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Thread: Chronic coughing from partner

  1. #1
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    Chronic coughing from partner

    Iíve been with my bf for a year now (me: 25, him: 31) and I recently took notice to this cough that he does. Itís kind of like a combo of snorting and then it sounds as though heís about to spit out phlegm in his throat. (Note-he is not a smoker, has never been a smoker.) Thinking back to the year weíve been together, I think heís always done this but it stood out to me at the beginning of this year. There has not been a single day that has gone by that he doesnít do it since I took notice, and he does it throughout the day. Now the times he has spent the night, he has woken up in the middle of the night multiple times to do it in the bathroom. My apartment is super tiny so I wake up and have to hear it which makes me mad because it throws my whole sleep cycle off. I can imagine it really sucks for him too.
    There are periods of time he doesnít do it for a few hours or if we are at a restaurant, in public, or meeting with a group of people we arenít too familiar with. I think he is cautious and makes sure to not do it. The second we are alone though he will begin to do it again.

    There are times I have said ďThat cough doesnít sound good, are you getting sick?Ē Or ďhave you ever gotten that cough checked out?Ē Or ďyouíve been coughing all day, are you ok?Ē His response is normally just ďI donít knowĒ or ďI donít know whatís going onĒ or ďThis is not a cough, Iím clearing my throatĒ or as of lately just flat out ignores me and changes the subject immediately.
    He had been to the Dr. a few months ago and got a chest check up when he was sick and didnít have any issues, so I donít think he actually has any type of inflammatory issue.

    I feel so bad because it looks like itís something he canít help but doing, and after researching online it could be a tic. My dad did this type of cough most of my childhood and the sound of it has always bugged me so I guess I know where this stems from.
    Of course I know that I do/say things that annoy him all the time, so of course Iím not perfect. I understand this could be immature of me and I should fully accept it if I care about him, but Iím having a hard time fully getting over it. There are days It doesnít bother me at all, but then there are days that do.
    Has anyone ever dealt with this before? Can anyone give me any tips on how I can make myself not care so much about this?

    I believe that telling him it bothers me would be extremely rude as it would be the same as him telling me he hates it when I sneeze; itís something we canít help but do.

    Please help.

  2. #2
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    It sounds like an OCD tick. A lot of people have them and don't even realize it. There is a guy in my office that has a weird snorting sound and it drives me nuts.

    It is NOT rude of you to tell him that it bothers you. If it is interrupting your sleep, you are well within your right to say something. You do, however, need to come from a place of care when you tell him. And he can help it! It takes work, but he can do it! Just support him through the process.

    Or you could try ear plugs?

  3. #3
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    Acid reflux would be my guess.

    There are OTC remedies for it - zantac is one.

    But he should see a doctor cause it could be something much more serious, like lung cancer.

    In fact, not to scare you but my late mom had this same sort of cough, for I can't even remember how long, and she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

  4. #4
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    It could be a tic . It could be asthma . It could be a habit, it could be nothing .

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  6. #5
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    I cough but it is my asthma.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ask him to go to a doctor again and get checked for allergies, gastroesophageal reflux, etc.. Put a HEPA filter in your apt. Do you have pets? Stop inviting him to sleep over until he agrees to go to a doctor, get allergy, GERD, etc meds, whatever. Most benign coughs are from upper respiratory inflammation, post nasal drip, etc.
    Originally Posted by Npgirl09
    he has woken up in the middle of the night multiple times to do it in the bathroom. My apartment is super tiny so I wake up and have to hear it which makes me mad because it throws my whole sleep cycle off.
    Last edited by Wiseman2; 07-17-2019 at 04:32 PM.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I had a nasty cough that lasted a year. It would make me cough so hard I thought my head would fly off. I went to the docs many times, was tested for many things, including asthma and tuberculosis, all negative. In the end I went to a respirologist and he put me on Prednisone which is heavy duty stuff and comes with warnings for adverse reactions and to get to the hospital asap. It's job was to break the cough cycle, which it did, I noticed improvement the first day. The cough was basically gone in about 10-14 days. It took a specialist to figure it out and and actually do something to help me.

    Your bf should see his doc and demand a referral to a specialist.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm not sure there's anything you can do aside from stop focusing so much on it and start appreciating other things in your relationship. Retrain your brain out of zeroing in on the abnormality because it sounds like you've developed a habit zoning in on it every time it happens (you were worried about his health).

    Let it go or let go of him altogether. I'm curious why you'd let this get to you or vice versa (why he'd let it progress to being a bad habit). Are there any other issues in the relationship? Normally behaviours like this don't get under someone's skin unless you are annoyed by other things or other issues going on. You can also ask him to reduce doing it. If he's invested in the relationship and it comes across as disgusting or a bit gross-sounding I don't see why he won't oblige you in his throat-clearing (harmless or painless) activity. While he might not be able to get rid of doing it all the time, he can sure work on reducing it if it's not a health issue. You might feel valued and less annoyed in general at how gross or unnecessary it sounds (that he's making an effort).

    I also want to add as an aside that I had coughs like that when I was eating a lot of sugar, cakes and gluten in general. I snored a lot and coughed a lot of phlegm-y type coughs. My husband is an ex-smoker who had the same problems back when he used to smoke. Maybe take a good look at your diet or other habits as a couple also.

  10. #9
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    I actually would encourage him to see a doctor and figure out what it is, and how to stop it.

    A chronic cough isn't normal, regardless of the reason. There have been many great possible reasons given here already (GERD, OCD, asthma, etc.), but it needs to be attended to.

    This isn't just annoying to you. Others around him undoubtedly notice, and are bothered, by it.

    Morever, his health is at issue. My dad used to belch all. the. TIME., and he thought it was just "normal". It was heart-related, and he had a quadruple bypass. These things aren't just "normal"; the body tells us when something is wrong.

  11. #10
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    Again, I don't want to scare you but --

    Small cell lung cancer symptoms

    Persistent cough. (Beginning Stages)
    Chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, laughing or coughing.
    Hoarseness.
    Unexplained loss of appetite and weight.
    Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm.

    This is nothing to mess around with, he needs to see a doctor ASAP.

    My mum died from this disease.

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