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Chronic Cough : understanding, symptom, Cause, diagnosis, Treatment and complication

Understanding Chronic Cough

A chronic cough is a cough that lasts over a long period, which is about two months or more in adults, and one month or more in children. A chronic cough in itself is not a disease but a symptom of other health problems.

Chronic Cough : understanding, symptom, Cause, diagnosis, Treatment and complication



A chronic cough sometimes it is not a sign of a serious condition. But the relentless coughing can reduce the quality of sleep, disrupt the balance of the body, and interrupt routines sufferer. In 10 to 20 percent of cases of a chronic cough experienced by adults known to be triggered by a genetic hypersensitivity (atopy) And exposure to cigarette smoke.

There are several types of a chronic cough, including:
  • A chronic cough is dry. A cough that does not produce mucus and is usually a symptom of a sinus disorder or viral infection.
  • A chronic cough is wet. A cough that produces mucus and usually indicates a bacterial infection or fluid in the lungs, depending on the color of mucus produced.
  • Cough stress. A cough that occurs because of spasms in the respiratory tract, usually caused by pressure or stress mind. This cough does not produce mucus and is not associated with any infection.
  • A cough "bark". Coughing caused by infection with this virus generally affects children. Cause it sounds like a dog Coughs is the result of swelling of the trachea.
  • Whooping cough. A cough is also called pertussis is classified as a dangerous infectious disease, and can lead to death in patients with a baby under 1 year.

Causes of a chronic cough

Here are some of the causes of a chronic cough are relatively common, among them:

  • Postnasal drip. This is a condition where there is excess mucus that accumulates in the back of the throat to cause a cough. This condition is also called syndrome cough Respiratory channel top (UACS).
  • Asthma. Occur in a particular season (especially in winter) or after an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Diseases of stomach acid. Acid from the stomach up into the esophagus.
  • Infection. Such as pneumonia, flu, colds, up to a whooping cough (pertussis).
  • Blood pressure medicines. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are commonly prescribed for patients with high blood pressure or heart failure.
  • Chronic bronchitis. Chronic inflammation of the airways that is common due to smoke or are often exposed to smoke. Diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema also be part of the disease of smokers.
  • Inhalation of excessive air pollution.
  • Working in locations with the risk of irritation often merciful particles.
 Although rare, there are also a number of other things that can cause chronic stones, such as:
  • Aspirations. Or the insertion of foreign objects into the respiratory tract. In adults, the aspiration is usually caused by choking on food or drinks, while in children is usually caused by foreign objects (toys).
  • Bronchiolitis. Respiratory tract infections that cause inflammation and blockage in the bronchioles.
  • Bronchiectasis. Damage to the respiratory tract.
  • Laryngeal-pharyngeal reflux. Stomach acid that rises to the throat.
  • Cystic Fibrosis. A disease that causes mucus in the body to become thick and sticky.
  • Nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis. Inflammation of the respiratory tract without the factor of asthma.
  • Sarcoidosis. The combination of inflammatory cells in the body, usually in the lungs.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Cardiovascular conditions. Covering heart failure, pulmonary embolism, until the swelling of the main blood vessel (aneurysm of the aorta).
  • Lack of vitamin B- One of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, namely sensory neuropathy, thought to be one cause of a chronic cough.

Symptoms of a chronic cough

Symptoms that accompany a chronic cough varied, from a still relatively mild, so serious. Some of the associated symptoms of a chronic cough are still relatively mild are:
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Feels like there is liquid flowing continuously behind the throat (postnasal drip)
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing voice
  • Heartburn and sour feeling in the mouth
While the accompanying symptoms of a dry cough are relatively more serious, but rare are:
  • Cold sweat at night
  • High fever
  • Lost weight
  • Pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood
See your doctor if a cough does not go stop until 8 weeks, or experience any of the symptoms above.

