What’s Causing Your Cough?

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A cough is the body’s way of responding to the irritants in your airways and throat. An irritant usually stimulates nerves to send a cough impulse to the brain. The brain in turn signals the abdomen and chest wall muscles to give a very strong push of air to the lungs so as to try and expel the irritant.

An occasional cough is healthy and normal. A cough which persists for weeks or even one that brings up bloody or discoloured mucus might indicate an underlying condition which requires medical attention. Coughs rarely require any emergency care.

A coughing attack might be very forceful since the velocity of the air coming from a vigorous cough via the almost-closed vocal cords could approach 500 miles/hour. Prolonged and vigorous coughing can turn out to be exhausting and might cause sleeplessness, urinary incontinence, headaches and broken ribs as well.

Major Causes

  • Allergies

Allergies are among the biggest contributors to development of mucus in the chest. The most common allergens are ragweed pollens, which are responsible for the hay fever. While mucus membranes in your throat and nose try to sweep and trap away allergens, the body is constantly producing excessive mucus that can lead to congestion.

  • Bacterial or Viral Infection

One of the common causes of chest congestions is common illnesses like the cold or flu. Since the body is being attacked by a bacterial agent or virus, it produces lots more mucus than normal. As a result, it can begin collecting in your nasal cavities and lungs. It’s also common for one to cough up phlegm in case you are suffering from viral or bacterial infections.

  • Postnasal drip

When your sinuses or nose produce excess mucus, it could drip down the back of the throat and then trigger cough reflex. The condition is also known as upper airways cough syndrome.

  • Asthma

An asthma-related cough might come and go with the seasons or appear after upper respiratory tract infections. It can become worse when you are exposed to certain chemicals, fragrances or cold air. In a certain type of asthma, the cough-variant asthma, cough the main symptoms.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

In this very common condition, the stomach acid usually flows back in the tube which connects the stomach and throat. The constant irritation might lead to chronic coughs. The cough, worsens GERD in turn; a vicious cycle.

Studies have revealed that the above 5 causes, either alone or in even combination, are responsible for 90% of cases involving chronic coughs.

Other Causes

  • Infections

A cough might linger long after several symptoms of influenza, pneumonia, a cold or other infections of the upper respiratory tracts have gone away. A non-common cause of chronic coughs in many adults is pertussis, commonly referred to as whooping cough.

  • Blood pressure drugs

The ACE, (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, which are mostly prescribed for heart failure or high blood pressure, is known to cause chronic coughs in some people.

  • Chronic bronchitis

This long-lasting inflammation of the major airways (the bronchial tubes) might cause congestion, wheezing, breathlessness and a cough which brings up discoloured sputum. Most individuals with chronic bronchitis are mostly former or current smokers.

  • Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure normally occurs when the heart is unable to effectively pump blood throughout the body. One of the major symptoms of the disease congestion of the lungs since the fluid accumulates in one’s lungs.

Sourced from: Alot

Photo by NapInterrupted / CC by

 

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