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Dry cough Tips

Chronic Cough - Ways To Handle It Effectively!

Dr.Pratyush Kumar 90% (25ratings)
MBBS, DNB
General Physician, Patna
Chronic Cough - Ways To Handle It Effectively!

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 a longer period of time more than 4 weeks in children and 8 weeks or more in adults 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.
  • Any cough for more than 2 weeks should get investigated for tuberculosis.
  • Fever in 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 a 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 or PPI 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 airflow. 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 a chronic cough. Most people who are diagnosed are educated to handle it and carry the required medications including steroids, bronchodilators, and inhalers. Cough hygiene should be learnt and practised to prevent the spread of infections.

In case you have a concern or query, you can always consult the best general physicians online & get answers to your question via online doctor consultation.

 

3819 people found this helpful

Dust Allergy - Risks, Diagnosis & Treatment Of It!

Dr.Roopali Jain Tripathi 88% (35ratings)
DNB (Oto Rhino Laryngology), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Pune
Dust Allergy - Risks, Diagnosis & Treatment Of It!

In reality, dust allergy is precipitated by dust mites, a kind of microorganisms that thrive in dust. They acquire their food from dead skin cells and absorb water from the environment and thrive. Moist and warm environments are ideal for them to thrive. However, they themselves don’t cause allergic symptoms.

It is the response of the immune system to them that precipitates the symptoms. Once they are inside the human respiratory system, the immune system responds to them in a negative way. This leads to the production of histamines, a kind of protein that abates swelling, cough, mucous production, runny nose, sneezing, etc.

Symptoms of Dust Allergy:

Dust allergies may lead to various symptoms, some of which may be short lived, while others may be chronic. Some of these symptoms may also be life threatening. While in general people may suffer from running nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, postnasal drip, swollen skin under the eyes, etc., in severe cases, people may also suffer from asthma, chest pain and tightness, trouble in sleeping due to shortness of breath, bouts of severe cough, sinus infection, etc.

Risk Factors:

Some of the common risk factors are: 

  1. Family History: People who have a family history of dust allergy are most susceptible to this problem. These people develop a sensitivity to dust mites.

  2. Exposure: Exposure to dust mites is the main cause of dust allergy. If someone is exposed to dust mites for a long time, it enhances the risk of allergy symptoms.

  3. Being a Child: Children are more susceptible to it than adults. They are more likely to develop allergies during childhood and early adulthood compared to adults.

Diagnosis:

Most dust allergy symptoms are similar to common cough and cold symptoms. This is why it is necessary to confirm that the symptoms owe their origin to dust allergy. As a primary physical examination, the doctor may examine the lining of nasal passage to see if it is swollen.

In case the person is allergic to dust or pollen, the lining of the nasal passage is likely to become inflamed. However, the doctor also needs to conduct some tests. He may conduct skin tests and blood tests to confirm the allergy. If the allergy is confirmed, the doctor goes for treatment.

Treatment:

There are a number of treatment options for dust allergy. Some of these may act as over-the-counter to counter the effects of dust allergy, while others may act as modulators to modulate the immune response.

  1. Antihistamines: These are medicines that counter histamines responsible for allergic reactions like itching, runny nose, sneezing, etc.

  2. Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are usually delivered through nasal sprays to bring down inflammation and control the allergic response of the immune system.

  3. Decongestants: They help to decongest nasal airways which get inflamed and swell up due to allergic reactions.

  4. Leukotriene Modifiers: These medicines block certain immune system chemicals responsible for allergic reactions and prevent allergic reactions.

  5. Immunotherapy: The doctor may go for immunotherapy if no other effort is yielding any results. This therapy trains the immune system so that it does not become sensitive to dust mites. It is delivered via injections.

Conclusion:

The primary defense against dust allergy is avoiding breathing in dust. However, if a person is already exposed to them, there are a number of medicines and treatment options to prevent a flare up.

2755 people found this helpful

Pneumonia - How To Identify It?

