Cough is a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages. It is characterized by forced expiration, which suddenly opens to expel air and unwanted material from the respiratory tract. It is a common symptom of upper respiratory infection/inflammation, such as bronchitis, allergic lung disease, pneumonia or tuberculosis. It may be voluntary as well as involuntary.
As protective mechanism
Cough is an important physiological protective mechanism to prevent the respiratory system from unwanted substances, irritants, dust, pollutants and pathogens. Cough may be a symptom of an underlying disorder as mentioned above. The treatment of the disorder often alleviates the cough but there are times symptomatic treatment is appropriate or necessary.
Common causes of coughing are:
Other causes include:
It depends on the type of cough. A non productive cough (dry, irritating cough) could be due to allergy, or may have deep underlying cause (asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary congestion, oesophageal reflux, post-nasal dripping , sarcoidosis, cardiac problem, or even cancer). Whereas, a productive cough is characterised by presence of obstructive sputum (as in cases of pneumonia, bronchiectasis, cystic-fibrosis, tuberculosis, etc.).
Here are some tips to help ease the cough:
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