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Dr. James
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Persistent cough more at night when lying down, during sleep

Resolved Question:

Persistent cough more at night when lying down, during sleep and not as persitent when sitting up or moving about. Feeling of chest pain sometimes when coughing.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. James replied 7 years ago.

The common causes of night cough when lying down include:

* GERD: gastroesophageal reflux disease. Most people with GERD do not have the classic reflux symptoms, but can present with night cough.

* Postnasal drainage: Allergic rhinitis and/or chronic sinus problems can cause a postnasal drainage especially when lying down that leads to night cough.

* Asthma: This is a very common cause of night cough. Not all asthma patients wheeze. There is a type of asthma called cough-varient asthma that can produce symptoms like yours.

* Mouth breathing at night that can dry and irritate the throat causing cough.

* Congestive heart failure: patients wake up gasping for air and have a persistant cough.

The first three causes above are the most common out of the list. The chest pain that results from coughing is most likely due to musculoskeletal irritation. Your doctor can prescribe you a trial of antacids to see if symptoms improve. If you have allergies/nsaal congestion, you may benefit from an antihistamine (eg. Claritin) and nasal spray (Flonase, Nasonex) to see if it improves your nighttime cough.

Remember to press the green accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Smile

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