Dr.Gurmeet Singh Chabbra 89% (65ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Chest & TB
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Pneumonia - How To Identify It?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It leads to inflammation of the lungs which is filled with fluid or pus. It can range from being mild to severe depending on a person’s health and age. Pneumonia can be caused by a variety of germs including bacteria, virus, and fungi. It can become life-threatening and dangerous for people:

  1. Infants and children aged between 2 to 5 years
  2. Older people aged above 65 years
  3. Those who have a weak immune system or have other forms of respiratory problems

Pneumonia can be contracted from different places and can become risky when:

  1. Bacterial pneumonia can easily be contracted from community gatherings which is termed as community-acquired pneumonia. The chances of acquiring pneumonia can increase if are on the ventilator.
  2. Alcohol- Having excessive or regular alcohol can lead to worsening of your pneumonia
  3. If you are exposed to animals like birds, rabbits and rats, then the chances of you contracting pneumonia might be greater.
  4. If you have some medical problems like heart or kidney disease, then your pneumonia can get worse. The situation may be particularly precarious for asthma patients.
  5. Smoking also makes you more susceptible to pneumonia.
  6. Having a weak immunity due to HIV, asplenia, poor nutrition and also chemotherapy can lead to worsening of bacterial pneumonia.

Some symptoms of bacterial pneumonia may include:

  1. Coughing that may produce mucus
  2. Fever with shaking and sweating
  3. Chest pain
  4. Nausea and Vomiting
  5. Low body temperature
  6. Shortness of breath

Newborns and infants having pneumonia may not show any symptoms that make it difficult to detect the disease. Also when you have mild symptoms, it is termed as walking pneumonia.

Diagnosis:
If you have pneumonia, then you should consult a doctor who will prescribe a few tests:

  1. Blood test-It is mainly done to identify the germ causing the disease
  2. Chest X-Ray- It helps the doctor locate the exact position of pneumonia.
  3. Pulse Oximetry- It measures the oxygen level in a person’s body.
  4. Sputum Test- Fluid from your lungs is taken and tested to know the cause of infection.
  5. Additional tests may be advised by your doctor that includes CT scan and Pleural fluid culture.

Treatments:
For mild or walking pneumonia, doctors may prescribe certain antibiotics and cough medicines to treat pneumonia. Within a week or two, your lung will start to clear up and you will feel better. Moreover, have enough fluid and sleep and do not smoke.

However, if you fall into the risk category and are experiencing pneumonia symptoms even after having medicines, you should get yourself or your child hospitalized. But there are ways to prevent pneumonia-like giving vaccinations to your children and washing your hands. Also, lessen your smoking or stop altogether. So don’t let pneumonia turn into a life-threatening disease by following these simple measures. Consult your doctor immediately if have any of the pneumonia symptoms and fall in the category of – infants and children, people above 65 years of age and people with low immunity.

2915 people found this helpful

Whooping Cough - How To Diagnose It In Kids?

MBBS, Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital & Healthcare Management
General Physician, Delhi
Whooping Cough - How To Diagnose It In Kids?

Whooping Cough (another name for Pertussis) can be termed as an infection to the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella Pertussis (B. pertussis). It generally affects infants (below one year of age) and who have not yet been immunized; also kids between 11 to 18 years of age whose immunity graphs are on a downward spiral.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Initially, whooping cough produces signs and symptoms that may just seem to overlap with those exhibited during the average cough and cold; mild coughing, sneezing, runny nose, low fever, etc. These persist for about a week or two and then slowly, there is the onset of the dry, irritating cough which again turns to prolonged coughing spells. The child’s face may seem flushed with a purple hue. The child may also vomit or make the distinctive whooping sound at the end of one such spell. Breathing difficulty can be another issue.

What is the Diagnosis?
The doctor performs an initial check-up followed by tests of mucus sample from the nose or throat. The mucus is checked for the presence of the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. To make a more thorough diagnosis, a blood test is also advisable.

What is the Treatment?
Hospitalisation might be required in case of acute distress. Respiratory support may also be provided if required. If there is intense dehydration, intravenous (IV) fluids may also be administered. As this disease is on account of a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be needed. But these will just treat the immediate effects and the cough cannot be completely done away with.

What can be Possible Complications?

Possible immediate complications include:

  1. Brain Damage
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Convulsion
  4. Haemorrhaging in the brain

What can be the Prevention?
Vaccination is needed in order to prevent whooping cough. The vaccines are advised to be administered at the age of two months, four months and six months respectively. The 1st booster dose is to be given at 16 to 18 months age and a 2nd booster dose is given on 5-year completion of the age. An optional booster may be given at 10 year age.

2968 people found this helpful

Infections - Homeopathy Treatment For It!

MD - Homeopathy
Homeopathy Doctor, Vadodara
Infections - Homeopathy Treatment For It!

