Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Cough - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

A cough is a common condition that affects people of almost all age brackets. Cough can be either chronic or acute in nature. Coughs that are generally acute in nature lasts for a week whereas a chronic cough can span over a month. Cough isn’t detrimental to one’s health but in some severe cases can cause lightheadedness, vomiting and consequent nausea. Sometimes, cough can be annoying causing severe disruption in your sleeping pattern.

Causes of Cough

It is often times difficult to pinpoint the exact reason which triggers a cough. Bodily dysfunctions such as existing conditions (Eg. Asthma, allergies) and external reasons such as tobacco usage, acid reflux and postnatal dripping (a condition where the sinuses produce extra mucus which drips down from the back of the throat) may trigger such a condition. In other cases, it may appear as a symptom of more serious diseases like upper respiratory infection, bronchitis or sarcoidosis (accumulation of inflammatory cells in various parts of the body).

Risk factors

Having a smoking habit is one of the primary reason for chronic cough. So much so that doctors have termed it as a separate condition called smoker’s cough. It has been found that secondhand smoke or passive smoking also leads to cough in addition to more detrimental damages to the bronchial passage (region comprising the lungs). Between the sexes, statistics determined women are typically more prone to developing cough than men. A relatively more sensitive cough reflex in women has been attributed as cause.

Complications

A casual cough is normal and to an extent even beneficial as it helps clean irritants and unwanted secretions from the lungs and the passage of the throat. This in turn prevents infection. But having a persistent cough can be harmful as it can lead to a plethora of associated problems. Apart from a dry and painful throat it can lead to further maladies such as headache, sweating, dizziness and even loss of bladder control. Although mostly in rare cases, it can even cause a person to pass out (known as syncope in medical terms).

Diagnosis and treatment

A general physician may prescribe you oral medications and cough syrup for a standard cough. Yet a reason for concern may arise if the condition persists even after. In such cases, the doctor will evaluate your medical history and make you undergo imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans. Post diagnosis the doctor may prescribe appropriate cough suppressants or strong antibiotics to relieve your condition.

Treatable by medical professional Self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Spread through the air or contaminated surfaces
Symptoms
Runny nose Sore throat Hoarseness Shortness of breath Wheezing Coughing up blood

Popular Health Tips

Asthma - Ayurvedic Treatment For It!

Dr. Vijeshwar Kumar Gupta 86% (10 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Moradabad
Asthma - Ayurvedic Treatment For It!
The most common respiratory disorder, asthma, is an allergy. Allergy is when the body s immune system recognizes something in the system as foreign (or antigen) and produces what are known as antibodies. These antibodies cause allergic symptoms ranging from skin rashes to breathing issues to even anaphylaxis. People who have asthma dread the spring season when the air is full of pollen, and they have severe attacks. In simple terms, what happens during asthma is the air pipes narrow down, leading to symptoms of chest congestion, breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing. Ayurvedic belief is that asthma is caused due to some triggers like stress, exercise, cold air, and excessive pollen. These increase the Kapha component or dosha, which leads to mucus formation in the air passages leading to narrowing of the airways. Some causes include: Weak lung tissues Damp environment Cold and/or stale food Increased ama (mucus) formation Strange as it may sound, Ayurveda believes that impaired digestion causes asthma. Management: Ayurvedic belief is that managing asthma requires effort aimed at various things including food changes, exercise, and airway management. Some of the significant tips are listed below. Increase consumption of honey and warm liquids like herbal teas Eat a lot of old cereals and whole grains (rice, barley, oats, green grams, etc.) Reduce dairy products as they are difficult to digest and hard on the stomach Avoid white flour, oily foods, sugary foods, cold-stored foods, processed foods, and fried foods. These again are hard on the stomach and not easily digested. Exercise should be done in moderation, as too much exercise can add to the shortness of breath and congestion Try various home remedies and repeat what works for you well. Black pepper powder in warm milk can help relieve the congestion. Ginger root can be powdered along with black pepper and stored as a powder. This can be mixed in warm water or milk and consumed 3 to 4 times a day Steam inhalation where cumin seeds can also be added to the water is found to be very beneficial. A concoction of guava leaves, black pepper, milk, and water can be boiled. This, when consumed for over 6 to 8 months, helps improve immunity. Neti therapy where the nasal passages are cleared of mucus is also a very effective way to improve breathing and keep the airways clear. Stress management either through meditation or mild exercise is very important, as asthma is known to worsen during periods of stress. Herbal oil massages also help improve circulation and nerve supply and therefore improve immunity. Ayurveda believes these improve immunity and thereby control asthma.
2966 people found this helpful

Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?
The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia. Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include: 1. Hereditary predispositions 2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body) 3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite). Other symptoms of achalasia include: The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food. 1. Discomfort or pain in the chest 2. Weight loss 3. Heartburn 4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating Some of the treatments include: Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter s function, or reduce symptoms. 1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox. 2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function. 3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach. Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as: 1. Acid reflux 2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe
1 person found this helpful

Don't Hold These Urges

Dr. L.K. Tripathi 88% (444 ratings)
B.A.M.S
Ayurveda, Noida
Don't Hold These Urges
In Ayurveda description of two types of Vegas (impulses or urges) is found in detail Dharaniya (controllable) and Adharaniya (non-controllable). Controllable urges include things refraining of which is beneficial for the health. Anger, sexual urges, temptation etc. fall in this category. By non-controllable urges is meant such urges controlling or retaining of which produces several diseases in the body. Wind, defecation, sneezing, thirst, hunger, sleep, coughing, yawning, tears, vomiting and semen are included in this category of urges. Control of non-controllable urges leads to wind disorder in the body, which in turn produces several types of diseases. If it is known which type of urges produces which type of diseases when forcibly controlled, you can protect yourself from lots of diseases. Vayu (Wind): Control of wind (passing out fart and belches) can lead to maladies like cyst, flatulence, pain in anus, worms and constipation. Sometimes, even passing out urine is stopped or becomes painful. Eye sight becomes weak and heart diseases may also appear. Stool: Control of defecation pressure leads to ailments like joint pain, pain in stomach and obstacles in veins. Urination: Those who control the urge to urinate feel difficulty in passing out urine. Problems like pain below the navel region and stones in urethra may also arise if urine urge is controlled repeatedly. Sneeze: Control of sneeze leads to problems like headache, weakness in eyes, stiff neck and loss of sleep (apnoea)
1 person found this helpful

Tuberculosis - What Are The Reasons Behind It?

Dr. Prashant Saxena 88% (33 ratings)
MBBS, MD - TB & Chest, Fellowship Training Intensive Care, Fellow College of Chest physicians, European Diploma in Respiratory Medicine, Interventional Pulmonology , Greece, European Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
Tuberculosis - What Are The Reasons Behind It?
Although your body is already in possession of the bacteria leading to tuberculosis, your immune system is able to prevent you from becoming sick. Doctors have made a distinction between latent and active tuberculosis (TB). In case of latent TB, the bacteria in the body in a passive state and it causes no symptoms, and therefore it is not contagious. But, in the case of active TB, you would become sick and may even spread the disease to others. It can take place in the first few weeks or even after several months of being infected with TB bacteria. What are the symptoms of active TB? If you are coughing for over three weeks and sometimes even coughing up blood, it can be a sign of TB. Chest pain and pain while coughing and breathing along with fatigue, fever, chills and night sweat are the common symptoms of TB along with loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. TB may even affect other organs of your body, including your brain, spine and kidneys. When TB takes place outside the lungs, then the signs of TB can vary as per the organs that are involved. For instance, TB in the spine can cause back pain and that in kidneys may cause blood in the urine. What are the causes of TB? TB is stemmed from a bacteria which spreads from individual to individual via the microscopic droplets that are released into the air. This may happen when an affected person is left untreated and he speaks or sneezes or coughs or laughs. Though the disease is contagious, it is not easy to be affected by it. As a result, you are much more likely to get affected with active tuberculosis from a person you live with or come in regular contact with, rather than a stranger. It is important to note here that people who are affected with TB and going through proper medications for over two weeks are no more contagious. Right from the 1980s, the number of individuals affected with TB has increased dramatically, owing to the spread of HIV, which is the virus known for causing AIDS. A person infected with HIV has a weak immunity system as a result of which it becomes difficult for the body to deal with TB bacteria. So those who have AIDS are more likely to be affected with active TB and sometimes the latent form also progresses to an active one very quickly. Therefore, it is important to seek medical assistance and detect if you have any such health complications concerning TB.
3245 people found this helpful

