A forum for people who suffer from chronic or persistent coughs to share ideas... these don't have any sort of official approval so you try any of them out at your own risk. I've consigned some of the more unusual ones I received to the Oddities bin on the left. I've also listed very simple remedies separately. If you're a sufferer, good luck, and please report back by commenting on the particular posting if you find success. Or just comment to the most recent posting and I will pick it up.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another radio show ...

I took part in the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 today:  a 10-minute discussion about persistent coughs with a medical expert in the studio and various contributors, including me, via phone and email.

Nothing of any great interest came out of it: the medic listed all the usual causes of chronic cough, and admitted that some people - such as me - leave them scratching their heads in bewilderment.

One woman rang to say that her cough disappeared when she stopped eating bananas - by contrast, I remember someone telling me ages ago that I should eat four bananas a day!

As is often the case with the JV show, it didn't shed any new light on the subject, and he was searching for easy laughs, like the remark about wiring coughers up for electric shock treatment to make them stop.

So, the search for a solution goes on ...


Anonymous said...

Nick, just out of interest, do you see anything on the back of your throat that doesn't look like it should be there? Myself, I found 2 spots on the back of my throat as well as (looks like) a swollen tonsil, which the doctors missed 4 times.

Also, are you bringing up anything with your cough or is it just a dry hacking cough?

My mother said to me that it could be a deep rooted infection, like a virus or something, or it could be a neuropathic cough that you could have.

Anyway, all the best Nick, and I hope you can find the cure for the unexplained cough as soon as possible.


Pete wood said...

I heard this show and was interested for my mother who has had a cough for about 8 years. As you said, no real information but did make her feel a little better that its not just her. She was told today that she does not have cancerous growths on her voice box, again a little light relief but the biopsy has agitated the cough and the wounds cant heal because of the increased cough!! the doctor is useless, so I want to ask if you have tried acupuncture and what you thought? It could be a psychosomatic condition in mum as it started shortly after dad's stroke? Nerves or stress??? I would live to puase this just long enough even for the biopsy wound to heal.

NickP said...

Stuart, I don't think there's anything that shouldn't be there. I had a camera up my nose and into my voice box last week (that's about the 6th time!) and they didn't report anything. It's a bit of a hacking cough most of the time...

Pete, I have tried acupuncture a long time ago and it didn't do anything to help. The guy also recommended Chinese herbal medicine, but again ... no change. There could be something in your mum reacting to stress in that way. I'm about to have a dabble with "mindful meditation" which is the latest "new" thing, but I've no great hope that it will effect the cough - just make me more calm about it all, maybe?

Stuart said...

Well, I went to see the ENT today, and it felt really weird having the tube up my nose and down my throat. I'm really miffed that no cause has been found for the cough.
he even said that the spots/bit of tonsil wasn't even a cause for it.

I might try some of the stuff that has been mentioned on the blog, but I'm no longer optomistic about it that it will work.

I got in the back of my mind to try 2 things which might work: either a Chiropractor or seeing a spiritual healer.

I'm gonna try mixing different stuff, in hope that I can find the cure for it, you never know what it could be!

Also, I forgot to ask: when are the coughing fits at it's worst? Mine are early in the morning. And how long do the fits last? Mine can last for about 10 minutes when it gets really bad.

NickP said...

Stuart, my cough is ALWAYS bad in the morning, and it lasts usually at least an hour, by the end of which, of course, I'm knackered.

On someone's recommendation I went to see a chiropractor, but he couldn't do anything for me.

I'm a week into the mindful meditation, and I'm combining that with trying elements of the Buteyko method (see post further down from Caroline) - I have some hope that they might get me somewhere, but I've tried so many things now I don't expect too much.

Not got much faith, pardon the pun, in healers...

Stuart said...

Nick, I read down the blog and found that you had been previously diagnosed with sub pleural fibrosis, so how did the treatment go?

Well, I've tried mixing a few things in hope that I could find something to get rid of the cough, but still a no-go.

With what Al has previously said, I may try using the raw ginger in a drink to see if that helps - If I know where that is.

For all I know, this cough of mine could be caused either by a lack of exercise, anorexia, a virus, or very tight joints in my neck. It could either be Neuropathic or very hyper-sensitive, but now I feel it in my chest. I might try and arrange an appointment with a Chiropractor and see if it has any effect on the cough.

Kirsti said...

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (must be organic) mixed with Honey. Please visit the amazing site - earthclinic.com

Hope this helps.
Warmest regards,

caroline said...

