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Tickly Cough / Being In The Car (Odd Question)

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I couldn't find anything on google - which isn't surprising - as this is so unusual.  (edit - and this thread is also much longer than I originally intended to write - so I've bolded some keys things so you can choose whether worth reading)

 

 

In short - the thread is this question: Is it possible that I'm coughing due to the car heaters. (this thread only may interest people interested or experienced in Medical/Mechanic/Car experts/Scientists)

 

 

I'm hoping some of the forum brains might help.

 

-

Back story

Weeks ago, I had a bit of a cold/flu type symptoms (nothing bad though) just what every seems to have, but pretty mild.

But ended up a week or so ago, as the driest tickliest cough in the world. (no other illness though, other headaches from coughing!) - so I originally linked this cough with the slight illness.

It's so bad that when I start coughing, I just cannot stop. It feels like I've inhaled a duster :(

I can sit for hours in the house and not cough though.

 

My first hypothesis was on Saturday, was I noticed I only started coughing when I got up after sitting watching tv for 2 hours cough free. I thought perhaps, I don't cough when relaxed. This fitted in with sleep, as I'm sleeping ok. This does still seem to match, now, but probably coincidence, or just simply heart rate increase from getting up after a while, triggers the cough.

 

I've now moved on, with 5 days worth of new thoughts, as this has meant I'm unable to work in my taxi, as customers don't want a driver coughing, no more than I want to cough in it :hihi:

 

-

New hypothesis and info for discussion here:

 

On Sat: No coughing at home then after 2 hours in taxi (using screen heater with customers in to demist) - coughing like anything - went home

On Sun:  Managed 2 hours without coughing, then the last job which was 20 minutes long, I had to put the heaters on, as the car was cold and was started raining, I started again and I couldn't stop, and customers were even concerned! (in mandarin)

Monday: Fine at home, then drove for an hour until got a job, no coughing, but into the journey I had to put the heaters on, as the car was steaming up. Started again. The customer was saying, oh bless you. (I'm using excuse sweet went down the wrong way!)

Tues - off work - to see if I can recover. Fine all day. (few coughs but stop easily enough)

Today (Christmas day)  and when this new hypothesis occurred to me: - No coughing, feel fine, had Christmas dinner, drove home with a view to relax at home, but since no traffic and felt fine, I decided to work for a bit. So at 5pm I started work. First 3 jobs, fine, then picked a group up and had to demist the windscreen. Started coughing again. to the point I had to stop the car (after dropping off customers, but same again, said sorry, chocking on a sweet and made joke of me being greedy at xmas). Had a 10 min break, (had a cig which actually stops it, ironically) - then next job was 4 people, and this time I turned if off the windscreen heater and moved it to the footwell heater, to see if there perhaps is a problem with the screen one. But was so hard to drive as screen instantly steamed up, so moved it to the windscreen. Started again. Had to come home again.

 

-

 

There seems to me to be enough here in correlations to mean I would type this all out.

 

Anyone any ideas what this could be? I've never heard of car heaters causing coughs and can't find anything on google.

 

Sorry a bit longer than meant, but it's also for recording purposes. Not coughed much at all since home. It's also important, because I pay £110 for it, so if it's stopping me working, then I need to work on this correlation!!

 

Hope all nice Christmas :)

 

-

 

Things I've already eliminated by other suggestions or my thoughts:

 

Have I changed the cleaning materials used in taxi, as I always keep it clean? No.

 

Is the car dusty? No, never.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Air-conditioning zaps all the moisture out of the air, this can enhance any cough symptoms (Most cars air-con will come on when demisting the screen as a default)

Pollen filter clogged and blowing diesel particulates into the vehicle (Unlikely, but a possibility)

Diesel fumes entering the vehicle (Blowing EGR pipe or exhaust pipe)   

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15 minutes ago, Dardandec said:

1. Air-conditioning zaps all the moisture out of the air, this can enhance any cough symptoms (Most cars air-con will come on when demisting the screen as a default)

2. Pollen filter clogged and blowing diesel particulates into the vehicle (Unlikely, but a possibility)

3. Diesel fumes entering the vehicle (Blowing EGR pipe or exhaust pipe)   

Hi Dardan. I knew only an old timer would respond! Thanks :)

 

1. Yes, I've tried trying to sneak the window open a bit when driving as I prefer outside air, but I've tried both outside and recirculating today, and didn't notice any difference

I'm not using the actual a/c though, I'm using the heaters - I get tickly cough well in full health with A/C on in summer - it's a similar feeling though, but amplified 100x

 

2. The pollen filter was done about 6 months ago, so should be ok

 

3. No, I'd smell it. Can runs fine too.

 

 

 

 

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The car heatrs seem to block my nose up rather than make me cough. I find its the dry air that does it. If you wipe the inside of your windscreen with something that alters the surface tension it won't mist up so much. In the house, before double glazing, I used to wipe the windows with a tiny bit of washing up liquid on the cloth. The windows don't get moisture on them as easily. My husband used to buy something to wipe on the inside of his motorbike helmet visor which had the same effect. 

 

https://www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk/motorcycle_parts/content_prod/394140?r=GS&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1rKFy4HT5gIVhbTtCh3jNAk1EAQYBSABEgKsYPD_BwE

 

If that doesn't work, get the aircon / heater pipes cleaned out and a deep clean. There could be some allergen lurking. 

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Somehow I often sneeze in cars, another reason I like bicycling better, unless in heavy car traffic, inhaling fumes of vehicles sends me off sneezing again.  Walking in polluted (all?) cities does the same thing.    

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Is it all car heaters - ie go in someone else's car and test it?

 

(You might have said that first off but I'm a bit delicate this morning)

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Yes,its the dry air as air conditioning in cars takes out the moisture,same as at home when heating is on,try and rehydrate air by having house plants and drink plenty of water,hope that helps !!

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Cold air holds much less moisture than warm air. I've been suffering with a bad throat in recent weeks. I've noticed that if I'm walking in the cold it sets me off coughing. So I've been increasing the humidity by fastening up my coat past my mouth and breathing through the warm moist air in my coat.

In a car, the ventilation is designed to dry the air so that it prevents the car from getting damp and misting up the windows.

With AC on this will dry the air as it is a byproduct of air conditioning. With AC off then there will still be a drying effect due to the fans and the pipework.

I'd suggest you set the car ventilation with very low fan levels and warm.

Ideally you need a humidifier to put a little moisture in the air you are breathing.

e.g.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/CACAGOO-Humidifier-Ultrasonic-Waterless-Whisper-Quiet/dp/B07VDDMFWZ?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duc08-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07VDDMFWZ

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7 hours ago, Chez2 said:

The car heatrs seem to block my nose up rather than make me cough. I find its the dry air that does it. If you wipe the inside of your windscreen with something that alters the surface tension it won't mist up so much. In the house, before double glazing, I used to wipe the windows with a tiny bit of washing up liquid on the cloth. The windows don't get moisture on them as easily.

 

If that doesn't work, get the aircon / heater pipes cleaned out and a deep clean. There could be some allergen lurking. 

I'll have to quote all individually.

 

Thanks for post.

 

-

update

 

This morning, I've cleaned all the windows. Cleaned all the dash area etc. as it's like dust in my throat, to make sure it's not dusty. (it wasn't, I clean the car twice a week minimum.

 

I've felt fine all day, no coughing.

 

Got in the car, at 2pm, drove about half an hour (NO heating / No A/c with windows slightly open. Picked up a group and had to heat the screen as car steamed up in seconds when they got in. Dropped them off, got another one, from Ecclesfield to town, and by Pitsmoor, I'm coughing unstoppable. 1 hours and 20 mins total in the car, and started again. Almost burning my throat today like inhaling pepper or dust.

