How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask DrRussMD Your Own Question
DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64639
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
DrRussMD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a constant cough ever since having a tracheostomy 14

Customer Question

I have a constant cough ever since having a tracheostomy 14 months ago...I am sometimes able to bring up a small amount of sputum...I cough for so long sometimes I feel extremely light headed and it hurts my head to cough - I end up with really bad headaches, I also cough until I vomitm is this normal? Is there anything I can do about it? No cough medicine works, not honey, I have had a scope and there is no scare tissue...can you please help me it is driving me insane!! thank you, ***** ***** Angela
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Why the tracheostomy
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I had TTP? Renal dialysis and TPE..
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
So this is closed now?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, i was in hospital for about 5 weeks - have been home for 14 months...the cough/tickle in my throat is driving me insane..enough so I only get about 4 - 5 hours sleep (with help from meds) and wake approx 7 - 8 times a night coughing, dry heaving and vomiting..this also happens all day, I am exhausted

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
And has the sputum been cultured
And have you had a recent chest x ray?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My sputum is clear...never cultured and x rays are clear....the cough is in the upper tract, the tickle is in my throat near the trache site but sputum is in the upper tract

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Any sinus difficulties?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I tend to get sinus and infections +++ but this was a previous condition...never had a constant (for the most part) dry cough before
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

r u still there? nothing has come through

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Here are the areas that need to be considered.
CT of the sinuses as in some cases blocked sinuses will produce a hidden chronic infection, post nasal drip, and symptoms never get better until the sinuses are drained.

Culture the sputum although this sounds like it will have a low yield.

Most importantly: many times after an experience such as the one you have, had, plus with the chronic cough putting pressure on the diaphragm and stomach, there is actually GERD, or reflux disease without heartburn. This allows enough acid to wash into the throat to produce chronic mucus and cough. The test for this would be Ph monitoring of the esophagus, or a 3 to 5 week trial of proton pump inhibitor therapy, to see if reducing the acid helps. If not, Ph monitoring would then be essential.

This situation commonly allows a tickle in the throat and a cough to go on and on without resolution.

If you need help outside of your current docs, see a GI specialist for this.

Good luck
let me know if you have further questions
DrRussMD and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok, so is that GORD (we call it over here in Aus) could be helped by something like Somac...I was meant to have a turbenectomies however i fell ill about 2 months after the appt. I am now too afraid to have the surgery even though it is only minor...

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux.
See ENT bout the turbinates...they might not be the problem but this can be examined and you can get a CT of the sinuses.
Yes I believe somac is also used for GERD.

Good luck again