Help with cough: get chronic cough cleared up
Even though winter has not been so severe this year, coughing and clearing of the throat are often part of the everyday noise around us. In addition to runny nose and hoarseness, cough is one of the typical cold symptoms. But coughing is also part of the symptoms in several other diseases. An expert advises that the cause of chronic cough be clarified.
Cough is part of the symptoms of numerous illnesses. The winter was very mild this year, but coughing and clearing of the throat are often part of the daily background noise. In addition to runny nose and hoarseness, cough is one of the typical cold symptoms. However, cough is also part of the symptoms in several other diseases, such as smoker's cough (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD), asthma, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. But what actually happens when we cough and what can you do about it? Sabine Beck from the Berlin University Clinic Charité has the answers, as the “Welt” reported.
The most common cause is a cold infection As the general practitioner explained, cough is a reflex, i.e. a reaction that is triggered directly via the brain stem. The body wants to get rid of the disruptive factor in the airways, such as mucus or a foreign body, as quickly as possible and helps with a sudden breath - the cough. This sensible protective function of the body can be triggered by various irritations of the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract. For five to 40-year-olds, the most common cause of acute cough is a viral illness in the form of a cold infection. In contrast, smoking, for example, is a chemical stimulus that also leads to coughing, says Beck. The mucous membrane is also irritated physically when swallowed or by cold. The specialist explained: "Some people always have to cough when they eat ice cream."
Medicines rarely shorten cough. However, especially in older patients, a serious illness can be behind the cough. “With weak heart, blood also builds up in the lungs,” says Beck. "Especially when the patient is lying flat, this leads to a bad urge to cough." In rare cases, the cough itself can even lead to complications such as vomiting, headache and irregular heartbeat, according to the DEGAM information (German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine) . As the doctor says, this is rare. As the information goes on to say, medications in acute cough, such as a viral infection, rarely affected the duration of the cough. But they could alleviate the complaints somewhat.
Natural home remedies for cough In addition to conventional medicines, numerous home remedies for cough are also available. Basically, it is important to drink a lot, ideally warm water or tea. In addition, various wraps, such as the quark wrap, full baths with essential oils as additives or inhalation with salt, are available to relieve the cough. But caution is advised with the well-known home remedy hot milk with honey. Because milk should only be drunk when the cough is still dry. Once mucus was formed, milk would only increase mucus production, making the cough worse.
Have a chronic cough examined But not all forms of cough can be alleviated by natural means. Experts strongly recommend antibiotics for bacterial diseases such as pneumonia. This is particularly a risk for older and weakened patients. The doctor should also clarify with seniors whether swallowing problems (dysphagia) exist. In this case, swallowing food could cause severe pneumonia. Beck also advises that it is very important for chronic cough to have the cause clarified. (sb)