Coughing much?

I know this affects the Ataxia patient but I find myself coughing more and more when eating and especially when drinking liquids and I’m NOT talking about alcohol which I don’t drink but very rarely. Sometimes, when eating, the food goes down but tickles my throat and I cough on and off for a good ten minutes. I don’t cough for a long time when drinking liquids but I do have to cough. Incidentally, this includes plain water. Annoying? You bet it is! :weary:

Also, I find that my nose gets stuffed especially during the nighttime sleeping hours. Any of this sound familiar?

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Swallowing difficulties, especially liquids are very common with cerebellar dysfunction. A water bottle with a straw and concentration with my eyes closed offers me some help. Humidification, especially when the heat inside the house is on, helps me during the winter.


I have the same problems, I was told by a speech therapist to take a small sip at first to cut down on my cocking and coughing and it helps but sometimes I forget. The humidifier also helps me sleep and the increased humidity also stops the static shocks that I have become very sensitive to.

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You guys sold me on the humidifier. Just ordered one through EBAY. Thanks!

Since this is my first humidifier, I have some questions regarding its use. I know it’s best to use filtered water rather than tap water but how long should I use it before cleaning it? What’s the best way to clean it? Can I position it near a wall or will the mist affect the wall paint? Will the mist from it “bother” me during sleep hours?

Anything else that I forgot to ask. Please address them also. Thanks.

The filter replacement is usually once a month. Tap water works fine for me.

I believe that I mentioned this in another thread about coughing, but worth repeating. I stopped eating dairy and refined sugar and my coughing— mealtime choking, and dry cough at night, all went away! I haven’t been eating these inflammatory foods for over a year (I cut out grains too but the dairy and sugar seemed the main culprits for congestion, post nasal drip, esophageal inflammation and reflux which all affect coughing/choking). My family and I noticed a different after 2 weeks. I rarely have this issue now and it is typically because I try something too spicy or sweet (like those holiday desserts that I couldn’t resist this year)! Going on an antiinflamatory diet helped me in many ways, but the coughing was the most dramatic improvement. Wishing you the best of luck with whatever you find helpful!


I probably don’t clean mine often enough. (About every other mo.) I use warm water and bleach on the filter and let it dry, mine has two containers for the water and I use tap water, mine has a blower that directs the humidified air straight up so it doesn’t have any wet or moist spots. I wouldn’t direct any moist air toward any walls. I don’t start using it until the dry heated air from my furnace becomes uncomfortable for me and I get static shocks when touching the screws on the switch plates.

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Just thinking. Do you need to put a towel underneath it on furniture so that the mist doesn’t fall on the furniture as well? I imagine that could be quite devastating.

EDIT: Sorry to ask all these questions but I’m unfamiliar so I don’t know. Another question. What happens to the mist when it falls if it falls on a carpet? Will the carpet get ruined?

ANSWER: No it doesn’t. Received it today and it’s fine.

That probably depends on the type, mine is a whole house evaporative humidifier

I’ve also cut out dairy and bread/wheat. Refined sugar is very difficult. I am following more of a Paleolithic diet. (Slightly modified) but I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in my congestion and caughing. The main reason I decided to try the Paleo diet wasn’t really to reduce the caughing, but to see if it would help me with constapation. The caughing cure was just a bonus. FYI, Humans are actually the only species that drinks the milk from another animal.


You hit the nail…My latest on ataxia is wrongly timed breathing when eating…and sometimes drinking. One would think, eating soup, you can’t choke…yeah, if it is mixed by a foodprocessor, but I cook borshcs more, with large chunks of cabbage requiring chewing…and what startled me most was I need to eat bread or soup, not together. One would think, with liquid you’d wet the bread, true, but pay attention to your breathing, as when you eat and drink one door shuts and another opens, ONLY with ataxia, some MUSCLES ARE LOOSENED. any idea if speech therapist can help with exercises?, sometime my speech gets horrendously slurred, and I feel generally shaky, NOT VISIBLY. Lately it happened 2x when shopping…annoying, to a point of lightheadedness, NOT FAINTED YET. When drinking coffee ground and a few grains escaped and land somewhere at the back of my throat-frightening, chocolate is the same, some coating. NOW I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, so pay more attention…

sorry forgot to mentioned bigger, larger tablets, NEVER BEFORE had swallowing problems, but NOW, must break…not polverise, as would choke, and plenty of drink…beware of scraping your throat with sharper edges of broken pill.

This is going to sound weird, but singing each day, reading aloud, praying aloud, or practicing a foreign language will do wonders for a tic (a cough like you’re talking about) or choking.

I found this out years ago when I started choking here and there with my ataxia, but then the symptom completely disappeared when I started a language class. I talked to a lady who sang and she had the same experience. And I know they recommend singing for stutterers. Maybe not scientific proof, but worth a try!


Whatever works best for you!

An Ataxian friend of mine also recommended singing, she joined a choir :slightly_smiling_face: xB