How do you describe a cough?
Cough is a sudden forceful sound that is done instinctively to clear the throat of mucus, fluids, irritants, and foreign bodies (foreign particles and microbes). Cough is a very common symptom in several diseases, and it is a way of clearing the airways. The throat can also be irritated by certain factors that trigger the cough reflex.
The symptoms of cough include:
- Cough can be dry and nonproductive (cough without mucus).
- Cough can be wet and productive (cough with mucus production).
- Comes with the tightness of chest
- Tickle in the throat
- Dry feeling in the throat
- Cough can be frequent and persistent (chronic in nature)
- Cough can be acute in nature (short duration)
- Whooping cough
- Choking cough
Cough rarely stands alone. It is usually associated with other symptoms such as:
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing)
- Cyanosis of fingers
- Sore throat
- Weight loss
- Easy fatigability (reduce exercise tolerance)
Causes/Triggers Of Cough
The common causes of cough include:
- Normal clearing of the airways
- Smoke inhalation
- Gas irritation
- Tobacco use
- Swallowing food improperly
- Fast consumption of liquid that causes water to wrongly enter into the pharynx
- Cigarette smoking
- Spicy foods
- Habit cough(psychogenic cough): also known as tic cough, is a kind of cough that does not have any pathological cause. It is a habit that was picked up, sometimes as a result of a life-changing event such as a loss in the family or having a chronically sick sibling.
- Air pollution
- Chronic bronchitis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Cold aid
- Common cold
- Influenza (flu)
- Heart failure
- The use of ACE inhibitors
- Acute bronchitis.
- Eosinophilic bronchitis
- Lung cancer
Diagnosis of cough
The diagnosis of a cough is based on the following:
- History of cough: onset, productive or nonproductive, any associated symptoms, relieving factor, and factors that worsens the cough
- Chest X-ray
- Sputum analysis
- Blood analysis
What is the best treatment for a cough?
- Honey: is a special natural substance to suppress the cough. Honey reduces the duration of the cough.
- Drink hot tea with lemon and honey
- Cough suppressants: dextromethorphan and codeine.
- Quit smoking.
- Discontinue the use of ACE inhibitors.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Avoid irritants like pollen, dust, cigarette, mold, and animals
- Avoid excessive talking and yelling.
Final word: Call your doctor immediately if you have a cough with shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or fever, severe chest pain or coughing up blood or cough lasts for more than 2 weeks.