Asthma and Post Nasal Drip

Patient

Q: My husband, a relatively healthy 35-year-old, has asthma and as long as I have known him gets these bad attacks where his inhaler will not help him. It seems to start with him coughing up a bunch of post nasal drip and mucus and then he will gag until he sometimes vomits. It is worse when he has indigestion. I am starting to worry about this, he is stubborn, doesn't want to go back to see his doctor. Only medication he uses is a rescue inhaler, and he is a social smoker (5 cigarettes a week at most). Any advice you can give us? Or is this maybe not even related to asthma?

Doctor

A:   From your description it seems that these cough bouts may not be due to asthma but it could be the post nasal drip which irritates his throat and triggers cough and may end up in vomiting. You need to determine the cause of the post nasal drip to treat his recurrent episodes of cough. If it is caused by cold or allergies, he may try over-the-counter allergy medications that contain antihistamines and eliminate the excess mucous. Also available are the over-the-counter nasal sprays, that can be used for the treatment of the post nasal drip. Increased water intake would help thin out the mucous, preventing buildup in the throat and nose and lessening the likelihood of coughing. Gargles with salt solution mixture can cleanse the back of the throat and suck on lozenges would lubricate the throat, alleviating itchiness and irritation that leads to coughing.

From your description it seems that these cough bouts may not be due to asthma but it could be the post nasal drip which irritates his throat and triggers cough and may end up in vomiting. You need to determine the cause of the post nasal drip to treat his recurrent episodes of cough. If it is caused by cold or allergies, he may try over-the-counter allergy medications that contain antihistamines and eliminate the excess mucous. Also available are the over-the-counter nasal sprays, that can be used for the treatment of the post nasal drip. Increased water intake would help thin out the mucous, preventing buildup in the throat and nose and lessening the likelihood of coughing. Gargles with salt solution mixture can cleanse the back of the throat and suck on lozenges would lubricate the throat, alleviating itchiness and irritation that leads to coughing.


 

Related Q&A

Q: Need prescription refill, i ran out of my proair inhaler and need a new one, the weather has made my chest extra tigh...

Q: My chest feels like someone is pushing right in the middle. It hurts and I'm finding it painful to breathe. This has ...

Q: I wake up not being able to breath and i have to kinda gasp for air and afterward i have a tightness in my chest plea...

Q: I have asthma since childhood and using medicines since long time. Until recently i have no issues with my asthma and...

Q: I have a chronic cough. Before I start the cough my back gets really itchy. Every time. And then I need an inhaler....

MOST DOCTOR RECOMMENDATIONS
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews