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  • Dealing with laughter (yes, you read that correctly.)

    Posted by wendy-dirks on June 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I have a somewhat bizarre question. Does laughing make you cough? I have two grandchildren and we love to play silly games. I’ve always had a quirky and wicked sense of humour and I love to laugh. When I get together with friends we spend most of the time laughing and joking as well.

    My problem is that laughing brings on terrible coughing fits. I just ignore them but they’re pretty severe and I know people worry when they hear me. I’d rather die laughing than not but how do I keep my coughing under control when I’m having so much fun?

    charlene-marshall replied 4 years, 2 months ago 8 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • susan-howitt

    Member
    June 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Unfortunately the answer is yes, and wish I knew the answer to your second question

     

  • charlene-marshall

    Moderator
    June 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Wendy,

    Really good question, although I can’t say I have an answer for you. Sometimes laughing makes me cough, especially true when I am out in the cold, but other times it doesn’t. It is strange, isn’t it? I wonder if it is how we inhale while laughing, maybe not as deep as our normal breathing abilities. I am just trying to think of the physiological way we laugh to see if it has anything to do with it. Does anyone else cough after laughing? Please share your experience with us.

     

    Charlene.

  • wendy-dirks

    Member
    June 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    My coughing fits when I laugh are downright scary. Thanks for responding – I’m going to ask my consultant at my next appointment.

    • charlene-marshall

      Moderator
      June 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm

      Sounds good Wendy. If you think of it, please report back on what he/she says – would be interesting to hear a physician’s perspective!

      Thanks,
      Charlene.

  • karen-larson-gonsler

    Member
    June 19, 2019 at 4:41 am

    I also cough a lot while laughing. I wish I knew how to deal with this. I love to laugh and it’s an uplifting feeling to do so. If anyone out there knows a solution let us know.

  • karen-boettin

    Member
    June 19, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I cough hard when laughing and get light headed .I tell my kids and grandkids jokenly that they are trying to kill me.

    • charlene-marshall

      Moderator
      June 20, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      Agreed Karen ( @nimrod) & Karen ( @karen-larson-gonsler) …. I wonder if anyone knows how to deal with this? @drandyhall? @noah-greenspan? Do either of you have any insight or thoughts to share pertaining to this?

      Sincerely,
      Charlene.

      • andrew-hall-dc

        Member
        June 21, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Thank goodness we all still have a sense of humor!  I have found that I cough at times with laughing too.  I can’t say I know how to deal with it, but my theory is that with a hearty kind of laugh we use our diaphragm muscle that we breath with, and with the short and quick contraction of it while laughing it probably disturbs some of the fibrous tissue that stimulates a cough reflex.  Don’t know if thats really the case but it makes sense to me.

        So, giggles to everyone!!!

        Andy

         

  • deed

    Member
    June 20, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I noticed that I started to cough when I laugh a few months ago, mostly while on the phone.  I see the respiratory doctor next week.  I am noticing a lot of unwelcome changes.

    ?

  • charlene-marshall

    Moderator
    June 20, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Hi @Deed,

    Do you mind letting us know if the pulmonary doctor shares anything particularly helpful or informative around the coughing that seems to come from excessive talking (I’ve experienced this) or laughter, as the two Karen’s have mentioned above? It sure is interesting, and frustrating because as Karen shared – laughing can be so uplifting and important to our coping! Ps. I LOVE your profile photo – I have a golden retriever, and don’t know what I would do without my “furbaby” 🙂

    Charlene.

  • daryl-long

    Member
    June 21, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Hello Wendy, et al,

    My diagnosis is hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which might be different from yours.  However, I initially experienced the same sort of violent debilitating coughing which left me exhausted with aching abdominal muscles.  This could be induced by cold air, hot air, humid air (pretty much any air), talking, and, as you say, laughing.  I have often tried to use humor to take the edge off difficult situations.  So, I used to joke that coughing was the only exercise I got, until the coughing discouraged any laughing, on my part.

    A visit to my ENT produced a satisfactory solution.   After testing various dosages, she prescribed gabapentin; 200mg three times a day.  The reasoning was that the fibrosis was causing “unfriendly” interaction between lung tissues, and the gabapentin blocked the pain that led to the coughing.  This may not be a medically accurate interpretation, on my part, but it is easy for me to imagine.   I’ve been on this dosage since February, and it has effectively eliminated the violent coughing.  I do still cough on a daily basis, but it seems to be caused by post nasal drip, and it isn’t painful.  An unexpected “delighter” was a reduction of my sciatica pain.

    Gabapentin does have side effects, which must be balanced against the benefits.  For me, the most significant side effect is a general numbness, especially in my feet and legs.  This causes me to be a bit unsteady and I probably have a bit of a gait.  However, the violent coughing was actually scaring people; some worried about being infected, others worried that I could be having a real medical emergency.

    I can appreciate what you’re experiencing, and I hope you can resolve or minimize it and start laughing again.

    Best regards,

    daryl

    • wendy-dirks

      Member
      June 23, 2019 at 6:14 am

      Hi, Daryl – Thanks so much for this tip. I will speak to my consultant about it when I see him in August. I’m always a bit ambivalent about adding yet another medication – I feel like a walking drugstore at times! I’ll see what he says. Best wishes, Wendy

  • deed

    Member
    June 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Charlene,

    A little back story, I have had a noticeable decrease in my breathing abilities in the last few months.  I went to a walk in clinic, my GP’s office and finally saw my Respiratory doctor.  He said that I have a lung infection and have been put on Prednisone, antibiotics, 2 more inhalers and a Aerobika.  Apparently my lungs are full of mucous and the other doctors did not pick this up.  I’m not laughing now!  I assumed that these changes were part of the COPD and the IPF.  I should not have settled for a diagnosis from a doctor that  is not aware of lung issues.  Next time I will either get in to see the Respiratory doctor (difficult to see in a hurry) or go to the ER.  I was not able to ask the questions I had planned due to this new information.

    My dogs are my joy, I own a father and son duo.  5 years and 8 months old.   They take good care of me. ?

  • charlene-marshall

    Moderator
    July 2, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Deed,

    Thanks so much for getting back in touch with me, and sharing a bit more about how you’re doing. It has been a few days – how is the lung infection and all the treatments for it coming along? Prednisone is nasty stuff but it sure can be effective! I hope it is working for the mucous in your lungs, that would feel terrible. Sorry you were misdiagnosed, that is awful. Will you have a chance to ask the questions you wanted to at your next appointment?

    How wonderful to hear of your dogs! Aren’t they amazing? I don’t know what I would do without my golden retreiver, she’s amazing. Glad they take good care of you 🙂

    Charlene.

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