Cough is symptom of respiratory infection and can be chronic or acute. It can be upper respiratory infection (common cold, cough, coryza) or lower respiratory infection which involves pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis. Cough is generated to clear phlegm in trachea and coughing is reflex caused by irritation in windpipe. This causes difficult breathing and is exhausting for sufferer. The main reason for cough is pollutant, allergens and various microorganisms.
Types of Cough
According to Ayurveda it is Vataj (Wind) cough. Dry cough is irritating and troublesome for sufferer. It causes pain and exhaustion. Dry cough is caused due to virus infections, throat inflammation, cold air, pollutant, dust, smoking and smog.
For treating dry cough suppressants are used.
According to Ayurveda it is Kaphaj cough. It is symptom of chest congestion. Loose productive cough is caused due to common cold, flu or respiratory infections. In this cough is loose and contains phlegm. The loose productive cough helps to clear phlegm lying in lungs and air passage which otherwise causes fever and vomiting.
For treating productive cough, expectorants are used which causes loosening and thinning of phlegm for easy expelling.
Whooping cough or pertussis
Whooping cough is infectious condition present in children and toddlers and caused due to bacterial infection. It is characterised by difficult, hard long coughing fits. This may cause even vomiting while coughing fits.
Chronic cough is caused due to inflamed or blocked airways due to certain health condition.
Cough in Asthma, Allergies
This cough is dry, non productive type with choky sound and caused due to some trigger like pollutant, pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, fragrance containing products.
This type of cough is treated with Inhaler which acts as bronchodilator.
Cough due to medication
Some medicines which are ACE inhibitors cause coughing as side effect. The example of such medicines are Zestril, Capoten, Vasotec, etc.
Cough and its treatment
For treating cough, suppressants, antihistamines and expectorants are used. Cough suppressants such as Dextromethorphan, acts on brain and calms coughing. Expectorants give relief in chest congestion. These causes thinning of phlegm for easy removal. Expectorants can also change dry cough to productive cough with lesser frequency. Antihistamines (eg chlorpheniramine, brompheniramine, triprolidine, diphenhydramine) are helpful in curing running nose and allergies.