• Common Cold??

    Posted by charlene-rains on February 14, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    Not with PAH!! I am on day 4 and miserable!  I am newly diagnosed so I was not prepared.

    Does anyone have tips for relieving nasal congestion?  I am taking Mucinex to try to prevent it turning into a chest cold.  Drinking plenty of fluids, getting rest, and longing for a decongestant.

    Help please!


    jen-cueva replied 6 months, 3 weeks ago 6 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • brenda-denzler

    February 15, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    Charlene, I can’t speak to the common cold in combination with PAH. I’ve probably had PAH at the same time that I’ve had colds, in the last couple of years. But I never knew it! I didn’t know, then, that I had PH (of one stripe or another). Colds seem to always go down into my chest and make my breathing harder.

    A week ago I thought I had another cold. My go-to solution to colds and all of the congestion and mucus is pretty simple. Push fluids of all kinds, take drugs to address symptoms, and stop eating. Whenever I’d eat something when I had a cold, my now ex-husband would say, “You’re going to be blowing that out your nose tomorrow, you know.” And experience has proven that he was right. I generate much, much less mucus and congestion if I just stop eating and start pushing fluids more than what I generally do. Instead of a cold going down into my chest, I can keep it in my sinuses and minimize its impact there if I quit eating for 3-5 days and use symptom relief drugs. The last cold I had was over (essentially no more symptoms) after the 4th day.

    Of course, a week ago I didn’t really have a cold, as I at first thought. I had COVID. It didn’t try to go down into my chest, fortunately, but I did my usual thing of stopping eating. The worst symptoms were done on day 5, though I am still slowing getting rid of the sinus congestion. I don’t feel too bad. I’m really done with this darned stuffy nose, but it’s not nearly as irritating today as it was a week ago.

    The trick in all this is that if you finally quit eating on day 2 or day 3 of the cold, you’ve already given the virus plenty of material to use to create mucus, so you’re still going to be dealing with that for a time.

    I hope your cold gets better quickly. I’m new to the PH thing, too, but I’m wondering if bronchodilators would help a bit? And I’m taking phenylephrine for the nasal congestion–oral and nasal spray forms. If ephedras don’t bother you, maybe that would help? Do neti pots work to clear sinuses for head colds?

    Hopefully more experienced folks here will chime in.

  • charlene-rains

    February 15, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you, Brenda, I didn’t know that about eating.  I was told not to take any symptom relief meds containing phenylephrine or other decongestants because they cause your pulmonary arteries to squeeze and worsen your pulmonary hypertension.  I appreciate your advice.  I have felt to bad to eat, so I think I am good there. Just need to let it run it’s course I guess.

  • jen-cueva

    February 15, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    Hi @bamagramma, I’m sorry that you are dealing with a cold. Yes, things are different with PH. You are taking the plain Mucinex, correct?

    Do you have a cough? If so, plain Robitussin or Delsym helps.

    I also use a saline nasal spray. Others have had good relief using a Neti Pot. They are not fun but help get that mucous out and clear sinuses.

    I eat, unlike @brendad53, because I can’t go without eating. However, I tend to stick more to soups. Yes, drinking liquids, hot tea with lemon and honey, and spicy soups with garlic(if tolerated) help, too. That and rest are usually all I can do.

    Also, I’ve tried Vicks shower steamers, which have been helpful.

    Unfortunately, colds take longer, most often for those of us with PH. I hope and pray you to get some relief soon.

  • debbie-moore

    February 16, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    @bamagramma I take Coricidin HBP for cold and flu, but I take it for my sinuses.  A friend at church told me about it, and it has been the biggest help.  Never had problems till I went on oxygen.  Hope this helps.  Welcome to the forum!

  • valeriekv

    February 17, 2023 at 5:02 am

    Hello, @bamagramma !
    Have you considered cetirizine? Antihistamines relieve swelling of the nose well. Cetirizine is more modern than loratadine or suprastin, and it affects your heart less.
    I think @brendad53 has given you some good advice. Eating can worsen your symptoms. Check out the menu of antihistamine dishes. Perhaps following a small diet will help you. My nose leaks when I get some foods that contain more histamine (for example, if the dishes are not perfectly fresh).

