My wifes chronic cough has plagued her for years without much relief until we stumbled onto an answer that helps her manage it. Not long after we married, my wife developed a chronic cough. This cough is so frequent and violent that its painful. She could have an attack at anytime and sometime it causes both of us to lose sleep. She takes daily doses of prescribed medicine to try to control it but they dont always work. As we understand whats happening were finding other ways to treat the condition. So medicine is just one way we treat my wifes chronic cough.
Anytime someone gets sick you can just about count on their mother telling them what they need to do to get well. Well, that was also the case with my wife and her mother. Unfortunately, Castor Oil is my dear, sweet, mother-in-laws answer to whatever ails you. Needless to say that didnt happen. After trying over-the-counter medications, my wife decided to see a doctor about the problem.
Surgery to Cut It Out
Not long after we got married, my wife had her tonsils removed to try to stop the cough but it didnt help. Surgery was a last resort but the coughing was serious and painful enough to go to that extreme. Having her tonsils removed didnt stop the cough but it was worth a try in case it did work.
Dont Cough for Me
After questioning my wife about the problem and doing a thorough physical exam, our family doctor prescribed a combination of over-the-counter medicines and prescription medication. They were stepping-stones to stronger drugs, all of which did not work. Eventually, our family doctor ran out of options and referred my wife to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.
See a Specialist
The Ear, Nose and Throat specialist went through the same medication routine as our family doctor had with little to no results. Surgery didn’t seem to be the answer either. In both cases they failed to find the root cause of my wifes chronic cough. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see a specialist if your doctor refers you to one. Each situation is different and a specialist might make the proper diagnosis and and prescribe a treatment to end your chronic cough.
Root Causes and Cures
Both doctors suspected an allergy and treated the cough accordingly without much success. All of this is serving to narrow down the root cause of the problem. As I said, the doctors suspected an allergic reaction but they never found an allergen. This caused me to think about what else could be causing this cough. I began to look at the bigger picture of our environment and noticed several things that I think are causing my wifes cough.
My wife is a small person and her neck and windpipe are smaller than most. All of her siblings are relatively fit people and she may have been the smallest of them. So heredity may be playing a part in her problem. I think this could be part of the problem because when she coughs, its starts as if she’s choking on something even though she may not be eating or drinking. Her small windpipe may be causing her to cough due to irritation.
Anxiety has been known to be a contributing factor to many illnesses and I believe its a factor in this one also. We have children, a grandchild, jobs, a home, cars and many other things that are known stress factors. My wife has an A type personality that wont allow her to relax so shes either been keyed up, is keyed up now, or will be keyed up in the future. Is it possible to be allergic to a personality trait?
Its Not the Heat Its the Humidity
Im not saying my wife sleeps with her mouth open, but if she did, I think it causes her throat to get dry and irritated, causing her to cough. So I believe she starts coughing because her throat gets dry because she breathes through her mouth. I lean more toward this as a root cause for the coughing because when it gets cold and dry, she coughs more often. Cold, Winter weather and air conditioning in Summer seem to dry out the air and agitate the condition. It seems to me that there could be several factors at work here.
Turn Up the Humidity
Ironically, we stumbled onto something thats given some relief when our grandson came down with a cold. We drug out an old humidifier and set it up to help him breath. Soon we realized that my wife wasnt coughing as much. So I kept running the humidifier at night and things were better when I did. Hopefully, this wont be a long-term solution and we find and fix the root cause or causes for the cough.
Also see: How Can I Relieve Sinus Congestion
One or more of these root causes may be the key to ending your chronic cough. Remember to take stock of your environment to try to figure out what the root causes of your chronic cough are. You should also keep your doctors appointment and follow your doctors orders. You know your body and your environment better than anyone so you have the big picture of your health. Use that knowledge to help your doctor diagnose and treat your chronic cough.