What is Cough?
Coughing is a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs. This is body’s natural reflex to expel any foreign matter that is accumulated in the airways.
Most people with a cold or flu develop a cough. It can be dry and itchy, or chesty and phlegmy.
Cough may be classified by duration of the cough. Acute cough lasts for less than three weeks and is commonly due to an acute respiratory infection.
Coughing that has lasted for more than 3 weeks, but less than eight weeks, is classed as sub-acute, while a cough that has been present for more than eight weeks is known as a chronic cough.
Causes of Cough
- Viral Infection- After a common cold, a dry cough may last several weeks longer than other symptoms and often gets worse at night
- Respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia etc
- Exposure to irritants such as dust, fumes, and chemicals in the work environment
- Asthma. A chronic dry cough may be a sign of mild asthma
- Blockage of the airway by an inhaled object
Types of Cough
Coughs are often described as wet or dry.
A wet cough is one in which mucus builds up in the chest. If you have a wet cough, you may feel tightness in your chest and you may hear a wheezing sound when breathing. This mucus build up is difficult to get rid of by coughing.
A dry cough produces little or no mucus or sputum. A dry, hacking cough may develop toward the end of a cold or after exposure to an irritant, such as dust or smoke.