Cough: types, causes and treatment

What is a cough?

Coughing is a natural defense reflex airway clearance a ensures their passage. At the same time, it protects the body from inhalation of harmful and toxic substances. Cough occurs when the receptors of the lower respiratory tract are irritated, the most sensitive are the areas of the larynx (larynx), trachea (trachea), bronchi (bronchi) and pleura (pleura).

It is most often associated with coughing respiratory diseases. Children, adults and the elderly have a cough, but this problem most often affects young patients who suffer from viral and bacterial infections several times a year. But cough can also be associated with other diseases. It is often accompanied by allergies, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Irritation of the respiratory tract, for example, can be caused by various mechanical stimuli smoke. Therefore, smoker’s cough appears in active smokers. However, they can also cause coughing inhaled food particles a dustbut also various chemicals and volatile substances. Therefore, people who work in the chemical industry or in a dusty environment are more likely to suffer from cough. [1, 23]

How long does the cough last?

According to the duration of the difficulties, we divide the cough into the following:

  • acute cough,
  • semi-acute cough,
  • long-term cough (chronic).

A sharp cough

Acute cough appears suddenly and does not last long. It is usually one of the manifestations respiratory tract infection or a cold, but this is also accompanied by allergic reactions. A sharp cough is often accompanied by a runny nose, congestion or high temperature.

Subacute cough

The duration of subacute cough varies between 3-4 weeks regardless of the treatment method (3-8 weeks are mentioned in some sources). It appears most often after encountering a viral infection.

Long-term cough (chronic)

Adults have a long-term dry cough, and children have a long-term cough More than 4 weeks (some sources say more than 8 weeks). The reasons can be different, and it is often a manifestation of some serious diseases (asthma, esophageal reflux, COPD, oncological disease, heart disease, etc.). But chronic cough also occurs in heavy smokers. In any case, a prolonged cough calls for it doctor’s help. [4, 5, 6, 7]

Types of cough

The alpha and omega of treatment determines what type of cough a person is suffering from. The most common types of cough include:

  • dry cough (dry irritating cough),
  • wet cough
  • psychogenic cough (psychosomatic cough),
  • paroxysmal cough,
  • whooping cough (whooping cough).

Dry cough

A dry cough does not produce mucus, hence its name unproductive cough This type of cough is particularly unpleasant, because the patient usually feels a strong urge to cough, after which there is no relief. Sometimes it is accompanied by a scratchy throat, sore throat or pain behind the sternum.

A dry, hacking cough may be a natural response to inhaling a foreign object, but it is also a symptom of most respiratory illnesses. Dry cough at night especially annoying because it often keeps you awake. Dry cough in respiratory diseases gradually moisturizeswhen there is excess production of mucus and its expectoration.

Wet cough

Wet cough is called productivebecause it is accompanied by excessive creation slimy in the respiratory tract. Mucus sticks to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and causes coughing. But mostly a lot tight a gooey, so it is generally difficult to cough it up. In addition, it creates a suitable environment for the growth of bacteria that should not normally occur in the respiratory tract under normal conditions.

A wet cough accompanies a cold, but often occurs with bronchitis or pneumonia.

Psychogenic cough

A persistent cough can surprisingly also have a psychological origin. It appears more often in children, with very few exceptions, in adults. Psychogenic cough is said to be associated with stress, mental lability, and trauma. Therapy in this case is not easy, because common cough medicines do not help. Experts advise to take the most effective way of psychotherapy bidding methods.

Paroxysmal cough

Cough After mealcough at night or cough after tension – all these types of cough appear only in special cases, so they are coughing fits. Paroxysmal cough also occurs in patients suffering from bronchiectasis asthma.

Whooping cough (whooping cough)

Whooping cough, more commonly known as whooping cough (whooping cough), is a highly contagious type of bacterial cough. It is caused by bacteria Bordetella pertussis, or toxins produced by bacteria. This type of cough is characteristic seizures dry whooping cough, when the patient stutters. This sound is similar to the crowing of a rooster. Most adults recover from whooping cough, but it is especially dangerous for pediatric patients and infants.

Whooping cough used to be a big problem when there was no antidote vaccination. In 1958, widespread vaccination against whooping cough began in what was then Czechoslovakia, so the number of infected people declined rapidly. Today it is mostly found in developing countries, but it is not uncommon to see it in the country. [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]

How to treat a cough?

Cough treatment and appropriate cough medicines should be based on the type of cough the patient is suffering from. During a dry cough, it is necessary to calm the mucous membranes and cough more to moisten. For a wet cough, the opposite is necessary promotes expectoration. Therefore, you should never combine dry cough medicines with wet cough medicines.

What about a dry cough?

  • antitussives (cough suppressants),
  • antihistamines (drugs that reduce swelling of mucous membranes),
  • cough syrup (for example, plantain syrup),
  • cough drops.

Remember that cough syrup for children should not contain codeine. Therefore, never give children syrup intended for adults, buy syrup specially made for children.

What about a wet cough?

  • Mucolytics (drugs that thin the sputum),
  • expectorant (drugs that help cough up sputum). [14, 15, 16, 17]

Cough: grandma’s advice

Cough treatment takes time in many cases. However, it can be supported by many regime measures a natural remedies. What are the best granny cough tips?

  • Drink plenty of fluids (water or herbal tea is best for coughing),
  • ventilate regularly,
  • humidify the air in the room,
  • lying in bed with the head above the rest of the body,
  • inhale steam with essential oils,
  • Try the Priessnitz pack,
  • anoint your chest with ghee.

Cough herbs

The most common herbal cough remedies include the following herbs:

  • plantain,
  • thyme,
  • thyme,
  • sage,
  • chamomile,
  • linden flower,
  • large flower section,
  • hyssop
  • hibiscus.

In addition to herbs, it works great onions. You can try making your own cough syrup at home. Among the most effective:

  • onion syrup,
  • thyme syrup,
  • maple syrup,
  • ginger syrup,
  • garlic syrup. [18, 19, 20]

Whooping cough in children

If your child has ever developed a barking cough in the middle of the night, it is likely a sign of acute laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx). Coughing at night in children can seem scary, but fortunately, it is usually not life-threatening. The most comfortable thing for your child is to open the window next to his crib and let him breathe cool night air. Ice packs and cold drinks are also suitable.

Experts advise to calm the child and try not to cry. Crying would increase the swelling in the throat. However, if a baby or toddler develops a barking cough, you should consult a doctor doctor’s help. [21, 22, 23]

Cough in pregnancy

A dry cough during pregnancy can be very debilitating, but the good news is that it does not pose an immediate danger to the fetus. The expectant mother should observe a rest regime and drink plenty of fluids. That’s all he has to focus on selection of appropriate drugs. A woman should not use any product not recommended by a doctor. [24, 25]

Sources:,,,,,,,,,, pediatrieproprax.z sancedetem .cz

What causes a cough?

Coughing is the body’s natural defense response to respiratory tract irritation. It ensures their cleanliness and permeability. This means that if we inhale a piece of food, for example, we cough it up. However, a cough is also a common symptom of respiratory diseases, and a cough can also be caused by smoke, volatile substances or dust.

How long does a cough last in children?

A cough in a child lasts about the same time as in an adult. Clinical symptoms are also very similar. If the child does not have shortness of breath, it is better to leave him alone, because the doctor will not solve the cough immediately. However, if the child’s condition does not improve after a few days, you should consult a doctor.

When should plantain cough syrup be used?

Plantain syrup is more suitable for treating dry and irritating cough. Soothes irritated mucous membranes and suppresses the cough reflex. A high concentration of plantain syrup also has an anti-inflammatory effect.

what is distemper

If a dog has a dry cough, it may be a so-called whooping cough. Although it is highly contagious among dogs, humans cannot contract it. It can be treated well in most adult dogs, but can be dangerous for puppies and older dogs. A suitable prevention is a vaccine against distemper, which moderates the course of the disease.

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