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Home > Symptom > Cough

Cough

Cough

Cough

Coughing is a reflex designed to keep your airways clear. Coughing is often the result of another condition, such as asthma or a respiratory infection, or swallowing difficulties. Your healthcare provider can help you figure out what's causing it and how to reduce its effect on you.

What is Cough?

Coughing is a natural reflex with the goal of clearing your airway, and it's similar to sneezing, swallowing or yawning. The reflex control center for coughing is found in the same part of your brain as many survival functions, meaning that you need to be able to cough in order to stay healthy and safe.

A cough can be caused by various different causes, but most often the cause is a bacteria or virus. A cough can also remove food that has entered your stomach incorrectly or prevent a foreign object from entering your lungs. Some coughs are voluntary and some are involuntary reflexes.

Coughing occurs when the nerve endings in your airways become irritated from something you're breathing in from your environment. For example, during pollen or dust season, coughing helps you to expel these irritants.

Sometimes a cough can be caused as a result of getting sick with a cold or some other type of virus. Coughing is either voluntary, meaning you do it to get rid of mucus, or involuntary.

What Causes a Cough?

A cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic muscles that expels air from the lungs. Coughing helps to clear the throat and airway of irritants and keep them free from obstruction. It is a protective reflex that prevents foreign bodies such as food or fluids from being inhaled into the lungs.

There are many possible causes of coughing, including:

• Allergies - Coughing is a common symptom of allergies or hay fever. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, or animal dander can trigger a cough.

• Asthma - Coughing is also a common symptom of asthma. Chronic lung disease known as asthma results in inflammation and airway narrowing. This can make breathing difficult and lead to coughing.

• Bronchitis - Bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs. The most common cause of bronchitis is a viral infection, but it can also be caused by bacteria or exposure to irritants such as smoke or pollution. Bronchitis usually leads to a productive cough, which means it produces phlegm or mucus.

• Common cold - A common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, throat, sinuses, and bronchial tubes. The most common symptoms of a cold are runny nose, congestion

What are the Common Cough Symptoms?

The most common symptom of a cough is a hacking sensation in the throat. This may be accompanied by pain, tickling, or irritation in the throat. Other common symptoms include:

- Tightness in the Chest: One potential cause of coughing is tightness in the chest. This may feel like an uncomfortable pressure or squeezing sensation in your chest. You may also feel short of breath or have difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms along with your cough, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible as they could be signs of a more serious condition such as a heart attack or lung condition.

- Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath, also called dyspnea, is when you feel like you can't breathe well enough. It can happen when you're doing activities like walking or climbing stairs. Shortness of breath can also be a sign of a more serious problem like heart disease, lung disease, or anxiety. If you have shortness of breath, it's important to see your doctor to find out what's causing it.

- Wheezing: When you breathe, you may make a high-pitched whistling sound known as wheezing. It is caused by narrowing of the airways, which can be due to an infection, allergies, or asthma. Wheezing can also be a symptom of cough. If you are wheezing, it is important to see a doctor so that the cause can be determined and treated.

- Running Nose: A runny nose is a common symptom of a cold or cough. It occurs when the lining of the nose produces too much mucus. The excess mucus drains out of the nose, causing a runny nose.

Most people associate a runny nose with allergies, but it can also be caused by a cold or other respiratory infection. A runny nose is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as sneezing, congestion, cough and a sore throat.

How is a Cough Diagnosed?

A cough is usually diagnosed based on its symptoms. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order tests, such as a chest X-ray or CT scan, to rule out other causes of your cough.

How is a Cough Treated?

There are a variety of ways to treat a cough, depending on the underlying cause. For example, if a cough is due to a cold or the flu, over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and antihistamines can be helpful. If a cough is due to allergies, medications such as allergy shots or oral corticosteroids may be recommended. If a cough is due to asthma, treatments such as inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators may be used. If a cough is caused by smoking, the best treatment is to quit smoking. In some cases, such as when a cough is due to GERD, lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods may be recommended. There are also many home remedies that can help relieve a cough, such as drinking plenty of fluids, using a humidifier, and gargling with salt water.

Long Term Effects of a Cough

When a cough lingers, it can become chronic and have a lasting effect on your overall health. In addition to causing fatigue and disrupting your sleep, a chronic cough can lead to other problems such as:

- difficulty swallowing

- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

- hernias

- incontinence

- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)

If you have a chronic cough, it's important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. Treatment for a chronic cough may include medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

How to Prevent and Treat a Cough with Home Remedies

A cough is a common symptom that can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, the common cold, and even acid reflux. While a cough is usually not serious, it can be bothersome and interfere with your daily activities. There are a number of home remedies that can help to relieve your cough and get you back to your normal routine.

One of the best ways to prevent a cough is to avoid the things that trigger it. If you have allergies, try to avoid exposure to your triggers, such as dust or pollen. If you have the cold or flu, stay away from others who are sick and wash your hands often. If you think your cough may be related to acid reflux, avoid foods that trigger heartburn and eat smaller meals more slowly.

There are also a number of home remedies that can help relieve your cough. Honey has long been used as a natural cough suppressant. Just add a teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water or tea and drink it slowly throughout the day. You can also try steam inhalation by adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water and breathing in the vapors for 10 minutes at a time. Another effective remedy is gargling with warm salt water several times a day. This helps to break up mucus and soothe irritated throat tissues.

If your cough persists for more than a week or two or if you develop other symptoms like fever or shortness of breath

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