Need help with persistent, disruptive dry cough (also posted in allergy forum) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-16-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been struggling with this with my dd (5) for a year now.  In October 2009, she developed a dry cough following a cold.  It lasted for about three months and then went away.  It came back in March or April of this year (again following a cold) and was more severe this time.  It got so bad in May that she would be coughing every 10 seconds for several hours at a time.  It was becoming disruptive at school and in church.  I took her into the doctor, who thought it was possibly asthma.  They put her on an inhaler.  It did nothing.  In June, they put her on some Singulair.  Within a few weeks, it was totally cleared up.  Well, about a month ago, in October, it came back.  She has been on the Singulair for almost a month now and it is not clearing up.


I am so, so frustrated with this.  If it were just an occasional cough I would not worry about it.  But the fact that it is becoming disruptive to her life makes me really concerned and sad for her (this is why I was willing to try the medications).  I think she senses my frustration and is feeling bad about it.  I have tried to coach her on making it more of a "clearing your throat" kind of cough rather than the big, open-mouthed loud cough.  So her sensing my frustration is making her sad and frustrated.  Argh!


It is a dry cough that basically sounds fake.  It has always started following a cold.  It has never once woken her up at night, but during the day there will be an hour or two that go by where she barely coughs at all and then an hour or two where she is coughing every 20 seconds or so. 


Could it be due to allergies (this is what the doctor currently thinks)?  We have had a hard freeze this year so I am skeptical that it is an outdoor allergy.  What kind of indoor allergy flares up in the fall and spring?  Could it be that she gets a severe case of postnasal drip following a cold and that is what is causing it?  Could it be a habit cough that forms after coughing from a cold? 


What would you recommend?  I am open to conventional, natural, or homeopathic remedies at this point.


I also need recommendations on how not to get so frustrated and irritated with the cough.  I know it sounds silly, but it has caused a strain between us.  I'll be reading to her at night and just want to get her to sleep so that I don't have to listen to it anymore :(.  How can I mentally calm myself about it and just tune it out?


Sorry so long.  I would appreciate any recommendations.

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#2 of 3 Old 11-17-2010, 12:05 PM
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I couldn't read and not post.  My oldest son has a persistent dry cough as well.  He first had it when he was 7 and it lasted for about 6 months. It followed a hard cold. He was on singulair for a bit too, but it didn't work. I took him off of it and his cough went away a few months later in the summertime. 


This summer (he's 11 now), he had walking pneumonia in the beginning of August. He had a round of antibiotics for that, but the cough persisted. It turned from a chunky, productive cough into that same old dry cough. He still has it.  I've taken him to the doctor several times and he even had a chest x-ray to make sure his lungs had cleared.  They had. This time he was given a nasal spray and the doctor seemed to think it was allergies. He had to stay on the spray until the first hard frost. He didn't feel the spray was helping, so he went off of it with my blessing, because it really didn't seem to help. Now that we've had a hard frost, his cough does seem to have minimized a bit. He still coughs randomly throughout the day, but he seldom has a long coughing spell.  He did have one last night that lasted for about two hours.


I, too, get frustrated with it, so I know exactly how you feel. I was waiting for him to fall asleep last night so it would stop - lol. He never coughs when he's asleep. Sometimes I give him cough syrup, which I don't typically use, but it doesn't help.  


One thing that we've done that he and I both think helps:  He takes cod liver oil regularly.  It takes a few days to have an affect, but it seems to help. When he forgets to take it for several days in a row, the coughing seems to get worse.


His coughing does finally seem to be tapering off. If it follows the same pattern as last time, he may have two more months of it gradually going away. I hope you find a solution.  I know how frustrating it is. 


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#3 of 3 Old 11-17-2010, 12:22 PM
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I also wanted to add that he doesn't seem to cough when he's running around outside playing.  The more I can get him outdoors, the less he seems to cough. I don't know if that means it's an indoor allergen or what, but it helps.

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