 

It's got to be this.

 

I've rang up the guy who I rent the taxi off, and he said, ''if there's no smell. It's not the car. You'd smell it if fumes getting in''

This is no good, I can't survive working 1 hour a day!

 

 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Sherry Gray said:

Somehow I often sneeze in cars, another reason I like bicycling better, unless in heavy car traffic, inhaling fumes of vehicles sends me off sneezing again.  Walking in polluted (all?) cities does the same thing.    

I've had this 2 years, and only last couple of weeks this happened to me.

5 hours ago, tinfoilhat said:

Is it all car heaters - ie go in someone else's car and test it?

 

(You might have said that first off but I'm a bit delicate this morning)

I need to be in this an hour or so before, I feel like inhaling pepper or dust.

5 hours ago, Chaddamp said:

Yes,its the dry air as air conditioning in cars takes out the moisture,same as at home when heating is on,try and rehydrate air by having house plants and drink plenty of water,hope that helps !!

I only use the heater. As above, I've had this 2 years and no issues until recent weeks

 

1 hour ago, retep said:

Air freshener?

No I don't use them. I don't like strong smells in the car.

 

4 hours ago, muddycoffee said:

1. Cold air holds much less moisture than warm air. I've been suffering with a bad throat in recent weeks.

 

2. I've noticed that if I'm walking in the cold it sets me off coughing. So I've been increasing the humidity by fastening up my coat past my mouth and breathing through the warm moist air in my coat.

 

3. In a car, the ventilation is designed to dry the air so that it prevents the car from getting damp and misting up the windows.

With AC on this will dry the air as it is a byproduct of air conditioning. With AC off then there will still be a drying effect due to the fans and the pipework.

 

4. I'd suggest you set the car ventilation with very low fan levels and warm.

 

5. Ideally you need a humidifier to put a little moisture in the air you are breathing.

e.g.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/CACAGOO-Humidifier-Ultrasonic-Waterless-Whisper-Quiet/dp/B07VDDMFWZ?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duc08-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07VDDMFWZ

I've numbered these muddy, as I can't split quotes, and there are a few things to answer.

 

1. I drive every day though, and same car for 2 years, so something is different. Could be borderline illness and the dry air tips it - perhaps. Sounds like you same.

 

2. I like the cold air to stop coughing. I sleep with the windows open too, so it can't be that for me.

 

3. Yep, I've used it daily for 2 years, so I'm used to changes in air temp and dryness. but could be like point 1, tipped over the edge

 

4. I did that today, 23 and setting 1. This was my option in the job I mentioned earlier (also tried with windows 1 cm down at the front to get fresh air in) Neither worked.

 

5. I've never needed this before though. Something's changed. If I can't solve it, then I'll have to try this. thanks.

 

19 hours ago, *_ash_* said:

Hi Dardan. I knew only an old timer would respond! Thanks :)

 

[...]

 

2. The pollen filter was done about 6 months ago, so should be ok

 

[...]

 

 

 

 

To go back to this earlier post.

 

I'm going to try this tomorrow morning.

 

I'm not really too sure what this does, so I'll have a look on google,

 

but if anyone else so far answered knows much about them, I prefer this than googling things.

 

 

-edit,

 

assuming the pollen filter is the same as 'cabin filter', then I've changed that 6 months, and most of the advice says that when it's bad, the ventilation system may be slow, or smelly, or whatever. But it works fine, so will see tomorrow.

Edited by *_ash_*

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You can get dust mites which don't smell. When the heater is on it could be circulating something in the pipes which bothers you.  I'm sensitive to some types of pollen but not all. I'm sensitive to some perfumes / aftershaves, they make my nose block up and make me feel like I have cold. If I move away from the person wearing the particular perfume or aftershave I go back to normal within a few minutes. You seem to have worked out its connected to the car heater.

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Take a (non drowsy) antihistamine before your next shift. If it's dust this might help.

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