Cough is a common medical illness. Coughing is a reflex action where the air is blow out quickly from the lungs to clear the foreign materials from the throat. So cough is a significant respiratory protective mean. However, it may be a symptom of a hidden disease and seek medical attention if cough lasts for more than 3 weeks.
Cough is classified on the basis of its duration. Several definitions can describe the cough;
The sudden cough and last for nearly three weeks.
A cough, that ends between three to eight weeks.
A repeated cough, that lasts for more than eight weeks.
A productive cough is a cough which develops mucus.
Cough that does not produces mucus.
A persistent cough, that happens only at night.
Any cough that has not recovered after a few weeks can be severe and it is important to seek medical attention.
Virus and bacteria:
Respiratory tract infection (flu or cold) is the most common cause of a cough. Usually, virus causes these infections.
Another common cause of cough is smoking. The smoker’s cough is mostly chronic with offbeat sound.
People with asthma commonly experience breathy shortness, chest tightness, cough. In fact, more than 90% of chronic cough is caused by asthma and allergies.
A cough is a typical and usual way of clearing the throat. Actually, cough is a reflex effort to clear the foreign particles that clogged the airways. This type of coughing is usually occasional but will increase with exposure to irritants.
Coughing can be a rare side effect of some medicines. Such a cough can be controlled by stop usage of causing medicines. These medicines can be Zestril (lisinopril), Vasotec (enalapril) and Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.
Other causes are;
- Damage to vocal folds tissues
- Postnasal drip
Depending on the cause cough can be treated in several ways. For healthy persons the most common treatment is self-care.
Cough can be treated in following self-care ways;
Fluids drinking help to slender the mucus and retain the mucous membrane moisty.
Drinking warm tea with honey or ginger can also relieve the throat and clear the airways.
A hot shower can soothe the cough by loosening secretions in the nose.
The nasal snot can be dried out in a dry house but a humidifier can help by making it easier to breathe.
Avoid irritants such as smoke, dust and scented products.
Decongestant sprays help in shrinking of swollen nasal tissues and reducing the production of mucus.
Gargle with warm salt-water regularly to relieve throat.
Medical care involves the examination of the throat. If the cough is due to the bacteria then it can be treated by cough syrups and cough suppressants. Cough expectorants make the mucus thin so that it can be coughed easily. You may visit nearest urgent care in your area to get treated for it.