Suffering From Cough? It May Be Due To These

Cough is a common health problem. Cough is actually a defense mechanism of body and it is the body’s way of responding to irritants in throat and airways. When there is irritation (presence of irritant) in throat or airways it stimulates nerves that sends signal to brain to produce cough to expel the irritant. As it is clear from this fact (cough being a defense mechanism) occasional cough is not problematic and it is normal. However, if cough persist for long time (more than a few days) or if there is discoloration or blood in sputum indicates underlying medical condition and need to be taken seriously and medical advice sought.

During coughing air comes out of lungs at very high speed and vigorous coughing for prolonged duration can be exhausting and it may lead to tenderness of muscles used for coughing (abdominal muscles), headache, sleeplessness, urinary incontinence and even broken ribs in extreme cases.

What are the causes of cough?

Cough can be acute and chronic and usually causes of acute (cough that lasts less than 3 weeks) and chronic cough (that lasts for more than 3 weeks) may vary.

Common causes of acute cough include,

  • Common cold and flu (influenza)
  • Inhalation of irritants (such as tobacco smoke, heavy air pollution etc.)
  • Pneumonia
  • Whooping cough (less common these days)

Common causes of chronic cough includes,

  • Allergy
  • Bronchitis
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Post-nasal drip commonly due to chronic sinusitis
  • GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease)

Less common causes for acute and chronic cough include,

  • Sinusitis (acute and chronic sinusitis)
  • Tuberculosis
  • COPD
  • RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infection
  • Hay fever
  • Laryngitis (infection/inflammation of larynx)
  • Croup
  • Respiratory conditions such as bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, emphysema
  • Heart failure (congestive)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Medications used in hypertension such as ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
  • Lung cancer
  • Parkinsonism

If your cough lasts for more than few weeks (more than 3 weeks make cough chronic) consult your doctor. Also consult doctor if you have difficulty in breathing fever, wheezing etc.

Home remedies that can be useful in cough include,

  • Drink plenty of fluid to keep mucus and sputum thin and easy to expel
  • Take hot and steamy shower. Use air moisturizer in room
  • Sucking cough lozenges and candies can soothe the throat and provide temporary relief.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Loading...