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Question:

Chronic cough after surgery

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I have had surgery 7 wks ago. Prior to my surgery, I had no cough, but now, its constantly. Its a dry cough, feels like something tickling my throat. Can't sleep at night. Coughs all during the day. What causes this dry, nagging, cough.


Answer:

I realize how concerned you are about your cough.  Chronic cough is diagnosed after having it present for more than 8 weeks. The most common causes of chronic cough are postnasal drip, asthma and acid reflux which is a frequent symptom of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is treated.
About the relation that you notice with your recent surgery, in my opinion I cannot find a possible link since you don’t specify the type of surgery.
 
According to your medications, Procardia has cough as a side effect and might be also another possibility to consider as well as your history of Apnea which could also produce irritation in your Throat and Larynx that could contribute to your chronic cough too, especially if you snore.
 
I would suggest you to consult your primary care physician for a re evaluation of your current risk factors and for a more detailed study to rule out the possibilities mentioned above, in the meantime you could try taking over the counter cough syrup that don’t contain codeine. I wish you the best.


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