Cough

Description of Cough

Description
 
Cough is a common problem that obstructs the air passage and makes breathing troublesome. It is caused due to an infection and based on the severity, can be categorised as acute, sub-acute, persistent or chronic cough. Chronic cough usually lasts for more than 8 weeks. Cough can affect both adults and children.
 
Signs and Symptoms
 
Common symptoms of cough are:
1. Pain in chest due to regular coughing
2. Disrupting sleep pattern
3. Headache as a result of continuous coughing
4. Fatigue 
5. In a few cases, excessive sweating
 
Causes and Risk Factors
 
Some of the factors that are listed as triggers for cough are:
1. Exposure to environmental pollution such as smoke and dust
2. Smoking
3. Pre-history of asthma
4. History of bronchitis, sinusitis, or eosinophilic bronchitis
5. Bacterial infection in lower respiratory tract
6. Pneumonia or other respiratory infections
7. Inhalation of foreign particles that may cause irritation
8. Cold weather 
9. People on blood pressure management drugs can also develop chronic cough (drug induced cough)
 
Investigations
 
1. Your doctor may physically examine you.
2. You may be recommended to perform laboratory tests to identify scope of any infection such as sputum evaluation.
3. Other tests may include: 
a) Pulmonary functioning test (gives an evaluation for lungs and air passage)
b) Bronchoscopy
c) Chest radiography
d) CT scan
e) Chest x-ray
 
Treatment
 
Medications include:
a) Antibiotics
b) Bronchodilators and steroids
c) Cough suppressants
d) Anti-allergic tablets are prescribed to reduce allergic cough.
 
Prevention
 
To prevent cough try the following:
1. Include fruits (rich source of flavonoids) in your diet 
2. Try ginger tea
3. Avoid smoking and tobacco products
 
Content Details
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Written By
Dr. Sakshi Sharma
BDS
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Reviewed By
Dr. Varun Gupta
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated on:
15 Nov 2021 | 04:47 PM (IST)
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