Question:

What causes the tickle in your lungs when you have a chest cough?

Answer:

The most common causes of a tickle in your lungs are esophageal reflux, post-nasal drip, medications (ACE inhibitors), asthma, and vocal cord dysfunction. Many people with cough that originate after whooping cough can have lingering cough for months.

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chest cough

Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a condition that affects the vocal folds, commonly referred to as the vocal cords, which is characterized by full or partial vocal fold closure that usually occurs during inhalation for short periods of time; however, it can occur during both inhalation and exhalation. This closure may cause airflow obstruction; however, it rarely results in reduction of oxygen saturation.

Symptoms can include shortness of breath dyspnea, wheezing, coughing, tightness in the throat, skin discoloration due to oxygen deprivation, noise during inhalation stridor, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. The differential diagnosis for Vocal Cord Dysfunction, also referred to as paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) and paradoxical vocal cord movement (PVCM), includes vocal fold swelling from allergy, asthma, or some sort of obstruction of the vocal folds or throat area that may cause breathing difficulty. Anyone suspecting this condition should be evaluated by a physician and the vocal folds (voice box) should be looked at to rule out any sort of obstruction that may create difficulty breathing.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), gastric reflux disease, or acid reflux disease is a chronic symptom of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus.

GERD is usually caused by changes in the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, including abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed, impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatal hernia. These changes may be permanent or temporary.

cough

Pertussis — commonly called whooping cough (/ˈhpɪŋ kɒf/ or /ˈhwpɪŋ kɒf/) — is a highly contagious bacterial disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. In some countries, this disease is called the 100 days' cough or cough of 100 days.

Symptoms are initially mild, and then develop into severe coughing fits, which produce the namesake high-pitched "whoop" sound in infected babies and children when they inhale air after coughing. The coughing stage lasts approximately six weeks before subsiding.

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Post-nasal drip (PND, also termed upper airway cough syndrome, UACS, or post nasal drip syndrome, PNDS), occurs when excessive mucus is produced by the nasal mucosa. The excess mucus accumulates in the throat or back of the nose. It is caused by rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or by a disorder of swallowing (such as an esophageal motility disorder). It is frequently caused by an allergy, which may be seasonal or persistent throughout the year.]medical citation needed[

However, other researchers argue that mucus dripping down the back of the throat from the nasal cavity is a normal physiologic process that occurs in healthy individuals. Post nasal drip syndrome as a concept has been challenged due to a lack of an accepted definition, a lack of any pathologic tissue changes and no available biochemical tests. The term has been described as a "pseudo-syndrome" (i.e. not a real medical condition) which serves as a catch-all, waste basket term that is unhelpful.

Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a condition that affects the vocal folds, commonly referred to as the vocal cords, which is characterized by full or partial vocal fold closure that usually occurs during inhalation for short periods of time; however, it can occur during both inhalation and exhalation. This closure may cause airflow obstruction; however, it rarely results in reduction of oxygen saturation.

Symptoms can include shortness of breath dyspnea, wheezing, coughing, tightness in the throat, skin discoloration due to oxygen deprivation, noise during inhalation stridor, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. The differential diagnosis for Vocal Cord Dysfunction, also referred to as paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) and paradoxical vocal cord movement (PVCM), includes vocal fold swelling from allergy, asthma, or some sort of obstruction of the vocal folds or throat area that may cause breathing difficulty. Anyone suspecting this condition should be evaluated by a physician and the vocal folds (voice box) should be looked at to rule out any sort of obstruction that may create difficulty breathing.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), gastric reflux disease, or acid reflux disease is a chronic symptom of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus.

GERD is usually caused by changes in the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, including abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed, impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatal hernia. These changes may be permanent or temporary.

A post-viral cough is a lingering cough that follows a viral respiratory tract infection, such as a common cold or flu, and lasting up to eight weeks. Post-viral cough is a clinically recognized condition represented within the European medical literature. Patients usually experience repeated episodes of post-viral cough. The heightened sensitivity in the respiratory tract is demonstrated by inhalation cough challenge.

One possible cause for post-viral cough is that the receptors that are responsible for stimulating the cough during the respiratory tract infection are up-regulated by respiratory tract infection and continue to stimulate after the virus has disappeared.

A cough medicine (or linctus, when in syrup form) is a medicinal drug used in an attempt to treat coughing and related conditions. For dry coughs, treatment with cough suppressants (antitussives) may be attempted to suppress the body's urge to cough. However, in productive coughs (coughs that produce phlegm), treatment is instead attempted with expectorants (typically guaifenesin, in most commercial medications) in an attempt to loosen mucus from the respiratory tract.

There is no good evidence for or against the use of these medications in those with a cough. Even though they are used by 10% of American children weekly, they are not recommended in children 6 years of age or younger because of lack of evidence showing effect and concerns of harm.

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