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Nurse Milli, RN
Nurse Milli, RN, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
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I have had a tickly cough for over 18 months now. Just out

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I have had a tickly cough for over 18 months now. Just out of the blue & mainly during the night it starts. I have this for about 3-4 weeks then about the same time with nothing, but it comes back & is affecting my sleep. I have been to an ENT specialist who ruled out anything sinister. I am not allergic to anything according to test but there is something not right. Can anyone help. Medication from my doctor has included new inhalers (I haveCOPD) and tablets for reflux none of which has helped.

Hi there


The top common causes for a night time cough like this is asthma, GERD (or acid reflux as you stated), post nasal drainage (drainage from the sinus going down the back of the throat), and certain medications (including certain blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril).


If sips of water was helping at one point, this is very consistant with acid reflux. I know you have tried tablet for reflux, but don't give up just yet. There are many on the market and some take 2-3 weeks to really fully become therapeutic.


Anything that interferes with our sleep is annoying and after 18 months, I can see where you are needing answers. Sounds like your ENT was on the right track and with the new inhalers for your COPD. And remember, COPD is typically driven by a combination of mucus hypersecretion and airway inflammation....all which can exacerbate at night. You did not mention if you were on any supplmental oxygen for your COPD, but if so, humidifying your O2 will also help with the tickle.



Hope this helps





Please ask for clarification if needed.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What type of reflux medicine due you recommend. MY COPD does not trouble me at all other than getting out of breath walking uphill I do not notice any trouble at night and I sleep with the window open so I get air

Ok, glad to hear the COPD is not out of control or bothering you to badly.


Protonix is a good medication for acid reflux, and so is Aciphex. Of course, you have the Nexium, Prilosec, and the other the counter H2 antogonist like Pepcid and Zantac, but with this, I would shoot for something like Protonix if your Dr is in agreement.


Also, glad to hear all other test were clear!







Please ask for clarification if needed.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Are hese available in Gt Britain? And do I need a doctors prescription for Protonix. Why does it only happen sometimes

Yes, they should be available in Great Brittain.


Yes, these are prescription meds.


Acid reflux occurs because of incompetence of the lower esophageal times it will allow stomach contents to come back up into your esophagus and cause the cough. It does not stay 'open' all the time (or possibly everything you eat would come back up when you do things such as bend over), but rather gets 'relaxed' at times. When it does, you could be sensing it and having the urge to cough. Lying down often makes GERD worse...that is why most GERD (or acid reflux) patients elevate themselves on 2 or 3 pillows at night or elevate the head of the bed.






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