What Is a Cough? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

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Coughing, mild, is the way your body responds when your throat or airways are bothered by something. (1) Coughing, from sore throat to whooping cough to complete hacking, can be voluntary or unnecessary, short-term or long-lasting.

A cough is a sudden outflow of air from the lungs through the epiglottis, a small tripod that covers the entrance to your windpipe. (2) The amazing speed with which a cough occurs (estimated at 100 miles per hour) creates a strong force of air that helps you clear the airways of unwanted itching.

Coughing is relatively painless, but it can be annoying or disturbing to others, and trying to cough makes you feel uncomfortable and tired. According to the Mayo Clinic, occasional coughs are normal and there is nothing to worry about, but a cough that lasts for several weeks or more or produces colored or bloody mucus. Accordingly, it may be a sign of a medical condition. (1)

Signs and Symptoms of a Cough

The cough can be severe or chronic. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a severe cough starts suddenly and usually lasts less than three weeks. This type of cough often causes a cold, flu, or severe bronchitis. (4)

Chronic cough lasts for eight weeks (or longer than four weeks in children). (1) A long cough can wake you up at night while you are asleep and cause fatigue. (5) It can also be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including:

Runny or stuffy nose
Feeling of liquid running down your throat (drip coming later)
Frequent sore throat and sore throat
Hollowness
Wheezing and shortness of breath
Irritation or sour taste in your mouth
Rarely, coughing up blood

Causes and Risk Factors of a Cough

There are different causes of whooping cough and whooping cough. Common causes of whooping cough include: (1)

Common cold and influenza (flu)
Annoying breathing (such as dust, chemicals, or foreign bodies)
Pneumonia
Whooping cough
Acute bronchitis (3)
Bone infections
Common causes of chronic cough include: (1)

Allergies
Asthma
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Postnasal drip
Chronic bronchitis (3)
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Other lung conditions
Smoking
Sore throat.

What Is a Cough
What Is a Cough

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