I'm not sure when she started coughing when eating, I'd say within the last six months to a year. It doesn't happen all the time. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to it, although it happens more after breakfast than any other time of day. It happens almost everytime she eats candy and it doesn't matter if it's hard or soft (like a Tootsie Roll or Starburst). I'm not sure if it happens with chocolate bars. I don't usually allow her to eat candy, it's more of a rare treat.
She does have large thyroid nodules that the doctors are keeping an eye on. They said it could cause coughing or possible airway obstruction if it gets bigger. It's unclear if the nodules/thyroid are related to this coughing. I'm kind of thinking it's not related. If anything, I'd guess she had acid reflux.
Does this coughing sound normal for her age? Or should I contact the doctor and ask him?
When I ask Grandma about the coughing, she always blames it on the radiation she received on her throat cancer some 10 years ago. However, this coughing only started in the last six months to a year. She either doesn't realize it's tied to food, especially candy or she doesn't want to admit it.