Hi Nick,
I'm caroine, and I have had my cough for 10 years.
just a couple of things, I have rather a low peak flow, although a steroid inhaler seems to make no difference. I have just ordered a thing called '' powerbreathe'' to help strengthen respirtory muscles, and also am trying to jog for a while 4 times a week - even though I hate it!! I am desperate to find a cure like you.
I guess you have tried the PPi's ?
I haven't, but I'm not too willing because they have other health consequences. my cough is worse when I lay down, sometimes there is mucus to cough up / clear, other times its a dry cough.
keep blogging, and I'll let you know how I get on with the powerbreathe.
best wishes
best wishes, and keep blogging - one day we must crack this !

Stuart said...

It's been 7 months now since I first got this cough, and I think I've noticed that it has gotten drastically worse, and I'm at that stage where I am really panicking in case it is something life-threatening, because I've had a lot of ailments over the last month. Stomach pains, the usual pain in my chest, even a feeling of being unwell all of the time.

I am going back to the doctor's tomorrow to check to see that my breathing isn't crackly, and in June, I am going back to the hospital for a CT scan on my chest and sinuses, instead of an X-ray, because they don't pick up the hidden problems. If all is well, I can relax. I have got a massive fear of IPF, because there is no cure for it.

JR said...

Hi Nick, my cough dates from 1996 (following a winter chest infection). These days it isn't as constant as yours, except in the few weeks following another infection, but even in the quieter weeks,a full-on splutter-fest is frequent after food (especially hot or aromatic food) along with random outbursts.
I can offer no remedies but have noticed that I rarely cough while 'performing' a lecture (another university lecturer.)The same isn't true of less adrenaline-charged small classes. Inspired a bit by this, I wondered whether voice control techniques could help, and joined an all-comers choir. Not as effective - perhaps rehearsals just aren't scary enough to trigger an adrenaline rush.
My final observation is one you won't want to follow up - I recently had a serious operation, and found that a heavy dose of anaesthesia followed by a lot of oxygen worked wonders for all of five days. Wonder if the oxygen would do it alone?

Anonymous said...

Ive had the same cough for 2 years now. i was diagnosed with GERD and post nasal drip. After trying every treatment going (and rattling due to all the pills) I have finally found out that stress was the trigger. I found that the full-on fitful coughs happened every time I was put in a stressful situation. Sometimes I wasnt even aware that I was stressed but looking back I know that I was simply trying to tolerates certain situations. I have just got back home from the hospital where my consultant has agreed to leave me for 8 weeks to see how I am coping now that I have alleviated a lot of my triggers. Time will tell if it works. Incidently, the way it works is that stress causing the stomach to clench up and reflux - the acid hits the vocal chords and sinuses and causes post nasal drip which adds to the cough as the acid goes into the lungs and causes mucus production. The lungs then try to expel the mucus. Its a double whammy of causation. I will post back in 8 weeks and let you know if its working. I have only had a violent coughing fit once in 12 days and it was at the hospital where I was stressed!!

Bert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bert said...


Hello Nick, my mother has been coughing for about 6 years already and the doctor told us is due to acid reflex.

She got better for almost a year after she start taking this medicine call omeprazole and was later on discharged.

These few days her cough seem to start getting worse again even though she is still taking the medicine.

I highly suspect is due to bad quality of air that irritate her throat thus I am thinking of buying a air-purifier for her.

Have you tried air-purifier to clean up the air and does it helped?

Varun said...


I am from India and I have seem my dad having these persistent cough attacks since last 30 odd years(my age).

Like you he has also tried multiple things, but with little success.

It would be great if you can tell me anything that would help in easing the outflow of cough, as these attacks take a lot out of him and have not seen him sleeping peacefully since ages.

Your responses would be highly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Laura, my husband is the one with a problem with coughing but I'm concerned because he has AAA and not sure if the strain with have a bad effect on it! Just to add anther silly cure to the list, my Mam would swear by Vick under the feet. There has been some research done on this in, where else but America. Not aware of results, or not interested enough to find out. My husband expects me to find all the answers because I am a nurse!!!!!

NickP said...

Heard of the Vick treatment, and tried it briefly, but it didn't work for me.....

Sheila said...

I quit eating wheat products and my chronic cough of 20plus years disappeared!!,!,!,

susan latsis said...

I been coughing for 8 years and no doctor has helped me at all am tired of it. I no longer have a life its work and home i tired two asthma doctors a lung doctor had tubes doen my throat cat scams and my blood work then then anyone. I know am tired i feel like its a battle I can't win,.

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