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Tckly cough

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    Tckly cough

    Evening all

    I currently have a persistent tickly cough and I have no idea what it is. I actually first had it about 2 months ago for a few days then it went completely but has now come back. It comes and goes but when I have it, it goes on and on and nothing clears it. It’s an irritation on my upper chest and because of my weak cough I end up making non-stop funny grunting noises which I can’t control. Cough stacking doesn’t help. It eventually clears though never feels far away and anything can bring it on again - notably eating/drinking, but not always. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and exhausting.

    When I had it last time I asked my respiratory nurse about it but he had never come across it.

    Does anyone have any idea what it might be and/or any advice. It’s driving me mad. And my wife!!

    Sarah xx

    Hi Sarah,

    A cough is common with MND unfortunately - it may have nothing to do with MND of course, so it's always wise to check it out, as you appeared to do with the Respiratory Nurse?

    Because it’s not productive and often happens after eating, I suspect it may be linked to impaired swallow - your SLT can assess your swallow and give you tips on safer ways to swallow food and drink, e.g., tucking your chin into your chest with each swallow; concentrating on each mouthful and not being distracted; changing food textures and avoiding crumbly foods; thickening liquids.

    Btw, did you ever hear anything more re trying for the feeding tube again??

    If a cough is preceded by mucus or saliva, it’s usually called a postnasal drip and can be helped with medication and/or using a nebuliser, but that wouldn't usually be described as "tickly".

    Another thing to consider is allergens - e.g., if you’ve recently turned up the heat, maybe the air is drier or dustier?

    Do see your SLT though and I hope marital harmony can be restored, not to mention your energy!!

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.


      Hi Ellie

      Nice to hear from you. Great advice, thanks. It’s hard to describe the cough. I guess it’s more a chest irritation. Literally every breath in irritates it & makes me cough/grunt. So you might be right re my swallow as I think that’s deteriorating. I’m quite spluttery generally now & often splutter up my drink etc. I’ll definitely speak to SLT & respiratory nurse again.

      No news re my rescheduled PEG procedure, we need to chase this up.

      Thanks again for the advice. Hope you’re doing ok. xx


        Hi Sarah,
        Sorry to hear about your thickly cough, it's odd but nearly every day I get a breath which comes out of no where, like a hiccup, usually when I wake up. I mentioned it to my respiratory nurse, and she said it's nothing. II use thickner in my drinks, and it really helps. I use in tea, orange juice, it stops me sputtering on drinks.
        Hope you feel better soon
        Love Sheila


          Hi Sarah,

          I get similar from time to time but it is my throat. I can try and help it by what I can only say as rasping but that only aggravates it making it worse. I normally swallow liquid paracetamol help sooth and maybe help any kill anything there.

          You might find that a nebuliser helps, probably worth asking your breathing specialist about.

          Love Terry
          TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

          It will only remain so if new people post and keep us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

          Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.


            I have liquid paracetamol so I’ll try that, thanks. And will speak to my respiratory nurse again. My throat feels tighter now, generally, so I should probably tell them that anyway - a nebuliser might help, good idea. Thanks for the advice. :-) xx