- Cough reasons
- Cough symptoms
- Treatment of Cough
Cough is the peculiar reflex consisting in pushing out of air from lungs. Cough protects respiratory tracts, clearing it of the irritating substances.
Cough arises when the irritant stimulates the tussive receptors localized in various points of respiratory system. These receptors transfer an impulse in the tussive center which is in head a brain. Cough begins with deep breath then the opening between phonatory bands in an upper part of a throat (glottis) is closed, blocking intake of air in lungs. Reduction of a diaphragm and other respiratory muscles promote a tussive push, air speed at which reaches speed to 160 km/h.
In most cases cough is caused by respiratory infections, including:
- bronchitis (inflammation of a mucous membrane of bronchial tubes);
- croup, virus inflammation of a throat, trachea and bronchial ways;
- whooping cough (the bacterial infection which is followed by intensive cough);
- pneumonia (potentially serious bacterial infection which often is followed by a phlegm of "rusty" color);
- tuberculosis at which the bloody phlegm meets;
- fungal infections, such as aspergillosis, histoplasmosis cryptococcosis.
Ecological pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, dust and smog, can also cause cough. In case of smokers, nicotine will paralyze cilia of a respiratory epithelium which regularly wash away slime from respiratory tracts. Stagnation of slime leads to cough. Some chronic diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema of lungs and cystous fibrosis, are also characterized by cough. The state at which gastric acid as a result of a gastroesophagal impulse gets into a gullet can be followed by cough, especially if the person lies. Cough can also be side effect of drugs which are entered by means of an inhaler. It can be side effect of beta-blockers and APF inhibitors which apply as anti-hypertensive means.
If cough does not cease within 3-4 days, it is necessary to see a doctor. Smokers with chronic cough have to see a doctor as soon as they noticed changes of a phlegm, especially existence of streaks of blood in it.
Normal most of people cough 1-2 times an hour during the day to clear respiratory tracts of irritants. However, when the level of substances irritants in air high or at infection of respiratory system, cough can become frequent and long. It can influence physical activity or a dream, to be followed by dizziness, a stethalgia or an asthma. In most cases cough lasts one-two weeks. If cough lasts more than three weeks, it is considered chronic cough. In that case doctors try to define the reason out of an acute infection.
Cough can be dry or productive. Dry cough is not followed by expectoration, the irritating substances and other substances from lungs while productive cough is characterized by allocation of a mucous or mucopurulent secret. In case of a bacterial infection, the phlegm can be greenish, gray or brown color. In case of the allergic or virus nature of a disease it can be transparent or white. Content of blood in a phlegm indicates the serious forecast.
To define the cough reason, the doctor has to take has to collect the detailed anamnesis of a disease and conduct additional diagnostic testings. Information on cough duration, the accompanying symptoms and existence influencing an organism of harmful factors will help the doctor to make the right diagnosis. Character of a phlegm also helps to define what type of an infection, if such is is available, was the reason of cough. The phlegm research under a microscope will help to allocate a contagium. Carrying out X-ray inspection helps to define existence of such infections as pneumonia or tuberculosis. If these researches did not help to find out the cough reason, carrying out a bronkhoskopiya or laringoskopiya is shown. By means of these researches it is possible to examine internal covers of bronchial tubes and a throat.
Treatment of Cough:
Treatment of cough first of all is directed to identification and elimination of the reason which caused it. Acute infections, such as pneumonia, need prescription of antibiotics. The cough caused by asthma it is possible to treat by means of bronchodilators, aantigistaminny means are effective at allergic genesis of cough. Doctors prefer not to suppress cough with a phlegm as it helps an organism to clear respiratory tracts of the infectious agent. However, if cough causes the expressed concern and is not productive, it is necessary to appoint antibechic and expectorant drugs.
Antibechic drugs suppress cough. Among this group of drugs codeine – the narcotic substance operating directly on the tussive center is most often used. Nevertheless, they can cause such side effects as drowsiness, nausea and a lock. Dextromethorphan, the main ingredient in many cough remedies, also oppresses the tussive center of a brain, but without the side effects connected with drugs. Expectorant drugs are capable to facilitate cough considerably. However, some researches showed that at acute infections, having just increased consumption of liquid it is possible to achieve the same effect.
The bacterial and viral upper respiratory tract infections which are followed by cough it is possible to treat effectively homeopathic medicines. The choice of means will change and be various for different types of cough. Some combinations of phytodrugs and homeopathic remedies also exert a positive impact on cough, facilitating it. Long cough or cough with blood are the direct indication for medical examination. The people practicing a healthy lifestyle advise to use more liquid and to moisten the inhaled air. Also recommend to have hot tea, to use honey as temporary house cure for the cough caused by cold or flu. Various vitamins, such as vitamin C, or minerals, such as zinc, can be полезнымидля prevention and treatment of cough.
As in most cases cough is connected with cold or flu, it is stopped from 7 to 21 days in time.