Diagnosis of a chronic cough

At this early stage, the doctor will usually perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history, when the perceived symptoms, smoking habits, environmental conditions, the treatment that is being executed, to a place you've visited before symptoms appear. If suspected symptoms of a chronic cough, your doctor may suggest doing a series of tests, such as:
  • X-ray. Although it can not detect the cause of a cough in general such as asthma, gastric acid or postnasal drip, X-rays of the chest is usually done to see if there are signs of related diseases such as lung cancer, pneumonia or other diseases. The X-rays can also be used to detect due to a sinus infection.
  • CT Scan. This test is usually done to diagnose the condition of the lungs more deeply, such as an infection or other problem.
  • Lung function tests. To measure how the patient can withdraw and exhaling, a tool called a spirometer is used. Diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is detected by these tools. In certain cases, the doctor may perform tests to measure levels further asthmatic breath before and after methacholine inhalation of the drug with the content.
  • Laboratory test. Doctors generally would suggest conducting laboratory tests of bacteria if the mucus when a cough has a certain color.
  • Bronchoscopy. It uses tools such as bending thin tube equipped with lights and cameras, which are inserted through the mouth and throat to see the condition of the lungs and respiratory tract through the monitors prepared. At the same time, doctors can also perform actions, called a biopsy, by taking any small part of the respiratory tract tissue for examination in a laboratory.
  • Rhinoscopy. In this test, the doctor will use a special tool to check the conditions in the nose to determine the cause of a cough experienced.
  • Stomach acid test. Supporting test is done to check the levels of acid may be contained in the patient's throat.
  • Echocardiography tests. This test is usually done when doctors suspect oddity on the patient's heart.

Treatment of a chronic cough

Depending on the type of symptoms suffered, some of the following treatments may be recommended:
  • Drugs. Some medicines such as antibiotics (to fight bacteria and pneumonia), antihistamines and decongestants (to relieve inflammation of the respiratory tract and allergies), as well as glucocorticoids (to relieve hormonal problems, chronic bronchitis, and asthma) may be recommended. There is also a bronchodilator inhaler as ordinary doctors prescribe for patients with asthma as a reliever inflammation and respiratory tract congestion.
  • Cough. If a cough does not go away and no significant symptoms, your doctor will usually prescribe cough suppressants such as dextromethorphan, benzonatate, to codeine or hydrocodone. Some of these drugs can be bought freely but have side effects such as drowsiness to dependence.
  • Acid suppressants. Patients with a chronic cough caused by excess stomach acid would normally be prescribed a drug containing an antacid, an inhibitor of the H-2 receptors or proton pump inhibitors. Some patients sometimes have to have surgery to resolve this problem, although rarely.
Talk to your doctor before taking a drug-free, especially for users of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) or patients aged 4 years and under to avoid harmful side effects.

Complications of a chronic cough

In addition to causing anxiety and annoyance, chronic cough symptoms that do not stop can result in some further complications, such as:
  • Rib fracture when coughing too tight
  • Dizzy
  • Headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Excess urine (urinary incontinence)
Immediately see a doctor when experiencing symptoms of a chronic cough in order to avoid further complications, or when experiencing any of these complications.

Prevention of a chronic cough

In addition, to treat it appropriately when coughing appears, the following points can we do to lower the risk of a chronic cough, among them:
  • Drinking warm beverages like water or tea regularly to thin the mucus that collects in the throat. Hot soup could be an option.
  • Suck on cough sweets to relieve throat irritation.
  • Avoid smoking and smokers to smoke environment not settle in the lungs.
  • If your stomach acid patients, it is advisable to avoid trigger foods and beverages such as spicy food, acid, mint, chocolate, and caffeine.
  • Add moisture in the air conditioning to increase the humidity of the air and launch the stalled respiratory tract. If not possible, take a bath with warm water or live steam.
  • Use nasal sprays or therapy Neti Pot (nasal irrigation using saline solution) to remove mucus in the airways. Read the manufacturer's instructions and be careful when using a neti pot so as not to cause further irritation.
If conditions worsen, see your doctor for further treatment.

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