Chronic cough, constant need to clear my throat..

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Hi everyone.. I have a constant cough that mostly produces phlegm for about 4 years now.  I also have what I can only describe as post nasal drip?  I have the constant need to clear my throat all day long because of mucus draining down my throat.  I am 37 years old and have smoked since I was 13.  Does this sound like bronchitis?  Or am I too young yet?  I'm just not sure of the symptoms of bronchitis.  I seem to be able to breath good and my oxygen level is 99%.. I think that is what it's called anyway.  I do happen to get short of breath easily when I am doing cardio excersices though, which I used to be able to handle.  What are the symptoms of things such as bronchitis, emphysema, copd..ect.  I'm at the point where I'm just very nervous and scared, but I just can't seem to stop smoking.  I smoke 10 ciggerettes a day and have been trying to cut down, but I just can't seem to do it.  Should I be scared here, or perhaps it's just allergy's, that I never knew I had?  Any advice would be appreciated.. Thank you in advance..

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi ,My advise is to buy yourself an e cig & also cut down on ciggies.Please get yourself checked out.For your own good regards Amanda

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advise.  I actually bought 5 e-ciggs that I have already.  I guess it's time to start using them instead... 

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  • Posted

    Hi you need to stop smoking straight away.  I smoked heavily for 44 years and triggered off asthma and it caused copd too 9 years ago.  I was warned again and again that I was someone who wasn't going to get away with it but didn't stop.  I had a chronic and constant deep phlegmy cough for many years which just got worse and worse over time.  I stopped smoking 3 months ago and I feel so much better.  My cough has virtually gone,  I can walk much faster and further than before and my appearance is better. 

    I am very fortunately that my copd is still at the early stages and I want to keep it that way.  There is a brilliant quit site on Health Unlocked so have a google.  I lurked there for a couple of months before plucking up the willpower and courage to stop.  I am using patches and the inhalator (both from the doctor).  The cravings aren't too strong usually now and I am getting there. 

    Stop now and give yourself much less chance of developing copd and the chance to have a healthy and long life  x

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your advice.  It definitely sinks in better when I hear other peoples story.  I'm definitely more nervous now, your symptoms sound very similar to mine.  I have everything I need here at home already.. e-ciggs, patches and nicorette gum.  I don't even like smoking anymore.  I don't understand why it's so hard to quit something I hate so much.  I do feel more encouraged to give it another chance now though and will check out the site you recommended also.  It's also encouraging to hear how much better you feel, now that you stopped smoking.   I hope you continue to keep getting stronger and best wishes on your journey..  Thank you!

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    • Posted

      Hi hypercat - "stopped smoking 3 months ago"

      ?You have been writing on COPD for a very long time, and your comments caught my eye today. It therefore suggests that by quitting the habit you have turned your condition around to some extent. I'd be pleased to hear how you get on.

      sweetmelissa - Unfortunately, there is only one method of kicking the nicotine habit, hard as it is. By doing so you are almost certain to have a longer lifespan. Hardly a helpful comment, I know. 

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    • Posted

      Hi David you are right I have.  I have either mild or very high moderate copd - not sure and depends which criteria you follow.   My lung function is in the mid 70's and has remained stable since my diagnosis 9 years ago.  I appreciate how lucky I am because smoking can cause the disease to accelerate so I must have some good genes as well as bad.

      Even though my copd was in the early stages because I was still smoking I had some more severe symptoms for example not being able to keep up with my peers on the flat,  being very sob walking.  The doctors and nurses told me smoking was the cause of these but I poohooed it as you do and blamed it on my copd only.

      I mainly stopped on 25th July this year (cut down from 25 a day to 3 a day) and have been stopped completely for around 6 weeks now.  I was a smoker who coughed continuously when smoking, compared to most who cough most when stopping, but my cough virtually went after a few weeks.  I still cough a bit but not the deep bunged up phlegmy cough of before. 

      After about a week of cutting down to 3 a day I found I could walk up hills without being very sob and walk on the flat at a much faster pace.  I can breathe much better and my symptoms now are consistent with my copd levels.  People have told me my appearance has improved a lot and my oxygen levels instead of being in the early 90's are showing late 90's as the oxygen in my blood increased.

      Now I am not saying it is easy and I am still using patches and the inhalator but I don't want to be a smoker anymore and the positive results are very encouraging.  Obviously copd is a progressive disease so the damage is irreversible but my body has more oxygen to use now so finding life a lot easier.

      I hope this answers your questions.  x. 

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Melissa

    Stopping smoking is bound to help you / your overall health.

    However the symptoms you describe could be other lung problems, like COPD (includes bronchitis and emphysema), bronchiectasis, IPF,  my suggestion would be to find out which lung condition you do have and with a diagnosis get treatment accordingly you will first have to go through your GP and ask for a referral to a respiratory specialist if symptoms persist and the initial tests carried out by your GP surgery do not show anything.

    You are on the young side but its not unheard of for younger people to be diagnosed with a lung condition.  One thing your doctor may want to rule out is Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency which can be determined by a simple blood test.

    For further information you may want to check out the British Lung Foundation website and contact their help line.

    Also you can search this site for the different lung conditions mentioned above.

    With your symptoms lasting 4 years now have you not already approached your doctor?  I think the matter needs further investigation to discover what the cause of your symptoms is.

    Best wishes V

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    • Posted

      Thank you for all this helpful information.  I truly appreciate it.  Your right.. it is something that I need to get checked out.  I've waited way too long already. 

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