  • charlene-rains

    February 17, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Thank you so much @brendad53, @jenc, @debbie, and @valeriekv.  I’ve learned a lot and going to add all of your good advice to my “When I get sick again” toolbox!  I still have a lot to learn.  @valeriekv, I’ve always thought of histamines as causing allergic reaction. As this was a cold and not allergies, I didn’t even try antihistamines.

    This is why these type forums are so important. I called the PAH clinic for advice and was first told that I should call my primary care doctor. Then the nurse told me I would just have to ride it out. Drink plenty of fluids (with a fluid restriction?), Eat soups (with a sodium restriction?) and get rest. So I came here and found the best advice.  I am writing it all in my journal, with the #1 tip being, “Don’t catch a cold!!!”

    I am feeling much better now and plan to go out and soak in some sunshine today.  Thank you all again!

    Hugs, BamaGramma

  • debbie-moore

    February 17, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Glad your feeling better @bamagramma!

  • jen-cueva

    February 17, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    I’m so grateful that you are feeling better and have a “Cold Tool- Box” ready for next time. Maybe you also gave me an idea for a new column.

    The members in our PH forums are full of love and support. We learn so much h from one another. This makes me smile.

    Happy Friday to y’all, and be safe. Thanks for all of the excellent suggestions for @bamagramma.

  • jen-cueva

    March 1, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    Hi @bamagramma, how are you feeling this week? I hope the cold has fully resolved and you are breathing better or returning to your norm.

    Please let us know how we can best support you.

  • charlene-rains

    March 1, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you @jenc  I am feeling much better.  No more congestion from the cold.  But occasional nasal congestion just out of the blue.  I’m not sure what that is about.

    As someone newly diagnosed, I’d like to request a forum on daily life with PH.  I find I am having to juggle so many things… Medications, diet, exercise, rest, daily activities, etc. etc. etc.  While there are separate forums for each of those topics, I am still trying to learn how to manage it all.  I wonder how others manage, organize everything.

    • brenda-denzler

      March 1, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      Excellent request, Charlene. I’m interested in how others’ days usually go, too.

    • jen-cueva

      March 3, 2023 at 12:51 pm

      Hi @bamagramma, I’m happy you recover and feel better after that cold. The occasional nasal congestion is a common symptom of most PH medications. Ask your doctor if you can take a plain Zyrtec or if it’s generic(cetirizine) to help with that.

      It is a lot to balance with medications, diet, and whatever else life with PH entails. I love your suggestion, and we will work on that sub-forum, Daily Life with PH. I have passed that along to our management.

      The organization is no longer my friend so others can offer suggestions.

      Take care, and have a great relaxing weekend.

  • Colleen Steele

    March 2, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    @bamagramma @jenc @brendad53 @debbie @valeriekv and for all members concerned about colds.

    I found this article from the PH Association re: Colds. It pretty much confirms the do’s and do-not’s already mentioned but thought it would be helpful hearing it straight from them.

    Question: What are the special considerations I should be aware of as a PH patient when I get a cold?

    Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine we were always told are big no’s to take and fyi, they still are post-transplant. Cullen also has to be careful with what he takes because of his kidney disease which causes high BP. When he has to he will take robitusin or like medications that advertise on the box safe for high blood pressure and diabetes.

    I do recommend before taking anything that you check with your doctor first, even if it’s nasal sprays. Many of us are dealing with co-existing conditions that need to be considered as well. My son also had Long QT and often that complicated treatment more than the PH did.


    • brenda-denzler

      March 2, 2023 at 7:17 pm

      Yikes! I’ve been taking phenylephrine daily for a long time, to tamp down histamine reactions from the alpha-gal syndrome. I’m not (yet) taking any PH meds, so I wonder if this would still be a no-no?

    • jen-cueva

      March 3, 2023 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing that from PHA @colleensteele. I recall reading this in my PH handbook years ago and on the PHA website.

      Yes, please check with your PH team y’all before adding any medications. We react differently, so one med may be OK for me, but not for you.

      @brendad53, although you aren’t taking PH treatments, those medications and ingredients can also increase the pressures in the lungs. I would ask the one doctor you trust about this. I would undoubtedly start asking them and stop it if you are taking it continuously as it sounds.

      Thanks for your contributions, y’all. Those are great suggestions, Have a wonderful weekend.

Log in to reply.