Coughing, although it can be annoying, actually a mechanism of defense of our body, namely, to protect and clean the respiratory system. The viruses of cold are usually the main responsible for the cough, but are not the only triggers. Snuff smoke, irritants in the environment, can also make us cough. It should be noted that, under the generic name of cough, different types are included. Thus, the cough may be dry or productive, depending on its duration, acute or chronic.
Coughing is not a disease itself but a symptom and a defense mechanism, like a reflex, is involved in our respiratory system to expel foreign agents, such as cold viruses, one of the most common respiratory diseases during the cold months. Cough, although it may be uncomfortable, therefore plays an important role, at the time that alerts us that we look for the cause that causes it. Not only respiratory infections can make us cough, also the snuff smoke or other irritants in the environment.
The recipients of the cough, which are found mainly in the throat, are activated when it’s come into contact with an irritant (mucus, environmental cold, dryness, smoke …). Receptors send a message to the brain, which orders expelling abruptly coughing, and sometimes unintended, the air trapped in the lungs. Thus the recipients expel the strange reagents of the airways preventing from coming to the lungs.
Types of cough
As we have pointed out there are different types of cough. The cough may be dry or productive. In the first case, it is characterized by irritation of throat, while productive cough accompanied by phlegm or mucus, exert a cleaning function.
For dry coughs, to relieve and calm, you can take cough syrup or pills, always under the prescription of the doctor. Meanwhile, for the productive cough is more effective to promote the cleaning of the respiratory tract, you can be taken mucolytics, while it is advisable to drink plenty of fluid.
Coughing can also be categorized according to its duration. Thus, the cough is chronic when it lasts more than three weeks, and acute when it lasts less time. Acute cough is often associated with colds.
As soon as we have cough, we must avoid the contagion. To do this, we must avoid cover our mouth with our hand, and that way we can spread the virus. It is best covered with a tissue and then wash hands.
In addition to this recommendation, there are also other tips that you can follow to combat cough, among them:
- Drink more fluids (1.5 to 2 liter water per day, fruit juice and infusions, the latter highly recommended to clean the airways).
- Avoid taking too cold drinks, cause of sore throat.
- Keep damp environment and avoid sudden changes in temperature.
- The steam with eucalyptus and rosemary are also good for relieving coughs.