August 11th, 2015
Coughing is a natural defense mechanism employed by the body to get rid of the mucus or any foreign body which may be present in the upper respiratory passage and irritating it. When the cells lining the upper respiratory tract get irritated, they initiate a chain of reactions which culminates with the lungs forcing out the air present in them under high pressure. Coughing can be either voluntary or involuntary.
Acute Cough can be further sub-classified as:
Chronic Cough can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some of the causes behind chronic cough include:
The treatment of cough depends upon its duration, its severity and its underlying cause. In many people, acute cough responds well to over-the-counter cough remedies.
In case of viral infection, antibiotics do not have any role to play. However, if the underlying reason for cough is some bacterial infection, then antibiotics prescribed by a doctor can give relief from the cough.
I case of chronic cough as well, treating the underlying cause is the mainstay of treatment.
If the cough is due to environmental causes, avoiding such triggers may be beneficial. Quitting smoking is the best way to get relief from smokers’ cough. However, getting relief may take some time as the damage to the lungs and airways needs time to repair.
In case of diseases of the lungs or conditions present in the chest cavity which give rise to cough, treatment directed towards these causes will help in providing relief. As the disease conditions heal, the cough is relieved spontaneously.
In case the cough is due to GERD, making necessary changes in the diet and taking antacids may help in treating the cough.
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