Infection is generally understood as the invasion into the body tissues of an organism by certain foreign bodies such as bacteria, parasite, and virus. They are transmissible diseases and can be transmitted from one person to the other via sneezingcoughing or physical contact. They can be mild, moderate or severe.

  • They can be acute, that is, can last for a short time, or chronic that lasts for a long time, or a latent infection that may not cause any symptoms at first but reactivates and resurfaces over a period of time.
  • Although each infection has its own distinct symptom. Generally, these symptoms include feverswelling, redness, inflammation, burning, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, muscular painnauseavomiting, rapid pulse or rapid breathing.
  • If the patient has a severe headache, difficulty in breathing, painful swelling and unexplained prolonged fever or cough, he or she should immediately consult a doctor.

Conventional drugs that are given to treat infections like antibiotics, antiviral, antihistamines and steroids have many side effects on the human body. They on one hand hamper the digestive power of the system and on the other hand lower the immunity power of the body. In the long run, these medicines can have adverse effects on the body. Though conventional drugs suppress the disease for some time, the disease tends to resurface in the future.

However, Homeopathy has been found to be of great success in treating both acute and chronic infections. The best part is that, there is no side effect. Homeopathy also boosts our immune system so that the body naturally develops the strength to fight against infections in future, when foreign bodies invade. Homeopathic medicines have also proved to be effective as preventive measures against infections.

Some of the Homeopathic medicines for the treatment of most common infections are discussed below:

  1. Throat infections: Belladonna, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Phytolacca, and Mercurius are most commonly administered to cure throat infections.
  2. Skin infection: Common homeopathic remedies are Sulphur, Calendula, Hypericum, Silica, and Hepar sulfuris.
  3. Bladder infection: Berberis, Chimaphila, Hydrastis, Apis, Cantharis, and sarsaparilla are commonly prescribed.
  4. Stomach infection: Arsenic album, Nux vomica, Carbo veg, Lycopodium, and Pulsatilla are commonly recommended.
  5. Sinus infection: Kali bichromicum, Pulsatilla, Mercurius, Natrum muriaticum, and Allium cepa work well in cases of sinus infections.

Most of the Homeopathy medicines are prescribed on the basis of symptoms observed. So, Homeopathic medicines are prescribed, even before the definitive diagnosis is made. Thus, the time saved prevents the infection from spreading, and the patient is automatically cured rapidly.

5850 people found this helpful

Effective Homeopathic Medication For Cold And Cough!

Dr.Sunil Kumar Dwivedi 87% (136ratings)
BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopathy Doctor, Delhi
Effective Homeopathic Medication For Cold And Cough!

Common cold and cough are one of the most common viral illnesses that have no specific treatment. Allopathic medicines provide palliative cure to just treat the symptoms, there is no definite antiviral for it. There is also popular belief having cold once or twice a year is a good way to cleanse the body. On the contrary, cough and cold could be the first symptoms of a serious underlying disease like pneumonia. From that angle, it is better to treat it than to just let it run its natural course. Especially in children and elderly, it can be chronic issue with repeated bouts and therefore treatment becomes mandatory.

The good news is that homeopathy provides a cure for this, not just treat external symptoms. Also, like any other condition, homeopathy looks at treating the whole myriad of associated symptoms, thereby providing holistic treatment.  Below are 6 common homeopathic remedies for chronic cough and cold:

1. Aconitum or Aconite:  Used in the early stages of a cold that was sudden in onset and severe. There could be associated nasal discharge, fever and chills, chest congestion, itchy throat, and traumatic experience. The person may also feel thirsty, anxious, and agitated.

2. Allium Cepa:  Severe burning and watery eyes, nasal irritation, copious amounts of discharge, hoarseness, and headache. A runny nose improves in open air but worsens when being indoors.

3. Arsenicum album: The patient usually has complaints on the right side including watery nasal discharge, weakness, restlessness, chills, thirst. The discharge can irritate the upper lip and nasal mucosa.  The cold gradually moves to the throat and the irritation also shifts down (this phase requires a different treatment). 

4. Belladonna: When the cold has a sudden onset with red face, high fever, cold feet, this can be used in the early stages of the cold.  There is associated high fever, tickly throat, glassy eyes, dry cough, restlessness, and delirium 

5. Euphrasia: Burning eyes and profuse nasal discharge lead to reddened eyes and cheeks. More common in children, the condition worsens in open air, at night, and while lying down. A cough then moves down into the larynx and produces a harsh, hoarse voice. 

