Why Are You Coughing? 

Why Are You Coughing? 

Coughing is a reflex action by the body to get rid of irritants from your esophagus. When something like mucus, allergens, or pollen gets into your airway, the body responds by expelling a burst of air.

Although everyone experiences harmless coughs from time to time, coughing can be a symptom of illness and conditions. So, it is vital to know the characteristic of the cough to help you respond appropriately.

  • What are its behavior and experience? Does it occur at night, after exercise or eating?
  • How does it sound like? Is it wet, dry or hacking?
  • What is the cough’s duration? Does it last for less than two weeks or more?
  • What are its effects? Does it cause other symptoms such as vomiting, insomnia, or urinary incontinence?
  • How bad is the cough? Is it persistent or debilitating?

These characteristics help you know the cause and the possible cause of treatment.

What Type Is It?

A cough has different symptoms based on its occurrence.

1. Wet cough

A wet or productive cough is one that brings up mucus to your mouth. Cold and flu are the common causes of wet cough, but other conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma can also cause be a trigger. A productive cough develops slowly and is accompanied by a runny nose or fatigue.
Wet cough is either acute lasting less than three weeks or chronic lasting for more than eight weeks. The duration of the cough can be an indication of the cause, so pay attention.

2. Dry cough

A dry cough feels like a tickle in the throat and doesn’t produce mucus. This type of cough occurs when you have irritation or inflammation in the respiratory tract.
Upper respiratory infections like cold or flu are the causes of dry cough. The cough occurs differently in every person, but it can linger for several weeks after the flu has subsided. Other causes include asthma, allergies, sore throat, tonsillitis, medications, or sinusitis.

3. Whooping cough

Whooping or paroxysmal cough causes intermittent attacks of violent coughs which can be exhausting, painful, and sometimes people struggle to breathe.
Bacteria is the primary cause of whooping coughs, but pneumonia, tuberculosis, or asthma can also be a cause.

What Causes the Throat to Be Irritated?

Coughs can occur as a reflex reaction, or as a result of a disease and infections. The various causes of coughs include:

  • Viruses or bacteria

The cold and flu are the chief causes of respiratory tract infection which lasts for a few days or a week. Although the flu and cold symptoms subside on their own after a week or two, the cough will persist for longer and sometimes you may need antibiotics to clear up the bacteria.

  • Choking

The cough can be also be triggered by obstructed airways. Choking can be life-threatening and should be treated with urgency. Seek urgent care treatment when you notice signs of choking such as bluish skin, loss of consciousness, weak ineffective cough, panic, wheezing or whistling.

  • Smoking

Smoking causes chronic coughs if you a daily smoker. When you smoke cigarettes or cigars, the chemical components can get stuck in the throat and lungs. The smoker’s cough is wet and it occurs differently; it may involve crackling or wheezing sounds.

  • Medicines

Coughing can be a side effect of certain medications such as blood pressure drugs. The cough will stop when you discontinue the medications.

  • Asthma

Asthma causes coughs in children. Asthma-related cough can either be wet or dry, but it is accompanied by a wheezing or whistling coughs. Other symptoms include chest tightness, fatigue, awakening from night coughs, shortness of breath.

When Does Coughing Become an Emergency?

Cough clears up within a week or two. However, if the coughing does not improve in this period you need to seek urgent care for coughs. Some symptoms to watch out for include fever, headaches, chest pains, drowsiness, confusion, or coughing with blood.

What Are the Recommended Cough Treatment?

You can treat coughs in various ways depending on the cause. Self-care is crucial to get rid of the symptoms. So, keep yourself hydrated, rest, avoid irritants, and use a decongestant to unblock the airway. The doctor can also prescribe antibiotics to clear off the infection.

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