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Nurse Milli, RN
Nurse Milli, RN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4139
Experience:  20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
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I woke up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous. For

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I woke up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous. For the next 30 minutes or so, I had a violent coughing spell that made it hard to breathe. I was also spitting up mucus. I kept thinking I would vomit, but never did. Now my throat is extremely sore, I have a headache and I can't inhale deeply without coughing. My temperature seems normal. Prior to this, I have not had a cold, runny nose or felt bad. I did have an odd taste in my mouth for a couple of days, kind of raw.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Milli, RN replied 7 years ago.

Hi there

This incidence almost sounds like you had a bout with acid reflux and you might have aspirated some of the stomach acid during the event. This would explain the soreness in the throat, and odd taste in the mouth (with no other respiratory symptoms and absence of fever).

At this point, if you are not already on some type of acid reducer, you might could try some Prilosec OTC for a couple of weeks and see if this reduces the acid taste in the mouth and also to see if you cease to have another episode like this.

Of course, try to also avoid foods high in acid, like tomatoes, citrus, and spicey foods. Also, do not eat within 2 hours of lying down.

If you start to develop a fever or start to have new symptoms, you would, of course, need to see your Dr for a more investigative exam.


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Please ask for clarification if needed.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I've been on Prilosec OTC for several years. What would explain my not being able to breathe without coughing?
Expert:  Nurse Milli, RN replied 7 years ago.

Sounds like it's time to possibly go to something stronger that the OTC version then. Possibly something prescription strength like Protonix.

Your inability to breathe without coughing is most likely do to the fact that you might have aspirated some of the acid and has irritated your bronchial tubes/airways. But undoubtedly hydrochloric acid inhaled onto your bronchial tubes will cause inflammation and make you cough when trying to take a deep breath. It is also not uncommon for people with acid reflux to develop Pneumonia after an episode like this, so if you notice fever, shortness of breath, or your cough does not resolve on it's own in a few more days, it might be a good idea to get the cough checked out.

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