Cough can be described as body’s method of responding when something is irritating the throat or airways. When some foreign object (irritant) stimulates the nerves, it sends message to brain, and brain in turn sends message to chest muscles and abdomen to push air out of lungs and force the irritants out.
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Click here for more information about cough and other internal issues– by consultant Internal Medicine (Al Hilal Hospital, Bahrain)
Types of Coughs
There are four major types of coughs:
- Dry cough
- Wet cough (cough with phlegm)
- Paroxysmal cough
- Croup cough
Cough that does not produce mucous, is called dry or unproductive cough, and can be triggered by a tickling sensation in throat. The patient might also experience chest tightening with dry cough.
Dry cough can be caused by irritants including dust, air pollution or smoke, post-nasal drip in sinusitis, tonsilitis etc. It can be a symptom of common cold, covid 19, heart failure, allergies, asthma, acid reflux and rarely, even lung cancer.
While most of the time dry cough would go away on its own, if persistent, it needs to evaluated and treated with appropriate medications. Some home remedies and over-the-counter medication can also be used to relieve symptoms.
Cough with Phlegm (Wet Cough)
Wet cough, or cough with phlegm, bring up mucus- and is also known as productive cough. It usually indicates infections with microorganisms like viruses or bacteria; and can last for less than three weeks (acute) or more than 8 weeks (chronic).
Cough with phlegm might indicate asthma, cold/ flu, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, pulmonary edema, or Cystic Fibrosis.
Wet cough needs to be evaluated and treated with medication. Your doctor would do a physical examination, and investigations to decide on treatment. Consult an internal medical doctor in such cases.
An uncontrollable and violent coughing, which makes breathing painful and exhausting, is called paroxysmal cough. Sometimes, it can induce vomiting as well. It can also be induced by choking, asthma, pneumonia, COPD, and tuberculosis. The term Paroxysmal Cough was used for cough associated with pertussis, which is rare now due to vaccinations etc.
If the patient develops exhausting and painful cough, please do contact an expert internal medicine doctor for treatment and diagnosis.
Viral infection causing swelling and irritation in upper airway is known as croup- it also causes difficulty in breathing. The signs and symptoms of croup are the result of swelling and irritation around the vocal cords, trachea, and bronchi. It has a distinctive sound and can also cause raspy voice. Croup is commonly seen in children.
Consultation with a medical practitioner might be required for proper diagnosis and treatment of croup cough. Contact Al Hilal Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine for consultation regarding cough or any other internal disease, and get an appointment with the best Internal Medicine doctor in Bahrain.
Complications of cough
Acute complications of coughing include:
- fainting spells after coughing fits (cough syncope)
- insomnia from coughing at night
- cough-induced vomiting
- red eyes caused by subconjunctival hemorrhages which is in turn caused by forceful coughing
- involuntary urination due to coughing.
Chronic complications include:
- abdominal and pelvic hernia
- fractures of lower ribs
- inflammation of the chest wall (costochondritis)
If you have any symptoms of persistent cough mentioned above, contact Al Hilal Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine for consultation and early diagnosis. Our representatives are also available on WhatsApp helpline, in Al Hilal Manama, Salmabad, Riffa and Muharraq branches.
Following are the most used cough treatment options:
- Take rest
- Drink a lot of liquids
- Warm saline gargles
- Voice rest
- Try to avoid contact with people- especially if you have fever
- Use a face mask, and practice
However, if cough is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is better consult medical practitioner for better diagnosis and treatment options .You should visit your healthcare provider if you have a cough that will not go away and has these symptoms:
- Wheezing (noise when you breathe out).
- Fever over 101 F or fever that lasts more than a day or two.
- Phlegm (thick mucus, also called sputum), especially phlegm that is yellow, green, or bloody.
Go to the emergency room if you have a cough and you:
- Feel like you’re choking.
- Can’t breathe well.
- There is blood when you cough.
- Have chest pain.
Al Hilal Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine
If you have symptoms of cough or any other internal issue, consult an expert Internal Medicine Doctor at the earliest. At Al Hilal Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, we have highly qualified and experienced doctors, modern equipment, and state-of-the-art laboratories, to provide early detection and treatment options for all patients.
Contact Al Hilal Hospital, and get consultation with the best Internal Medicine Doctor for cough as well as other internal diseases. For your convenience, our representatives are also available on WhatsApp helpline, in Al Hilal Manama, Salmabad, Riffa and Muharraq branches.