Posted by: Moira | 2010-07-08


Hi, Let me start at the beginning but will try and put it in a nutshell!
I am at the end of my tether. Some 15 - 20 yrs ago I developed an irritating cough caused by a constant tickle in my throat. I have seen 3 ENT specialist over the years as well as general GP''s. I have been given nose sprays, throat sprays, you name it. This cough is sometimes chronic and sometimes not and this is why I have been able to tolerate it over the years. It is inconsistant, e.g. anywhere and at anytime of the day or night, sometimes but not always when I eat (usually something biscuity, crumbly or sharp tasting like vinigar). I can be sitting calmly and suddenly will feel a prick and will cough my heart out. I have had chest xrays in the past which show nothing. If I should bring something up it is clear. I am almost certain it is not chest but throat. I cough so badly sometimes that I up-chuck my last meal ~~ I should be thin LOL!!
I know I could go back to a ENT sp. but this story is so tiresome ~~ I never know how to explain it to my best advantage anymore. My friends all know ''Moira''s cough'' and dont bother about it anymore like asking me if I am ok!
Now I am wondering could it be the wine I am drinking e.g. allergy to sulphites? I have not had a glass of wine for two weeks now and intend not to for 1 month just to see. Since stopping I have had the odd cough but have not stopped enough to say yes it is the wine! What do you think? Please help with suggestions. Do sulphites take time to leave one''s system if this is the cause?
Also I wonder if it is something to do with my ear internally ~ just a guess!!
I have promised my family that I will see another ENT specialist after this trial run but am so afraid I will be sent home with yet another throat spray.
I am a 59 year young woman who enjoys life but if this would just be gone I can enjoy my life so much more instead of hacking away in a toilet in a restaurant after suddenly getting a tickle in my throat at the table. (That is just one example)
Hope you take the time to read my letter and looking forward to an answer from you. Any questions from you I will be happy to answer!
Many thanks
Moira Kent-Brown

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImagezENT Expert

Dear Moira

This is indeed a difficult problem to solve, as coughing can obviously have many causes. You know by now which of the past treatments have made any difference, so I suggest you make a short list before you see your ENT. Ask for another opinion, or go to your ENT if you are able to comfortably explain your situation. Generally, possible causes include the following:
1. Gastro-oesophageal relux disease (causing heartburn, and drying the back of your throat).
2. Chronic sinusitis (post nasal drip, causing chronic irritation)
3. Medication (ie. certain bloodpressure tablets/ asthmatic pumps)
4. Allergies (as you may have, but spesifically for certain foodstuffs)
5. Environmental factors (air conditioning, etc)
6. A primary chest problem
7. A growth in your throat (highly unlikely due to the long history)

It is indeed possible that the sulpha's may be the cause, it should work out quite quickly, so I think the one month trial is a very good suggestion. If your ENT can not find a cause, you may benefit from a physician's or pulmonologist's opinion.
The ear canal is supplied by nerves that also supply the throat, so any irritation tothe earcanal may trigger a bout of coughing.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.