Ailments From Change Of Weather

Dr. Tarannum Shaikh 95% (361 ratings)
B.H.M.S., Post Graduate Certificate In Nutrition, Obesity & Health
Homeopath, Indore
Ailments From Change Of Weather
Temperatures are beginning to rise gradually and soon we will be welcoming summers. But this change of weather phase often leads to a fresh spurt of infections mainly viral with symptoms such as headaches, bodyache, cough cold and flu like symptoms. Also respiratory and skin allergies tend to get worse at this time. With the days being hot and nights and early mornings cold it is difficult for the body to adjust to the environment. It is essential that we keep warm at these times to avoid sudden temperature drop in the body and exposing it to infection. Also eat healthy and avoid outside food at all times. Keep away from cold water and cold drinks yet. It will again mess up with your body temperature. There are quite a few homeopathic medicines which help in ailments from change of weather, or cloudy weather, or when the days are hot and nights cold. It is advisable to take homeopathy treatment for chronic or frequently repeating ailments as they can be kept at bay with homeopathic treatment.
1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello sir, I have cough from about 1 month. And I feel as if my ears are clogged. Please provide the name of some homeopathic medicine.

Dr. Tarannum Shaikh 95% (361 ratings)
B.H.M.S., Post Graduate Certificate In Nutrition, Obesity & Health
Homeopath, Indore
Hello lybrate-user There are quite a few homoeopathic medicines which will help relieve your cough but for best and long lasting results it is advisable to consult a homeopathic doctor, either locally or here online, give a detailed description of your problem and then take the medicine best suited for you. Also, try and drink warm water early morning and as often as possible. Take steam inhalation to help drain out the mucus. Avoid cold and sour food. For any more questions or queires please feel free to contact me.

I am suffering of dry cough for past 2 weeks as soon as I go to bed at night. Kindly suggest me the remedies.

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
I can understand your sufferings. These symptoms are suggestive of an allergic cough. But further questions need to be answered by you to rule out a cardiac cause. And then easy remedies can be suggested. Suggest a private consult.

I am suffering from dry cough for many years every season I suffering from cold cough.

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Seasonal dry cough is a sign of Allergic cough. This is attributable both to nose, sinuses and lungs. It would be advisable to take a consult.
1 person found this helpful

How soon can one start cardio exercise and jogging if suffering from severe cold and cough? When should one start an antibiotic if not recovering from severe cold in 3 days?

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Hello. One should avoid exercise in presence of fever, weakness and coughing on exertion or exercise. The decision to start antibiotic is when a physician rules out viral / allergic cough and for this some blood tests and chest and sinus xrays along with examination of chest and nose would be reqd. Can help in private. Take a consult online.
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Homeopathy Treatments For Bronchitis And Cough Disorders In Children!

Dr. Vinod Kala 90% (130 ratings)
BHMS, PPHC, B.Sc
Homeopath, Kolkata
Homeopathy states that Bronchitis cannot be prevented in Children. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
Start Quiz
15 people took this quiz

Common Cough and Cold - Herbal Remedies!

Dr. Atray Bhatt 87% (50 ratings)
BAMS, MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Vadodara
Using olive leaves extract or essential oils in case of a cold or a cough can be harmful. True or False. Take this quiz to know how!
Start Quiz
181 people took this quiz

Winter Coughs and Cold - How To Manage Them?

Dr. Ashok Grover 86% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), MD - General Medicine
General Physician, Delhi
Winter cough and cold always need medications. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
Start Quiz
104 people took this quiz

Dry Cough - Know The Reasons!

Dr. Anoop Kumar Sonker 91% (96 ratings)
BHMS
Sexologist, Lucknow
Gobbling up your food is most likely a cause of your dry cough. True or false? Take the quiz to find out.
Start Quiz
1111 people took this quiz

Common Cold And Cough in Children

Dr. Jinendra Kumar Jain 93% (2628 ratings)
Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
Wash your child s hands regularly to avoid common cold infections. True or false? Take this quiz to find out.
Start Quiz
1105 people took this quiz

Popular Health Packages

ENQUIRE
30 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹3000
ENQUIRE
30 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹3500
ENQUIRE
15 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹1500
ENQUIRE
60 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹7500
ENQUIRE
30 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹2500