will neutralise the acid but won't stop the reflux. That comes down to lifestyle.

See a gastro doc if you are getting symptoms frequently so you can have an Esophago Gastro Duodenoscopy to ensure refuxed acid hasn't caused any greater harm - eg Barrett's Esophagus, a potential precursor to Esophageal cancer.

BUT eat slower, smaller portions (little and often). Wear loose clothing, don't cramp the stomach after eating by bending. Don't eat for at least three hours before going to bed and raise the bedhead by 6 to 8 inches.
Lose weight, give up smoking (if appropriate), reduce alcohol consumption and REDUCE FAT consumption.
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replied November 28th, 2012
Cough
I have had this problem for about five Months and it is driving me mad . I am also pregnant. I have had a chest x ray which was clear and have had antibiotics and an inhaler which made it worse. I had a coughing fit earlier when I was brushing my teeth and almost choked and was sick again. It is really annoying other people as I am constantly coughing up mucus and it sounds disgusting. Other people think I am a hypocondriac .
it is affecting everything I do. I have made yet another appointment with the Dr but they have no really helped so far. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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