DEAR DR. GOTT: I had a dry, hacking cough all last winter. I finally went to an allergist, had a good work-up, and several ideas were put forth. I was told when all else fails and as a last resort, try over-the-counter Prilosec, the heartburn medication. Very much to my surprise, it worked. No more cough! As long as I continue to take one tablet daily, I’m free of the annoyance.
DEAR READER: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) commonly causes heartburn and a sour taste in the mouth; however, nearly half of all sufferers experience a chronic cough with no other symptoms. If the heartburn medication works, you probably have GERD. You may wish to try using antacids, which are less expensive and have the additional benefit of adding extra calcium to your diet. If they do not work, go back to the Prilosec. My hat is off to your allergist for thinking outside the box of his specialty and doing everything he could to help you.