Kill Your Nagging Cough Against These Two Silent Causes
Do you have a nagging cough that won’t go away? According to Dr. Oz, your cough could be due to two hidden causes.
“Today we are revealing the hidden health messages that could be lurking in your nagging cough. It’s just another example of how your body gives you clues,” says Dr. Oz as he explains to viewers two reasons why their nagging cough won’t going away―silent mucus and silent reflux.
Nagging Cough Cause #1: Silent Mucus
Silent mucus is mucus that can develop from any number of causes, but typically from a post nasal drip following a cold or from allergies. The problem with silent mucus is that it may not go away on its own, which leads to prolonged irritation by the mucus on the throat and the respiratory tract. In addition, a vicious cycle develops when you start constantly coughing in an attempt to purge the mucus and as a result irritate the throat and respiratory tract even further making things worse.
“Fortunately there are two easy steps to break this cycle,” says Dr. Oz who tells viewers that the first step is to figure out what is causing the mucus in the first place. Dr. Oz recommends cutting out all dairy products for one week and see if your mucus problem decreases.
Another solution is to try a peppermint steam treatment that consists of covering your head with a towel while holding your face over a bowl filled with two cups of boiling water that has had 5 drops of peppermint oil added to it. You then breathe in the vapors from the peppermint steam treatment to help open up your airways.
“If it's moist steam like that, then the peppermint goes into your throat as well as you inhale it and soothes it―so there’s multiple benefits other than opening the airways,” says Dr. Oz.
Nagging Cough Cause #2: Silent Reflux
“The second cause is called ‘Silent Reflux.’ That’s a bigger deal. If you have this problem you will actually have to see someone to get a little extra help—someone has to look into there and figure out what’s happening,” advises Dr. Oz who introduces special guest Dr. Moshe Ephrat, an ears, nose and throat specialist and surgeon from the Long Island Jewish Medical Center who points out that silent reflux is due to an acid reflux disease that a patient is unaware they have.
“Patients who come to the office with a chronic cough, often times like you mention―post nasal drip is very common…the other cause is acid reflux. A lot of patients don’t realize they have that because they don’t have any heartburn, but they do have throat complaints,” says Dr. Ephrat who explains that what they look for is redness and swelling which are indicators of acid reflux. Other signs of acid reflux include intermittent clearing of the throat, hoarseness and the sensation of having a lump in your throat.
As a demonstration of how to determine if someone has acid reflux that is the cause of a chronic nagging cough, Dr. Ephrat performed a nasopharyngoscopy on an Oz guest viewer who states she has had a chronic cough for a very long time. Upon inspection of her throat, Dr. Ephrat showed the audience that the nasopharyngoscope revealed marked irritation of the vocal cords and the back of the patient’s throat that indicated acid reflux.
“There are literally I think millions of people walking around with silent reflux who think that because they don’t have heartburn…that it can’t possibly be from the acid,” says Dr. Oz. “So if you think that you have this problem, you gotta go see an expert ENT physician to look down there.”
Dr. Oz recommends that to help prevent silent acid reflux from developing that you should: