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Coughing is a reflex that keeps your throat and airways clear. Although it can be annoying, coughing helps your body heal or protect itself. Coughs can be either acute or chronic. Acute coughs begin suddenly and usually last no more than 2 to 3 weeks. Acute coughs are the kind you most often get with a cold, flu, or acute bronchitis. Chronic coughs last longer than 2 to 3 weeks. Causes of chronic cough include

Water can help ease your cough - whether you drink it or add it to the air with a steamy shower or vaporizer. If you have a cold or the flu, antihistamines may work better than non-prescription cough medicines. Children under four should not have cough medicine. For children over four, use caution and read labels carefully.

Symptoms of Cough

The following features are indicative of Cough:
  • forced exhalation against a closed glottis by a distinctive sound

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Common Causes of Cough

The following are the most common causes of Cough:
  • respiratory tract infections
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • asthmatic episodes
  • common cold
  • pneumonia
  • influenza

Other Causes of Cough

The following are the less common causes of Cough:
  • croup
  • laryngitis
  • bronchiolitis
  • acute sinusitis
  • lung cancer
  • tuberculosis
  • heart failure

Risk Factors for Cough

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Cough:
  • choking
  • smoking
  • air pollution
  • post-nasal drip

Prevention of Cough

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Cough. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • drink plenty of water
  • take vitamin C in diet

Occurrence of Cough

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Cough cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Cough can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Cough can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cough

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cough:
  • X-rays: To diagnose the disease
  • Spirometry: To diagnose the cough symptoms

Doctor for Diagnosis of Cough

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cough:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Cough if untreated

Yes, Cough causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cough is left untreated:
  • insomnia
  • cough-induced vomiting
  • rupture of blebs causing spontaneous pneumothorax
  • subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • coughing defecation
  • cough urination
  • abdominal or pelvic hernias
  • fatigue
  • fractures of lower ribs
  • costochondritis

Self-care for Cough

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cough:
  • Use a vaporizer or take a steamy shower: Helps in soothing a dry throat
  • Keep your home free of irritants: Prevents the coughing spells
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Helps in thinning the mucus in your throat making it easier to cough it up
  • Do not smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Cough

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Cough:
  • Use poppy petals: Helps in soothing cough

Time for Treatment of Cough

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cough to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Cough Infectious?

Yes, Cough is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • droplet transmission

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Cough.

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