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Coughing is a common problem of the respiratory tract and often indicates a deeper problem. It can be very irritating and can affect eating habits and socialization. A cough which persists for more than 4 weeks is believed to be chronic in nature. Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of chronic cough in India. TB is an airborne bacterial infection caused by the organism, 'Mycobacterium tuberculosis', that primarily affects the lungs, although other organs and tissues may be involved. Cardinal features are:
- Chronic cough with or without sputum.
- Fever more in the night time.
- Poor appetite.
- Unintentional weight loss.
Read on to know about other common causes of chronic cough and how to manage them.
- Allergies: People with allergies usually have a chronic cough, which gets aggravated when exposed to the allergens such as pollen or environmental dust. Staying away from allergen provides relief. Antihistamines are also useful, which most people detected with allergies keep in handy. Inhalers might be required, if there is associated congestion or shortness of breath.
- Asthma: This is a very common chronic condition, caused by inflammation and swelling of the lungs, in addition to wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma patients often suffer from a chronic cough. An asthma attack usually happens during the night or early morning, and is triggered by colds, cigarette smoke, air pollutants or allergens, which can even include certain foods. Most asthmatics usually carry their steroids, inhalers, and bronchodilators, as the onset of attack can be unpredictable.
- Bronchitis: This condition of inflammation of the bronchial region is very common among smokers and among the elderly. There is excessive mucus accumulation, which the body tries to clear via coughing. The lungs are weakened and therefore, the coughing is painful.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): This is a problem of the digestive system, but regurgitation of food into the airway induces cough. GERD is a chronic issue and so most people also end up with a chronic cough. It is worse with sitting up than with sitting down. Treatment includes H2 blockers to suppress acid production and dietary changes including small, frequent meals and avoiding spicy food items.
- Upper airway cough syndrome: There could be multiple problems in the upper airway, which leads to a constant postnasal drip. Here, there is constant dripping of the sputum into the air passage, which can lead to a chronic cough whenever there is impaired air flow. This can be caused by various forms of chronic sinusitis and rhinitis. People diagnosed with this condition usually resort to antihistamines and decongestants for relief.
- Other causes: There are a number of other causes as noted below. Smoking, tuberculosis, congestive heart failure, pertussis or whooping cough, foreign body in the airway, cancer in the airway passage, chronic aspiration of foods, etc. can all lead to chronic cough.
The key is to identify the reason that is causing the chronic cough. Most people who are diagnosed are educated to handle it and carry the required medications including steroids, bronchodilators, and inhalers. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I had cesarean when my baby boy was nine months of pregnancy. Now he is five month baby. Now I am having severe backache. What can I do?
Hi my daughter is 1.3 years old she is fit and fine but the thing is she's urine was very dirty smell last 3-4 months can you suggest me any solutions for this.
Hi, Doctor there is problem in my sons tongue i. E. There is some whiteness in upper skin and sometimes it removes and sometime it is appeared. Age is 6 yrs, Stomach is Ok and Lever is Ok. Please give me suggestion. Thanks.
I have a one month baby and baby's hand and forehead is covered with lots of hair. Please suggest medicine or remedies for removing these hairs
Hi my wife is feeding milk to my 3months old son she is feeding from left side breast because she is not getting milk from right side so left side breast getting bigger than right so the size of breast is one big and one small so is there any problem if any problem so please suggest me what can I do. Thanks.
Teaching children how to get their personal needs met and to help around the house is an important and integral part of growing up. It helps them to become independent and also help others. They learn to appreciate dignity of work and cooperation, responsibility contribution and collaboration with co workers and spouses as they become adults. These tasks are as much for boys as for girls. The chores suggested below are a rough guideline of age appropriate jobs for children. Keep in mind that kids are different both developmentally and physically. Some children may be able to do more than others. So here goes:
2-4 year olds: help make bed, put away toys, fetch diapers and plastic bottles, put dirty clothes in bucket, help feed the pets. All tasks would need adult supervision.
4-7 year olds: set the table, help with bed making, watering the plants, feeding pets, start putting on own clothes, bathing, clean up messes, put away toys, put away clothes, carry light bags. Adult supervision would be required as child is learning new skills.
8-10 year olds: water plants, make bed, clean up room, clear the table, do small dishes, do small dusting around the house, cooking basic food like eggs, maggi, milk, keep the garbage out, fold clothes, basic sweeping and swabbing of the floor. Please note that adult supervision would be needed for new tasks.
11 year olds and older children: clean bathroom, clean kitchen, cooking simple to complex dishes, wash dishes, wash clothes, dusting.
If you liked what you read, please share it with others and you can also have a private chat with me if you have any questions about your child.
Dear sir my son is 4 months and 26 days old. His weight is 5 kgs and 516 grams. Is he having normal weight? How can I feed to get increase the weight? please send me thorough information.
Hii my daughter is 5 n half month old she is passing motion more frequently. Her birth weight was 3.8 kg now she is 7.6 kg. Is she is getting teeth or any other problem. Is their anything to worry?
In India, 2% of urban children are obese, 8-10% are overweight and the number of children likely to be obese is on the rise. Junk food seems to be the major cause behind this recent trend.
Low in nutrient but high on calories, junk food has been found to adversely affect not only energy levels but also brain function. With junk food being easily available, it could be tough to keep your child away from it while nudging him on to eat healthily. However, there are ways in which you can keep your child away from junk food, and consequently lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems etc. Read on...
1. Always keep healthy snacks easily accessible
Children have a tendency to have foods that are visible and easy to reach. So, if you have packaged foods that your child can get his hands on very easily, it’s time to remove them. From vegetables, fruits to wholegrain crackers, such healthy snack options should be within the reach of your child. Place them in easy to reach food cabinets or on the lower shelves of the fridge, so that whenever your child feels hungry, he can go straight for them rather than opting for unhealthy food options.
2. Say no to junk food when at home
You have the power to create a home environment where you can control what can be eaten and what goes into your pantry. The home should be a place where healthy food should be in and junk food should be out. This way, you get to control the amount of junk food your child has as well as present healthier alternatives to him.
3. Don’t reward your child with junk food
It is very common for parents to reward their children with junk food. This shouldn’t be done as it only makes junk food an even more appealing option for children. Instead opt for non-food rewards such as extra pocket money, or a new toy etc.
Moreover, you shouldn’t use junk food as a bargaining chip either, i.e. by telling him he can have an ice cream if he eats his vegetables first. This would do more harm than good as your child would find processed foods more appealing and healthy food alternatives less appealing.
4. Lead by example
In order for your child to eat healthily, you need to lead by example. Limit your own consumption of junk food first. If you want to take your child away from junk food, you need to be a role-model yourself. Furthermore, it is good to include your child on your plans for healthy eating as it allows them to have a say in what they would and wouldn’t like to eat instead of foodstuffs being imposed on them. Make a meal plan together to figure out healthier eating alternatives for your child.
5. Teach moderation to your child
Don’t completely ban junk food as this move can backfire. This is because, by doing so, the moment your child gets the opportunity to have junk food items, he will most likely overindulge. On the other hand, teach him about moderation and the importance of having small quantities of this type of food from time to time.
Teaching your child to eat healthily is not an easy task, but is also not impossible to achieve. With a little bit of guidance and perseverance, you can easily achieve the goal of keeping your child away from junk foods.
If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'Consult'.