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Cough

Overview

Cough is the most common reason for seeking medical attention, especially in young children. Although the cough may be a sign of a serious lung disease, most often it is still not the case. In most cases, a cough is the result of non-hazardous and brief illness.

It is important to realize that cough is reflexive (uncontrollable) action aimed at protecting the lungs. Cough prevents penetration into the lungs of undesirable substances and particles, and also displays an excessive discharge from the respiratory tract.

The reasons

Such a reflex action may be due to a huge number of reasons. As a child a cough most often associated with viral upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). In children aged 8 to 13 years, such infections can be every year, and even several times in one year. Cough caused by such infections usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks. That's why sometimes it seems that children coughing continuously, especially in winter.

Chronic cough is more common in asthma. In mild asthma labored, raspy breathing is not observed, but patients may suffer from prolonged cough, especially at night or during physical exertion. Any mild irritant substances such as cigarette smoke or industrial chemicals that can cause chronic cough. Coughing can accompany a variety of allergies such as hay fever or sinusitis.

Of course, sometimes a cough occurs when the more serious diseases such as pneumonia (lung infection) or cancer (lung cancer). Usually in such serious cases, there are other symptoms such as fever, anorexia, weight loss and general malaise.

What you can do?

A cough that lasts for a few days and obviously associated with other symptoms such as headache or sore throat, you can ignore, or treat it simply. But if the cough lasts longer than a week, and especially if coughing people in general feel unwell, seek medical attention.