Acid reflux cough

Dr Mark Porter / 09 February 2017 ( 25 November 2019 )

Dr Mark Porter advises a reader worried by her husband’s coughing after eating.

Q: Why does my husband always cough for an hour or so after he has eaten?

A: It could be due to acid fumes rising up from the stomach, a condition known as acid reflux cough. The coughing occurs after eating, on rising in the morning, when talking on the phone or laughing.

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It’s caused by a weakening of the valve at the top of the stomach and is common in middle age. Strong anti-acid drugs (such as omeprazole and lansoprazole) normally help, but can take a couple of weeks before things start to improve.

Medication for high blood pressure, such as ramipril and related drugs (all ending in -pril), can aggravate acid reflux coughing by intensifying the cough reflex. Either way, one to discuss with the GP.

Should you be worried if you've had a cough for over two months?

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