I have a chronic cough that has plagued me for over ten years. I am 63 years old. I have had CAT scans, X-rays, tests for asthma and even a bronchoscope. All tests have been negative. Talking seems to aggravate my throat, as well as eating certain foods. Getting too hot will also send my throat into a spasm. I am at my wit’s end and getting depressed.
This cough is interfering with my ability to do my work. I seem to be in good health otherwise. I will take any tests or see any doctor you recommend.
Chronic cough is often a difficult problem for both the patient and the evaluating physician. There are many causes for chronic cough, and the diagnostic studies you described have likely been done to exclude serious lung problems such as cancer, airway obstruction, and pulmonary infections.
Other possible problems left to consider would be sinusitis (may need sinus CT), gastro-esophageal reflux (which could irritate your throat and cause the symptom you describe as “send my throat into spasm”), vocal cord dysfunction (paradoxical closure of the vocal cords, which could also cause cough and the sensation of throat spasms). It is even possible that you may be simply experiencing post-nasal drainage that irritates your throat and causes a cough.
It could also be connected to a medication you are currently taking (coughing has been reported with certain blood pressure medications such as the ACE inhibitors and with beta blockers used for many medical conditions). Of course, I could not make a diagnosis or suggest further testing without examining you in person; but you could ask your physician to recommend a board-certified pulmonologist for consultation.