In this health video learn about the treatments available to help with a chronic cough.
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Jennifer Mathews: Dana Nadison' s career in sales has taken her all over Asia, but a trip to Turkey planted a devastating souvenir. Dana Nadison: I have lost my voice. I couldn't swallow. I couldn't keep down any food, and I had a hard time breathing and wheezing. Jennifer Mathews: Dana developed diphtheria which severely affected her throat and her life. Dana Nadison: I didn't work for two years. I was constantly going to several different doctors because nobody knew what was wrong with me. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Peak Woo found out, for some patients with chronic cough, the cause may be an injured nerve. Peak Woo: We believe cough in the throat is much like pain because when the nerve is irritated, the symptom that it gives you is a sensation like you are irritated. Jennifer Mathews: In a new study, doctors tested for the condition called Laryngeal Sensory Neuropathy. Then they gave patients the anti-seizure drug gabapentin. 68% of them improved. Peak Woo: So it made sense to us that if you are having a throat that's irritated or firing uncontrollably, that's triggering cough, use a seizure medication to suppress the firing of this nerve." Jennifer Mathews: Dana improved too, and she finally has relief. Dana Nadison: It was extremely frustrating and annoying and debilitating and tiring. I feel much better. My voice definitely can't go into a high pitch. It's damaged for life but I'll talk like Kermit the Frog, but otherwise, I'm fine. Jennifer Mathews: And now she can enjoy quiet time, cough-free. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.