The appearance of a cough indicates the development of one of the diseases of the respiratory tract. This is an unpleasant symptom, not only causing discomfort, but also requiring immediate treatment.
This problem is not always solved independently, in order to establish an accurate diagnosis and conduct effective treatment, it is better to consult a doctor and follow his recommendations.
Why does a cough occur?
The secretory fluid is constantly secreted in the bronchi and serves as a natural barrier to dust and microorganisms. The ciliated epithelium is responsible for its removal from the lungs, its cilia push phlegm up towards the throat.
If this system functions normally, the person does not notice the sputum, since it is automatically swallowed in small quantities.
If the work of the respiratory system is disturbed for one reason or another, the discharge becomes abundant – the volume of secretion can increase tenfold.
When the airways are unable to cope with the evacuation of phlegm, the muscles of the bronchi and larynx tense, the abdominal muscles contract, pushing air out of the lungs, and fluid is expelled outward under air pressure.
We call this defense mechanism a cough.
The most common causes of coughing are:
- infectious diseases;
- allergic reaction;
- heart failure;
- lung cancer;
- various pathologies of the digestive system;
- a reaction to certain medications, such as high blood pressure medications.
Types of coughs and related diseases
It is customary to distinguish several types of cough, differing in the nature and intensity of the discharge:
- Bronchial cough . Its occurrence indicates the onset of inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract. In some cases, the cough is accompanied by a wheezing wheezing.
- Dry cough . This symptom usually occurs at the initial stage of the disease. During coughing fits, sputum is either not produced at all, or its amount is minimal.
- Wet or productive cough . The symptom is accompanied by profuse sputum production and indicates the beginning of the restoration of the normal function of the respiratory system.
- Smoker’s cough . People with many years of smoking experience sooner or later develop a chronic cough. It is provoked by the abundant secretion of phlegm in the bronchi, which is a natural means of cleaning from resins and harmful substances that accumulate on the surface of tissues.
- Alcoholic’s cough . Excessive alcohol consumption sometimes leads to respiratory failure, manifested by a characteristic cough.
By the characteristic signs of a cough, you can learn about the disease that provoked it.
Here are some examples:
- with bronchitis, a productive and deep cough occurs, with a chronic form of the disease, it becomes muffled;
- in the case of tracheitis, with a strong breath, a painful cough with copious sputum is observed ;
- for pneumonia, a prolonged deaf cough with moderate secretion of secretory fluid is characteristic;
- patients with bronchial asthma suffer from suffocation, viscous sputum is released during coughing.
If you observe similar symptoms for several days, you need to seek help from a doctor. Diseases of the respiratory tract in a neglected state can cause significant harm to the body.
Treatment and prevention
Since cough occurs due to various reasons, at the initial stage the doctor diagnoses and chooses treatment methods.
To clarify the clinical picture, an external examination of the patient is carried out, and then, if necessary, a complete examination.
In the treatment of cough, medications of various types are prescribed:
- agents that stimulate the excretion of secretory fluid, thinning phlegm, to facilitate expectoration;
- drugs to suppress the cough reflex, affecting certain areas of the brain;
- antibacterial drugs that inhibit or completely stop the spread of infection;
- steroids that counteract inflammatory processes.
Traditional medicine, for example, tinctures, decoctions, compresses, inhalations, can also improve the patient’s condition and relieve symptoms.
However, complete recovery requires complex treatment, including the use of medication.
The likelihood of a cough can be minimized, and the course of the disease can be significantly alleviated. To do this, we recommend using four simple guidelines:
- Maintain your immune system. Regular exercise, hardening, healthy eating and good sleep will protect the body, including from respiratory diseases.
- Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking.
- Observe the safety rules at work. If your work involves prolonged exposure to polluted air, be sure to use a respirator.
- Avoid allergens if you have an allergic reaction to certain irritants.