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Every person experiences a cough at least once in a lifetime. It is a protective reflex, and there are various types of cough. The cough may be caused due to several factors. If you have a persistent cough with or without any other symptoms or have a cough during pregnancy, contact your doctor. Here in this article, you can know the different types of cough and some natural remedies to get rid of the cough.
What Is The Cough?
Cough is a reflex action that occurs when something irritates the throat or respiratory system. During the process of irritation, the nerve supply of the affected part sends a signal to the brain. To expel the irritant from the throat, the muscles of the abdomen and chest contract to cause a sudden expulsion of air. It results in a heckling sound as well as the removal of the irritant substance.
Cough is a protective action that results in the removal of various substances such as dust, mucus, and smoke. Some coughs are caused due to mild reasons, while the other types of cough may result due to severe underlying medical conditions.
Causes Of Cough
Following are some of the causes of cough;
1. Respiratory Tract Infections
Respiratory tract infections are one of the most common causes of cough. Respiratory tract infections are caused due to bacteria and viruses. The respiratory tract infection results in excessive mucus secretion leading to cough.
Exacerbation of asthma may result in a cough. Wheezing occurs during asthma. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may also result in a cough.
3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the condition characterized by the flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. It sometimes irritates the trachea resulting in a cough.
Some medications, such as enalapril or lisinopril, may result in cough reflex.
5. Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions may result in excessive formation of mucus. Cough occurs to expel the mucus. Allergic reactions may be due to pollen, dust, or smoke.
6. Other Underlying Medical Conditions
The cough may also occur due to various underlying medical conditions like lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart failure, coronavirus disease, and chronic sinusitis.
Types Of Cough
The cough is divided into various types depending upon several factors such as characteristics, duration, effects, grade, and experience of the patient. The cough that lasts for three weeks or less is known as acute cough, while cough existing for more than three weeks is a chronic cough.
Following are some of the types of cough;
1. Dry Cough
In the dry cough, there is no or little production of mucus. The patients feel irritation and tickling sensation in the throat. It occurs due to inflammation of the throat. Reasons for dry cough are gastroesophageal reflux disease, upper respiratory tract infection, or lung cancer.
2. Wet Cough
Whenever there is a mucus accumulated in the respiratory tract, there is a cough reflex to expel the mucus. This cough is known as a wet cough. The symptoms accompanied along with wet cough are post-nasal drip and runny nose.
3. Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is also known as pertussis and maybe the reason for cough in adults. Bacteria causes this disease. The patient with whooping cough experiences persistent cough and chest pain.
4. Paroxysmal Cough
Paroxysmal coughing is an uncontrollable cough and occurs due to pneumonia, tuberculosis, asthma, and COPD.
5. Croup Cough
Croup cough is a barking cough and caused due to viral infection. The patients have swelling in the upper respiratory tract.
Cough And COVID-19
COVID -19 is the disease caused due to novel coronavirus. This virus attacks the respiratory tract. The patients suffering from this viral infection have problems in breathing and suffer from fever, fatigue, tiredness, and dry cough. Although people are very much concerned about having any respiratory symptoms in this pandemic scenario, it is to be noted that not every cough indicates a COVID-19.
Natural Remedies For Cough
Following are some of the natural remedies for cough;
- Drink plenty of water
- Drink honey tea.
- Eat ginger
- Steam treatment
- Drink peppermint tea
- Take probiotics
- Gargle with salty water
When To See A Doctor
You should see a doctor when;
- You must make an appointment with the doctor if you experience difficulty in breathing and choking like symptoms.
- Cough is not managed with the current medications.
- You experience wheezing or fever along with a cough.
- You experience continuous pain and notice weight loss.
- You experience any other symptoms that are the cause of concern.