Causes of lingering cough
Cough is always accompanied by many unpleasant moments. First, it causes pain in the throat, chest.
Secondly, a coughing fit can completely disrupt night sleep. And not only the most unfortunate, but also his entourage.
And thirdly, coughing can lead to psychological discomfort. After all, he still strives to appear at serious meetings during the negotiations. Therefore, if we are talking about a protracted cough in an adult, then it is necessary to thoroughly understand the causes of pathology and find the right tactics to combat it.
Why does a cough appear
Cough is not an independent disease. It serves as a symptom of certain disorders occurring in the body. In fact, cough is a protective reaction of the body, aimed at cleansing the respiratory tract from foreign bodies, infections, irritants. It may be wet, dry, exhausting, or it may appear as slight scratching.
Protracted doctors call a cough that lasts more than 4 weeks.
The main causes of protracted cough
A prolonged cough can signal a wide variety of pathologies. But more often he points to infectious diseases, in which mucus accumulates in the lungs or bronchi. After recovery, it does not pass immediately. Cough is delayed for several weeks and is treated by doctors as a residual phenomenon.
Cough may be due to infection of the lungs.
So, a cough may be a symptom:
pronounced rhinitis (in which there is a congestion of mucus in the throat and its drainage along the posterior nasal wall);
chronic lung infections (eg, tuberculosis);
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
lung cancer, sarcoidosis;
The basis of a protracted cough may be taking some medications. The most common cause of an unpleasant symptom is beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors. Such drugs are usually prescribed for the treatment of heart disease.
What will cough tell
By the sight of cough, you can suspect the presence of certain diseases. But without examination in the clinic, it is strictly forbidden to make diagnoses for oneself, let alone resort to treatment. In some cases, improper treatment of ordinary cough leads to the development of severe, prolonged pathology. Therefore, it is better not to experiment with health.
Examination will help to make an accurate diagnosis.
Cough excessively exhausts a person. It weakens the defense mechanisms of the respiratory tract. Any infection can easily enter the body. In addition, a prolonged cough can lead to the development of obstruction of the lungs or asthma.
So, if a protracted cough does not pass for a long time, then you need to pay attention to the accompanying symptoms.
A wet cough, in which sputum is lost, most often indicates an infection in the respiratory system. To get rid of it, the body begins to produce mucus. With the help of the cough reflex, such sputum (containing dead cells of the respiratory tract, infectious agents, leukocytes) leaves the body. Mucus varies in color, consistency. These criteria can help determine the source of cough.
Green sputum. Such secretions indicate the presence of pus in the airways. The outgoing mucus serves as a signal of rupture of the abscess and the discharge of its contents.
Curd sputum. It is characteristic of fungal infections. Symptom often occurs with tuberculosis.
Gray or black sputum. Usually it is accompanied by a heavy, putrid odor. Such a clinical picture indicates the development of oncology in the respiratory system.
A cough that is not accompanied by sputum is called dry. He is always painful, exhausting. To get rid of such a cough, it is initially transferred to a wet one. Then, with the help of expectant drugs, they completely get rid of it. A lingering cough usually has a non-infectious nature. But not always. In rare cases, it can develop even with pneumonia.
Cigarette smoking can make your cough 2 times worse.
A prolonged cough without sputum in an adult may indicate the following pathologies:
fungal infection of the respiratory tract;
nicotine intoxication with prolonged smoking;
foreign objects, dust penetrated into the bronchi;
A dry cough can talk about GERD. In this case, the patient will complain of heartburn.
What to do if tormented by a protracted cough?
You need to start with a visit to the doctor. Without instrumental and laboratory examination to establish the diagnosis is almost impossible. Therefore, the selection of appropriate therapy should begin with the following diagnostic measures:
x-ray or fluorography;
spirometry (the study of external respiration);
various pulmonary function tests;
If necessary, the doctor will expand the list of studies.