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For the past 5 weeks I have had a chest rattle cough. There…

Customer Question
Hi. For the past 5 weeks...
Hi.
For the past 5 weeks I have had a chest rattle cough. There has been phlegm and a bit of nose and ear congestion.
I was sent for an x ray that came back clear on the left side but they didn’t do right hand side.
There are no other symptoms. Maybe a bit of tirednesS.
Is this something I should worry about?
On a side note I had a one night stand 6 weeks ago. Is this chest cough a symptom of any type of primary HIV infection?? Sorry I am a worrier.
Thank you
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: HIV and AIDS
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10/4/2017
HIV and AIDS Expert: Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor replied 8 months ago
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 38,429
Experience: MBBS MS. Post doctoral fellowship in Sports Medicine. General surgeon and sports medicine specialist
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Welcome to Just Answer.
Answers here are for education and information.
I will respond shortly with an answer, or further information request.

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HIV and AIDS Expert: Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor replied 8 months ago

Chest x-rays are done for both the sides. So I am sure your both the sides are normal.

These symptoms do not indicate primary HIV or seroconversion.

These can be due to bronchitis or acid reflux or sinusitis.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

Thanks for using Just Answer.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hi doctor.
Why would it last 5 weeks though and every time I breath out my chest rattles and I have to cough up phlegm?
Is it normal for a cough to last this long?
HIV and AIDS Expert: Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor replied 8 months ago

Yes, this is not uncommon for cough to last so long.

The diagnostic and management protocol for the chronic cough is as following;

1) we will do a chest x-ray first; which has been done for you and is normal

2) pulmonary function tests or spirometry is the second step

3) starting of empiric therapy for postnasal drip, asthma, or gastroesophageal reflux. The GERD can be sometimes uncontrolled despite the medications and this will need further evaluation in the form of esophageal manometry (food pipe pressure study) and pH study of the food pipe (esophagus).

4) methacholine challenge testing to evaluate for airway hyperreactivity; done for the bronchospasm / bronchial asthma.

5) sputum or phlegm examination for eosinophils or empiric trial of corticosteroids for eosinophilic bronchitis.

If despite these measures, cough persists we would consider further investigations like esophagoscopy, 24-hour pH probe monitoring, high-resolution chest CT, or bronchoscopy.

The common causes of chronic cough are postnasal drip (also called upper airway cough syndrome), asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These three causes are responsible for up to 90 percent of all cases of chronic cough. Less common causes include infections, medications, and chronic lung diseases. Another common cause of chronic cough is nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis.

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HIV and AIDS Expert: Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor replied 8 months ago

Was this information helpful to you? I would be glad to answer any further questions.

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