QUESTION: For the past two months or so I've had a hacking cough and I went in to see my doctor's PA and she ruled out strep and mono and lab cultures came back normal. She had a technical name for what she thought I had but said it was likely environment and prescribed Triamcinolone acetonide nasal spray. It seems to help early on in the day but I still cough uncontrollably at some point everyday. Ricola and stepping outside helps. I am 34 and have never had issues like this. Low humidity has not been an issue till now. Have you heard of issues like this and with age does a person have more things that tickle the throat? Know of any drugs that interact badly or interfere with the affectiveness of the spray like cough suppressant pills etc?
ANSWER: James I apologize for the delay. I have had some health problems of my own & spent two days in hospital.
The nasal spray you describe is Flonase and it doesn't work immediately but rather takes 1-2 weeks to begin working. It works directly on the mucus membranes of the nasal cavity. It should have helped by now. I am more concerned about your continuous dry cough. The Flonase should have helped w that by now. I am thinking you should ask your dr to check you for an early bronchial infection. She could listen to your lungs & order a simple chest X-ray. Just to rule out an early case of bronchitis. Often post-nasal drip can cause an upper respiratory infection, so since you continue with a troublesome tickling cough it deserves attention. Just because it sounds nonserious it could still represent a problem. Not to scare you at all...! Any dr should know a continuous cough or tickle should NOT be ignored. Until you can see the dr you can use over counter cough suppressant with DM (look for dextromethorphan in the ingredients). That will give you some non-drowsy relief. There are many things which can cause a mild cough or tickle-- anything from seasonal allergies to small nodules or growths in the throat. Not trying to alarm you, just don't want a potentially serious problem ignored. So even though we are entering "seasonal allergy time" don't allow your dr or PA to blame that. A cough lasting this long is not to be ignored in a healthy 34-yr old!
I do hope I've helped. In healthcare be your own advocate! That's what I'm here for too, so don't hesitate to email me back if things don't start getting better. Good health to you James. Again many apologies for the unavoidable delay.
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QUESTION: The cough has improved a lot. I still sometimes cough but no longer wake up from it. And it doesn't burn anymore when I do. Should I assume people my age have more trouble maintaining throat moisture in dry weather?
ANSWER: James it could be that the Flonase is kicking in. I think I failed to mention that the Flonase is a steroid, meaning that it works topically in the nasal membranes to cut down on the inflammatory response. It is mild enough of a steroid dose to not be problematic with all the side effects one hears about "steroids"--in other words all steroids are not harmful. I'm glad to hear your symptoms have improved; further, what I meant by "someone of your age" is that you are actually YOUNG! However keep in mind that just because it's a cough or a tickle, if any symptom continues for an uncomfortable length of time it cannot, or should not be ignored. Even a young healthy man like yourself can develop polyps or growths in the throat, this is not to mention more serious upper respiratory pathology such as growths, either benign or more serious like tumors, so never ignore what seems like a simple health concern. I wish you good health, and continue to stay on top of what your body is telling you. I am always here if you need someone to run something by.
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QUESTION: Well last night I did start coughing in the middle of the night and needed a Ricola to cool it down. I think I may tend to be sensitive to symptoms since turning 30 and worry my doctor thinks I'm a hypochondriac because ever little thing worries me. When Flonase is affective do the improved results tend to last afterwards? Does Flonase help with Bronchitis symptoms if that were the case?
James, I do apologize because I absolutely did not see your other follow-up question. Flonase works on the sinus, nose and mucous membranes of the sinus tract, and therefore will not help cough or bronchitis UNLESS the cough is directly caused by post nasal drip, as I think I explained before. As always, if you have a cough that last for several months, even if it is a dry cough, please have a doctor listen to your lungs and at least give you a simple chest x-ray to rule out any kind of problem, like a small lesion or a small infection. I hope this answers your question, and I'm very sorry because you did have several follow-up questions, and for some reason I missed your last one . So sorry, but I hope I've helped.