Symptoms And Risk Factors Of Cough

Published: 25th July 2008
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A cough, also known as tussis is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs, and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound.

Coughing is an action the body takes to get rid of substances that are irritating the breathing passages. A cough is usually initiated to clear a buildup of phlegm in the trachea. Coughing can also be triggered by a bolus of food entering the trachea rather than the esophagus due to a failure of the epiglottis. Frequent or chronic coughing usually indicates the presence of a disease.

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive. A productive cough is one that brings up mucus. Mucus is also called phlegm or sputum. Coughs can be either acute or chronic.

Causes of Cough

Other sources of bleeding (e.g., hematemesis, epistaxis, and other causes of upper airway bleeding).

Airway disease is the most common cause of hemoptysis.

Bronchitis (acute or chronic) causes more than 25% of cases.

Acute cough is most often caused by the common viral upper respiratory tract infection. Cold viruses often cause a postnasal drip and that causes a cough. This is the most common cause for a cough. The cough is usually secondary to stimulation of nasal, pharyngeal, and laryngeal mucosa receptors.

Postnasal drip is a condition in which mucus drips down the back of the throat causing a cough. This generally occurs because of an overproduction of mucus in the airways. It is common for postnasal drip to be accompanied by a sore throat, and can sometimes lead to an ear infection or sinus infection.

Symptoms of Cough

Cough may be severe in the day and nearly non-existent at night, or vice-versa.

Cough may be relieved temporarily by certain things such as smoking, Coca Cola, etc. -- different things for different people.

There are so many different types of coughs. Each type of cough is distinct and could help indicate what illness you have. Here we look at the major types of cough symptoms and some possible causes.

Cough is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs typically in order to clear the lung airways of fluids, mucus, or material. Cough is also called tussis. Cough can be categorized as acute (less than 3 weeks) or chronic (greater than 3 weeks).

The main cause is anything that irritates the respiratory passage. Maybe, a small particle of food to a micro-organism. Also irritant odors and smoke cause excess sputum production which then leads to cough.

A chronic, persistent cough should always be considered abnormal. The cough may be caused by smoking, allergies, asthma or chronic bronchitis, but it may also be an indication of emphysema, tuberculosis or lung cancer.

Some of these symptoms do not always indicate a respiratory problem. Chest pain, for example, may also result from a heart or gastrointestinal disorder, and shortness of breath can be caused by a heart or blood problem.

Risk Factors of cough

Risk factors for Cough are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for Cough makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to Cough.

We assessed the effects of indoor risk factors, including smoking, on different types of cough and on cough and wheeze in combination. METHODS: Our sample was composed of 1232 men and women residing in a semirural area of Chile. We used a standardized questionnaire, sensitization to 8 allergens, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine to assess cough and wheeze characteristics.

Smoking. Being a current or former smoker is one of the leading risk factors for chronic cough. A "smoker's cough" is often a warning sign of emphysema, a disease that causes ongoing and irreversible damage to your lungs.

Pollution. Environmental pollutants such as diesel exhaust, ozone and nitrogen dioxide are leading causes of chronic coughing in both children and adults.

A matched case-control study was made of 100 thoroughbred horses, which were coughing, and 148 control horses, which were free of clinical signs of respiratory tract disease. The variables identified by multivariable conditional logistic regression as being significantly associated with coughing included age (the risk decreased with age), the stage of training (horses in early training were at greatest risk), the time since the last race.

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