Chronic Cough: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

All About Chronic Coughing
Cough can be experienced by anyone. Indiscriminately, infants to parents can develop cough. In addition, the type of cough can also vary. There are coughs that do not interfere with daily activities, but there are also coughs that can interfere with eating, sleeping, and working. Therefore treatment of cough can also vary depending on the patient's condition.

When the cough does not heal, then we must begin to be vigilant. Chronic cough is a term for a cough that does not heal. Usually a chronic cough lasts for 2-3 weeks and is very disturbing for the sufferer to indulge. What are the symptoms of chronic cough and how to treat it? The following explanation!

What is chronic cough?
In general, the cough will disappear in less than two weeks. But when the cough does not heal for weeks (can be more than 6 weeks) and is very disruptive to your daily activities, such as difficulty swallowing food, waking up in the middle of the night because of coughing, and also disturbing your concentration at work, the cough can be categorized chronic cough that requires further examination.

Chronic cough is not a disease, but a symptom of another more serious disease. So if you have a prolonged cough it is advisable to see a doctor.

What are the symptoms of chronic cough?
As mentioned earlier, that chronic cough is a symptom of other more serious illnesses. In addition to the annoying cough, chronic cough has other symptoms, namely:
  • The head always feels dizzy, especially when coughing appears in a row
  • Starting with the flu accompanied by fever
  • Difficulty eating, which causes weight loss
  • Hoarseness and sometimes difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Heartburn or sour taste in the mouth
  • In rare cases, coughing up blood

What causes chronic cough?
Chronic cough that is a symptom of other diseases caused by several things. The following are common factors that cause chronic cough:
  • Asthma - Asthma sufferers are very easily triggered to experience chronic cough. Especially when sufferers are in a cold place.
  • Infection in the lungs - Infection in the lungs or commonly called pneumonia can also be preceded by chronic cough. If a chronic cough sufferer is declared to have pneumonia then he or she should get further treatment by a lung specialist.
  • Chronic bronchitis - If someone smokes or becomes a passive smoker, they can develop chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis has symptoms of chronic cough that can always arise and will usually be prolonged.
  • Sinus - Sinus problems that still exist and have not been completely healed can cause nasal mucus or blocked mucus and cannot be removed. This postnatal drip case is called respiratory cough syndrome and is usually easy to cause coughing later in life.

What are the ways to diagnose chronic cough?
To diagnose chronic cough can be done several ways, including:

  • Laboratory test
    Mucus removed when coughing can be examined in the laboratory to find out bacteria .Contained in mucus. Especially if you cough and release colored mucus.
  • X-ray
    X-ray test is used to find out quite serious diseases such as pneumonia even to show the presence of lung cancer. In addition, if the chronic cough caused by a lung infection, x-ray results can also detect it.
  • Bronchoscopy
    How to diagnose using bronchoscopy is done using flexible straps that has a camera and is inserted through the mouth and into the throat lungs. Besides being able to see the condition of the lungs (the amount of mucus and conditions inflammation), the doctor can also take a sample of mucus or fluid for further investigation.

Complications of Chronic Cough
A cough that occurs continuously can be very annoying. This can disrupt sleep and cause various other problems, including:
  • Headache
  • Dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
  • Rib fracture
  • Faint or Syncope

How to treat chronic cough?
When you experience a prolonged cough, start treatment at home immediately before the cough gets worse and interferes with your activities. Medication is the first step to treat chronic cough sufferers.

If it turns out positive for an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection first. In addition, people with asthma, sinus or postnatal drip are also advised to treat it by prescribing each drug according to the patient's needs.

Can chronic cough be prevented?
Chronic cough can be prevented and not always experienced by everyone. Some of the ways below can prevent chronic coughing.

Do not smoke
Smoking provides a great risk for prolonged chronic cough. Chronic bronchitis is a trigger for chronic cough in active smokers. This is due to the inflammation of the bronchioli (the main respiratory tract in the lungs). If the smoker does not immediately treat the inflammation or bronchitis, then this can lead to other diseases such as lung cancer.

Drink plenty of water
Water helps to 'calm' inflammation in the throat. In addition, if there is mucus, water helps launch secretions in the throat.

Drink cough reliever
When someone has felt the disruption of the activities of eating, sleeping and working start to consume cough relievers. The purpose of cough relievers so that patients can rest and eat, but some sources say cough relievers only help resolve in the short term and can cause dependence.
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