6. Pulsatilla: Yellow or greenish mucous, nasal congestion, mouth breathing are some symptoms where this is used. It is very commonly used in newborn babies if the discharge color is green or yellow. Associated symptoms include moodiness, easy crying, craving for attention, easily hurt and sensitive. 

Homeopathy does 'cure' the cough and cold in patients, in the true sense of the word.  That provides palliative care and holistic treatment of the condition too.

4548 people found this helpful

5 Homeopathic Remedies To Treat Deep Chest Cough!

BHMS
Homeopathy Doctor, Ernakulam
5 Homeopathic Remedies To Treat Deep Chest Cough!

Come winter or even a slight change of season, and it is easy to catch a cold. With cold, it is quite normal and natural to develop a deep chest cough. However, it is to be noted that chest cough develops due to different reasons. Some are due to chest infections, while others are dry cough. Thus, for these different variations of cough, different homeopathic treatments are administered. Here is a list of some of the common types of treatments for curing deep chest cough-

  1. Pulsatilla: Pulsatilla is administered to those who have a sore throat, constant irritation in the eyes and fever. When fever is accompanied with cough and cold, it is important to treat all three symptoms, lest it might usher in a more serious disease. Homeopathy is often described as a holistic form of treatment. Through the medicines, the personality of the patient can be determined. For instance, Pulsatilla is administered on those who are soft, gentle, mild and timid and who have a fear of being abandoned and thus cling on to people.

  2. Nux Vomica: Those experiencing high levels of stress and falling prey to cough and cold with a sore throat and sharp pain while swallowing should try a dose of Nux Vomica. This is used to cure cough and cold, which block the nose, especially at night, making it troublesome for the individual to breathe. This might also cause blockage in the ear and sharp pains while trying to swallow food.

  3. Phosphorus: At times, one experiences an extreme bout of cough that is triggered through dry throat and coarse fever. This violent cough can be nerve wrecking at times and a relaxing remedy is preferred by the patient as soon as possible to soothe the irritation.

  4. Bryonia: This is the best medicine to treat dry cough that can be a symptom of a slowly approaching influenza. Such coughs occurs when an individual takes a high intake of cold drinks or due to sudden weather changes. The cough is followed by fever and dryness of the throat. It might also itch to a certain extent.

  5. Natrum Mur: It is the best treatment for a dry cough, which often causes a tingling sensation in the throat. This sensation creates irritation and often leads to sleepless nights for the patient. There is also presence of whitish mucus in such types of cough.

These are some of the most common types of homeopathic treatments for treating deep chest cough. Each cough is different in nature and origin, and hence should be treated differently as per the individual symptoms.  

5327 people found this helpful

Tuberculosis - 7 Signs That Confirm You Are Suffering From It!

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Tuberculosis - 7 Signs That Confirm You Are Suffering From It!

Tuberculosis is an airborne communicable disease that mainly affects the lungs. However, it can attack the other organs as well. A tuberculosis infection may be clinically active. People showing symptoms of the disease are said to be suffering from a clinically active form of tuberculosis and must seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The symptoms of tuberculosis may be hard to identify as they can be attributed to other causes as well. In some cases, the symptoms may not appear until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Some of the common symptoms associated with this disease are:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Fever
  3. Dry cough
  4. Excessive sweating at night
  5. Unexplained tiredness
  6. Poor appetite
  7. Chest pain

People with a weakened immune system such as those suffering from HIV or those undergoing chemotherapy have a high risk of suffering from this condition. When the disease is in its active form, tuberculosis causing bacteria multiply rapidly and attack the lungs. From here they may spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, kidneys, bones, spine, brain and skin. When it reaches an advanced stage, the symptoms vary according to the organ affected. For example, pain in the bones indicates that the bone tissues have been affected while coughing up blood is a sign of TB of the lungs.

An x-ray and a lab analysis of your sputum can help in diagnosing tthe clinically active form of this disease. 

Clinically active tuberculosis can be easily treated and cured as long as the patient undergoes the complete course of treatment. Treatment for this disease usually takes the form of oral medication that must be taken for six to nine months continuously. This is because tuberculosis causing bacteria can take a very long time to die. In some cases, multiple drugs may be prescribed to reduce resistance to the drugs. When it comes to tuberculosis it is important to continue taking medication for its full course, even if the symptoms disappear and you are feeling better.

2948 people found this helpful

Deep Chest Cough - What Homeopathy Can Help You With?

