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Constant Throat Clearing & Asthma

For the last two weeks now, our youngest son, who is an asthmatic, has been constantly clearing his throat. He says he feels like there is phlegm in his throat, but he said he only feels himself swallowing the phlegm occasionally.

During these two weeks he was also exposed to milk, to which he has an allergy, and I think it has only exacerbated the issue. He began coughing so we started our nebulizer breathing treatments and called his pulmonologist. We were already giving him allergy medicines (claratin during the day, benadryl at night) which his dr said he would've recommended as well, and to continue to nebulizer (until the cough subsides) as well as upping his daily preventative medicine from Flovent 44 to Flovent 110 for the next two weeks.

I'm sort of at the point where I'm getting confused/concerned. Though the cough has subsided, the throat clearing hasn't let up. I feel like the allergy medicines aren't doing anything (and I can't see any phlegm in the back of his throat). I do not think it's become a habit, simply because he said his throat hurts when he clears it. There's no redness in his throat, no fever. I am leaning towards this throat clearing being caused more from his asthma rather than a food allergy (since he was clearing his throat before the food exposure). I should also note that he was negative for environmental allergens when tested at the pulmonologists office.

Thoughts before I call his doctor again?

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Comments 8

  • Kathy P

    Hugs – I'm sorry he's still coughing. Cough is exhausting!

    I have cough variant asthma and a lot stems from my post nasal drip. My nose is not "runny" but I have a lot of "stuff" that coats the back of my throat. My allergist always comments on how much "glop" I have going on and is always surprised when it's NOT bad 

    Anyway, sometimes I get a "chuff" kind of throat clearing – kind of cross between a cough and clearing my throat. For me, it means the stuff is thick and I need to thin it out so it will move.

    I might want the doc to see him so he can take look at his throat and nose to figure out what's going on.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes on the exposure and everything else! 

    I'm not sure about your doc, but our pedi (and our allergist) always gives us a "two week" rule of thumb … if it's not better within two weeks, call or come in. I usually try calling first. 

    The coughing could be from a variety of different things – like Kathy said, it could be from low-level post nasal drip.

    It could also be that his overall allergy bucket is still overflowing from the milk exposure and any other environmental allergies he may have. It took a good couple of weeks before our DD got better after her last ANA some years ago. 

    Or it could be a low-level infection … with DD in the past, when her allergies would act up, her sinuses wouldn't drain properly. She would get a sinus infection that would last like the Energizer Bunny, and that would create enough of a post nasal drip to create sore throats and trigger her asthma.

    Since you've been following your doc's orders and you're not seeing that get any better, PLUS he's complaining of throat pain, I'd say it's time to check in with the doc, if only with a phone call.

  • Melissa G

    Uughh, that is really frustrating. My son Josh went through that a few years ago. I had him to the allergist and pediatrician several times for it. We ended up having to change his allergy med. for my son that is what he needed. for me if I am concerned about anything I do call and check in. 

  • Dixiestix

    My asthmatic cough led to a persistent cough/throat clearing. I went to a specialist at Vanderbilt who diagnosed me with a type of vocal cord dysfunction. I saw a speech therapist who worked with me on exercises and actions I could take when I felt the need to clear my throat. 

  • LK

    Dixiestix,  It is a relief to get a diagnosis and be able to do something that helps.  Good for you for getting the help you need!