CAnt stop coughing

I have a possible eagle syndrome diagnosis and it’s either that or a nerve issue or apparently both. They want me to go get an MRI of my brain but I can’t stop coughing. I have no idea how I’m going to get a successful MRI with this cough. I’m hoping that someone can help me with one of my symptoms. I can’t seem to find anybody who’s ever had it. I have dead skin Or some kind of grit in my mouth or at least it feels that way. It is almost like the back of my throat is disintegrating. It’s so depressing and stressful not to be able to stop coughing. It’s only on one side of my throat. It feels like the spot is on my left side very far back near my throat opening.

Hi Cyn,

The vagus nerve is often irritated by ES & would most likely be the culprit i.e. cause of your cough. One thing you could try to quiet the vagus nerve is an injection into your neck of lidocaine mixed w/ cortisone . These injections are usually given w/ ultrasound guidance to help place the medication very specifically. The lidocaine could potentially help numb the nerve & the cortisone would help reduce inflammation in the area which might reduce the irritation to the vagus nerve. These things together could help your cough stop. Additionally, if they do help with your cough, you’ll have a better idea of what’s causing it i.e. irritation to your vagus nerve. In turn, if your cough subsides, you can get a CT of your neck between your hyoid bone & skull base so your styloid processes & stylohyoid ligaments can be assessed for elongation/calcification. An MRI is not a good diagnostic tool for ES because the soft tissues are all visible & can keep the styloid & stylohyoid ligament from being fully visible.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m guessing a very chronic cough like yours is probably taking a toll on the soft tissues in your throat & mouth & may be the cause of the dry skin/grit you’re feeling there. Because they are constantly being abraided by your cough w/o a chance to heal, they’re in a sort of constant raw condition which would cause the skin to slough off & leave you w/ that awful feeling. You could try drinking extra water/herb tea (go light on sugar as it causes inflammation) to help keep your mouth & throat very hydrated. There are also various dry mouth sprays & lozenges that might help if you used them.

The type of doctor who usually diagnoses & treats Eagle Syndrome is an ENT cancer specialist. Dr. DeLacure in NYC is an ENT who is experienced w/ ES. It might be worth making an appointment to see him both about your cough & the possibility of ES.

As Isaiah suggested, I’d drink some herbal tea - my favorite is mint or fruit - with honey. I also tend to suck on cough drops when my throat is feeling rough.