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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:
- Allergies that involve the nose or sinuses
- Bronchial asthma, emphysema (an abnormal condition of the lungs marked by decreased respiratory function) or chronic bronchitis
- The common cold and flu
- Lung infections such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis
- Sinusitis with postnasal drip
Other causes include:
- Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney diseases
- Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Lung cancer
- Lung disease such as bronchiectasis or interstitial lung disease
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:
- If it is a dry, tickling cough, try soothing syrups like Tussistin or Alpha-Coff.
- Use a vaporizer or take a steamy shower. These increase moisture in the air and help soothe a dry throat.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Liquids help thin the mucus in your throat making it easier to cough it up.
- Do not smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke
- Alpha-Coff (general cough syrup)
- Senega Pentarkan
- BC 6
Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request should not be taken as a replacement of medical advice or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.