Unable to breathe without coughing due to tickle in throat

Posted , 8 users are following.

On Christmas Day, I ran a high fever, and was coughing with a sore throat. The sore throat lasted a few days, progressing onto me losing my voice (which has never happened previously), now to just having a runny nose sometimes, and a tickle in my throat almost every night (this has been happening on and off since Christmas Day). I haven't been able to sleep because of it. Every single time I breathe out, I have to cough. Its the most infuriating and frustrating thing I've had to deal with in so long, I already have sleeping problems, and now it's even more impossible to sleep. I don't know whats wrong. It's a dry cough, no mucus. How can it be post nasal drip when my nose isn't stuffed. If anything, its not as bad when my nose is stuffed. Its in the front of my throat, jamming my head into a pillow provides some relief but its barely anything at all. I'm at such a loss. I'm miserable. NOTHING works. Cough syrup? Doesn't work. Mucinex? Doesn't work. Tea? Doesn't work. Honey? Doesn't work. Gargling salt water? Doesn't work. Cough drops? Doesn't work. Drinking my weight in water? Doesn't work. Changing my position? Doesn't work. I've already tried cough suppressants and they don't work because its caused by this tickle when I breathe, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do anymore.  Does anyone else know what this is? I've had plenty colds my entire life, and I've never experienced this before. I don't know what to do anymore.

2 likes, 11 replies


11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Christine,

    From experience, it could be laryngitis with the symptoms you describe. With the coughing you could have some acid reflux which is aggravating your throat causing a tickling sensation. Drink plenty of fluids and gargle with salt water. Dry heat like central heating could make it worse. If you are worried see your doctor because anxiety only makes things worse. I hope you feel better soon.

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  • Posted

    Hello there

    Been reading your post and I have exactly the same thing as you but my cough is induced by inhaling, the tickle makes my eyes water to the point I cough myself nearly sick - its been going on for 2 years now.....been for chest xrays, bloods, camera down the nose, respiratory consultants believe I am allergic to cat dander.......

    Have you had a resolution....

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    • Posted

      Me too I tried betain HCL with pepsin and it worked some. I’m trying calcium lactate its supposed to work. I’ll keep you posted.  
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    • Posted


      Ive been experiencing the same as you. Whenever i inhale, i get a tickle in my throat which makes me cough. I also find it difficult to breathe with it sometimes also. Its wearing me down. Its odd though as i usually only get it worse during the winter months.

      Ive been to see an ear, nose and throat specialist and have had a tube inserted into one of my nostrils which was fed down to my throat. They couldnt find anything wrong. 7 years on and im still having the same thing happening. Nobody knows what it is? Do you still get yours or has it now cleared up?

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    • Posted

      Hi there

      I know what you mean - I have had this since 2014/2015 - been through the same camera down the nose, nothing found, chest xrays etc....what they did find is they did blood tests on me called RASTS or something to check for allergies and they found I am allergic to cat dander - I live with two! They gave me a Turbo inhaler to use twice a day and 30mg of anti histamine everyday, does it stop the scratching? NOPE - I still cough (I smoke too), I still get breathless and breathing issues

      Question for you - do you get a cold icy feeling when you breathe in, in your throat?

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    • Posted


      that is very interesting as when i first had symptoms of this it was when i was living with my kids Mum. She had 2 cats in the house and i was certain i was allergic to the fur on the cats. But when we split up, i was still experiencing this tickle in my throat when i breathed in.

      I cant say that its an icy cold feeling down my throat, but it catches really bad when i breathe in. I sometimes experience a lot of chills with it also. These symptoms though only usually last through the winter. But this month they have been really bad.

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    • Posted

      Hey there sorry for the late reply

      You might want to therefore pursue your GP with allergy blood tests, you have to explore every avenue I guess, sometimes there is no answer - I have good days/nights then I have really bad times where I cough every 10 minutes - yes its scary as I think it could be an underlying lung cancer (have not had chest mri) but some have said lung cancer is so progressive and the cough has been going on for years that I would have probably been dead by now!

      Sometimes for me it feels like something is on my chest and I then struggle to breathe! I take my inhaler and it eventually goes!

      Out of interest where is the tickle in your throat, is it deep below or on the sides if that makes sense, do you tend to swallow alot to keep the tickle at bay? Try soothers to suck so you produce more saliva to keep the tickle away a little.....do you cough at night more than the day? Have you ever been woken by the cough as I have many nights and sometime still am, however I have my cat sleeping in my bed and on my chest.....

      Let me know

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  • Posted

    Hi, I'm going through exactly the same as this (more or less) it's really getting me down too, I've seen three different Doctors, not one of them has been able to help so far!

    It's been suggested that it's mucus running down the back of my throat making me cough, I don't have or haven't had a cold virus, and then, acid reflux was suggested, I am now on twice daily doses of anti acid reflux capsules and the cough is worse!

    Finally, it was "implied" that it was probably due to my mental health issues, I have (Depression/Anxiety)... I am not imagining this cough, I am feeling really ill, very lethargic, my chest hurts and I'm finding it more and more difficult to breath, each time it happens I get lights flashing in my eyes and my head & chest feels fit to burst, what's more, it sounds dreadful and when it happens in public, I get some really funny looks and have had some comments like "Is it catching?" and worse at times.

    I'm trying to get another appointment with a doctor, but, having read all of the replies you have had to your Post Christine, I don't hold out much hope for any help with this awful cough, it's really interfering with my day to day life, I've now had it since November of last year and it's becoming more and more frequent and extremely tiring.

    I'm sorry that my reply to your Post hasn't helped in any way, I just wish it could have been more positive and of some help, although, I do hope that it's made you realize that you are not alone, that's no consolation to you I know, but I do sincerely hope you find some relief eventually.

    If I have any good news (hopefully sooner rather than later eh?) about my own cough problem in the future, I'll share with you and all of our fellow "bad cough" sufferers.

    My kindest and very best wishes to you, from Helen.

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