DHMS, CCH, CGO, CSD
Homeopathy Doctor, Mumbai
Deep Chest Cough - What Homeopathy Can Help You With?

Come winter or even a slight change of season, and it is easy to catch a cold. With cold, it is quite normal and natural to develop a deep chest cough. However, it is to be noted that chest cough develops due to different reasons. Some are due to chest infections, while others are dry cough. Thus, for these different variations of cough, different homeopathic treatments are administered. Here is a list of some of the common types of treatments for curing deep chest cough

  1. Pulsatilla: Pulsatilla is administered to those who have a sore throat, constant irritation in the eyes and fever. When fever is accompanied with cough and cold, it is important to treat all three symptoms, lest it might usher in a more serious disease. Homeopathy is often described as a holistic form of treatment. Through the medicines, the personality of the patient can be determined. For instance, Pulsatilla is administered on those who are soft, gentle, mild and timid and who have a fear of being abandoned and thus cling on to people.

  2. Nux Vomica: Those experiencing high levels of stress and falling prey to cough and cold with a sore throat and sharp pain while swallowing should try a dose of Nux Vomica. This is used to cure cough and cold, which block the nose, especially at night, making it troublesome for the individual to breathe. This might also cause blockage in the ear and sharp pains while trying to swallow food.

  3. Phosphorus: At times, one experiences an extreme bout of cough that is triggered through dry throat and coarse fever. This violent cough can be nerve wrecking at times and a relaxing remedy is preferred by the patient as soon as possible to soothe the irritation.

  4. Bryonia: This is the best medicine to treat dry cough that can be a symptom of a slowly approaching influenza. Such coughs occurs when an individual takes a high intake of cold drinks or due to sudden weather changes. The cough is followed by fever and dryness of the throat. It might also itch to a certain extent.

  5. Natrum Mur: It is the best treatment for a dry cough, which often causes a tingling sensation in the throat. This sensation creates irritation and often leads to sleepless nights for the patient. There is also presence of whitish mucus in such types of cough.

These are some of the most common types of homeopathic treatments for treating deep chest cough. Each cough is different in nature and origin, and hence should be treated differently as per the individual symptoms. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5506 people found this helpful

Suffering From Deep Chest Cough? Know How Homeopathy Can Be Of Help!

Dr.Anju Singh Raginee 88% (316ratings)
BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopathy Doctor, Ranchi
Suffering From Deep Chest Cough? Know How Homeopathy Can Be Of Help!

Come winter or even a slight change of season, and it is easy to catch a cold. With cold, it is quite normal and natural to develop a deep chest cough. However, it is to be noted that chest cough develops due to different reasons. Some are due to chest infections, while others are dry cough. Thus, for these different variations of cough, different homeopathic treatments are administered. Here is a list of some of the common types of treatments for curing deep chest cough-

  1. Pulsatilla: Pulsatilla is administered to those who have a sore throat, constant irritation in the eyes and fever. When fever is accompanied with cough and cold, it is important to treat all three symptoms, lest it might usher in a more serious disease. Homeopathy is often described as a holistic form of treatment. Through the medicines, the personality of the patient can be determined. For instance, Pulsatilla is administered on those who are soft, gentle, mild and timid and who have a fear of being abandoned and thus cling on to people.

  2. Nux Vomica: Those experiencing high levels of stress and falling prey to cough and cold with a sore throat and sharp pain while swallowing should try a dose of Nux Vomica. This is used to cure cough and cold, which block the nose, especially at night, making it troublesome for the individual to breathe. This might also cause blockage in the ear and sharp pains while trying to swallow food.

  3. Phosphorus: At times, one experiences an extreme bout of cough that is triggered through dry throat and coarse fever. This violent cough can be nerve wrecking at times and a relaxing remedy is preferred by the patient as soon as possible to soothe the irritation.

  4. Bryonia: This is the best medicine to treat dry cough that can be a symptom of a slowly approaching influenza. Such coughs occurs when an individual takes a high intake of cold drinks or due to sudden weather changes. The cough is followed by fever and dryness of the throat. It might also itch to a certain extent.

  5. Natrum Mur: It is the best treatment for a dry cough, which often causes a tingling sensation in the throat. This sensation creates irritation and often leads to sleepless nights for the patient. There is also presence of whitish mucus in such types of cough.

These are some of the most common types of homeopathic treatments for treating deep chest cough. Each cough is different in nature and origin, and hence should be treated differently as per the individual symptoms.  In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2967 people found this helpful