What is Coughing?
Sudden and forceful hacking to clear the airway or to reduce the irritation of the throat is known as coughing. Also known as a sudden expulsion of the air through the breathing passage hence expelling out the fluid, foreign particles, irritants, etc.
What are the causes of Cough?
Most coughs are caused due to cold or flu. However other causes of cough are:
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
- Allergies of few substances such as hay fever
- Infections such as bronchitis
- Mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose
- Intense cough can be the cause of underlying severe conditions
When should an individual visit a doctor during a cough?
One should visit the doctor if the cough is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in the cough, or mucus with blood, or pink foamy mucus
- Tan, green or yellow mucus
- Chills, fever, or chest pain while breathing
- Severe pain
- Trouble swallowing
How is cough diagnosed?
The doctor will ask for the medical history of the patient and for mild coughing, the doctor may prescribe cough syrups depending on the dry or wet cough. However, for severe coughing following are the tests done:
- Imaging tests such as X-rays, and CT Scan
- Lung function testsScope tests such as bronchoscopy and rhinoscopy
- Lab culture test of the cough mucus
How is cough treated?
Mild cough can easily be treated with cough syrups or cough drops. For chronic coughing medications such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, inhaled asthma drugs, antibiotics, acid blockers, and cough suppressants are used. However, before using any medications to treat cough, please consult the doctor.
What are the home remedies for cough?
Mild to moderate cough can be treated with the following home remedies:
- Cough drops or hard candy
- Teaspoon of honey
- Sipping water or fluids whole day keeps the throat moist and reduces the irritation
- Warm fluids such as tea or chicken soup
- Using OTC expectorant
- Use of decongestant
- Steam breathe
- Avoid going out in pollution
- Gargling with salt water
- Throat spray and lozenges