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Hi Doctor, whenever i have a cold/cough, it will always lead to spasmodic cough, kind of similar to a whooping cough as my body normal reaction to cough out the irritant in my thoart.
I can feel a tiny irritant somewhere in my throat and my body tries too hard to cough it out till i am out of breath, whole face turn red, tears coming out, and gasping for air. To the extend that i don’t dare to breathe too as the moment i breath, the cough will start all over again.
Please help, is this similar to an asthma attack? i don’t have asthma, no one in my family has asthma too, but when my elder sister got cough too, she face the same problem as me.
Thank you for your question. Coughing during or after a cold is often due to postnasal drip (nose mucous dripping down the back of the throat, causing irritation and inflammation of the voice box).
The voice box (medical term is larynx) is a very sensitive organ. Once inflamed, minor irritations of the voicebox (e.g from mucous, phelgm, saliva and in some people even a breath of dirty/cold air) will easily trigger a cough reflex.
It takes time for the inflammation of the voice box to settle and often, treating conditions of the nose and acid reflux from the stomach may help.
Without taking a full history and performing a physical examination, it is difficult to determine the cause of your cough. Cough is a symptom and there are many potential causes ranging from problems in the lungs, throat, stomach to side effects of medications and smoking.
It would be best to consult an ENT specialist first and a nasoendoscopy (small scope passed through the nose and down to the level of the voice box) is likely required. This procedure is relatively painless and is performed under local anaesthesia in the clinic.
If you also experience wheezing and difficulty breathing in addition to cough, which are symptoms suggestive of Asthma, your ENT specialist may refer you to a Respiratory Physician for further assessment.
Hope this helps.
Dr Gan Eng Cern
Consultant ENT Surgeon
Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre