Cough is a common and usually harmless symptom. However, there are different types of cough. Get to know them and see what sets them apart.
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THE cough it is a physiological response of the body resulting from irritation of the airways. It consists of a spasmodic, sudden and repetitive contraction of the thoracic cavity. Thus, when we cough, we expel air from the lungs and other harmful elements such as dust, bacteria, viruses, fungi, among other irritating substances.
However, there are different types of cough and their causes can also be diverse. Although this is not a disease, but just a symptom, it is usually mild and transient. Therefore, it is important to know how to diagnose its origin and treatment, as constant coughing can be an indicator of a more serious problem that requires medical examination and follow-up.
Cough: possible causes and signs to watch out for
Essentially, coughing can be acute or chronic; productive or dry.
Acute vs chronic cough: The acute is sudden and is usually associated with respiratory infections, usually also acute and in most cases will disappear in days or weeks. The chronicle extends over time, as it is related to other more complex pathologies, often also chronic.
Dry vs productive cough: The drought has no secretions, is irritating and usually affects the pharynx, larynx and upper respiratory tract. Therefore, with regard to productive cough, it produces secretions that can be greenish-yellow (in the case of an infection in the respiratory tract) or bloody (in a situation of lung infection). Therefore, if this last type of cough persists for more than two weeks, you should consult a doctor.
A special case, which deserves to be analyzed separately, is that of allergic cough, which can be characterized as a persistent dry cough and which will have the particularity of manifesting itself only when the individual is exposed to the element to which he is allergic, whether it be fur animal, whether powder or pollen. Therefore, in these situations, it is advisable to take antihistamines and avoid contact with the allergen.
As we have already mentioned, coughing can have several causes. It can be motivated by:
- a respiratory infection (flu or cold);
- allergy (pollen or mites) or asthma;
- irritation from pollution, tobacco smoke, etc.;
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- gastroesophageal reflux;
- rhinitis, laryngitis or pharyngitis;
- acute bronchitis;
- side effect of heart medications;
- pulmonary edema or embolism;
- cardiac insufficiency.
In addition to its duration and nature, the sound that an individual makes when coughing allows, many times, to diagnose the origin and cause of that cough. Therefore, pay attention to the following 3 types:
- Farfalheira: This is the characteristic sound when secretions have accumulated in the throat or bronchi. This type of cough tends to get worse at night, when the individual lies down, as the secretions flow from the nose into the throat, causing a cough.
- wheezing: When coughing, it seems to wheeze, because the bronchial tubes are filled with secretions, with resistance to the passage of air during expiration. Thus, it is an indicator of problems in the bronchi.
- stridor: In this case, we are talking about a low and hoarse sound that indicates inflammation in the larynx and/or trachea and difficulty in getting air.
Of course, the entire treatment will depend on the cause of the problem, its duration, nature and also the individual’s clinical condition. However, there are “home” measures that we can take to alleviate this symptom and eliminate it as soon as possible. So look for:
- increase fluid intake;
- make nubilizations;
- take pills appropriate for the problem;
- take a syrup, according to medical indication. Alternatively, you can also prepare homemade syrups, such as carrot, ginger or honey and lemon syrup;
- not sleeping with wet hair;
- wrap yourself up and keep your feet always warm;
- do not remain in places with air currents;
- avoid staying in dusty places;
- sleep propped up on several pillows to avoid the most persistent nocturnal cough.
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