A cough is caused by a variety of reasons and it occurs to help your body get rid of foreign material or mucus from your lungs and upper airway passages. It’s, actually body’s protective mechanisms in charge to keep you breathing easy. The diagnosis of coughing sometimes is easy to determine, but it can also be a mystery.
There are some characteristics that are specific for different types of coughing, such as the sound of your cough and many other accompanying symptoms that help in identifying the cause, and further getting on the road to recovery.
Here you can find the characteristics of seven common reasons for a cough, and suggestions what to do about them.
7 Common Reasons for Coughs
- Postnasal Drip
Mucus that drips down your throat as a result of cold or allergies can cause coughing. When the postnasal drip touches on nerve endings it leads to either a dry or wet cough.
This type of a cough will usually be worse at night, followed by the tickle or scratchy feeling at the back of your throat. If this cough is a result of allergies, you may experience sneezing and itchy eyes.
When the postnasal drip is accompanied by pressure in your face and congestion, cold symptoms can last longer than 10 days. In case of the thick green or yellow mucus, you probably suffer from a sinus infection, so you can treat your sinuses by irrigating them.
For instance, saline irrigation was found to decrease nasal congestion more effectively than saline sprays. It is thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in your nasal passages, and removes debris, allergens, bacteria, and inflammatory substances from your nose.
You can make your own preservative-free saline solution, by adding one teaspoon of Himalayan or sea salt to one pint of distilled water. This saline solution shouldn’t contain benzalkonium, to avoid problems with your nasal function and stinging and burning.
When you have a cough coupled with a wheezing sound or rattling, then you probably suffer from asthma. Then, your airways become inflamed, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing. This type of a cough is usually worsening at night, too or while exercising. Other signs of this type of a cough are shortness of breath, chest tightness, and fatigue.
In case of asthma is suggested to look into The Buteyko Method, in order to learn how to bring your breathing volume back toward normal and get better oxygenation of tissues and organs.
If you optimize both your vitamin D levels and gut health, you’re on the right way if you’re suffering from asthma.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
People who suffer from GERD can get a dry, spasmodic cough. The statistics of GI Motility says that the GERD is the second-most-common cause of a chronic cough.
It becomes worse in a lying position and when you eat and may associate with other GERD symptoms (e.g. heartburn), but in 75 percent of cases, chronic cough is the only symptom.
As GERD mostly caused by excessive amounts of acid in your stomach, you can treat it by acid-blocking drugs, by avoiding consumption of large amounts of processed foods and sugars. Instead, you can eat an unprocessed foods, lot of vegetables and other high-quality and organic foods.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Your cough may be due to COPD if you’re chronically coughing and hacking up lots of mucus, especially in the morning. For this type is specifically to have highest attacks of coughing in the morning and it eases in severity throughout the day. Other symptoms can be shortness of breath (particularly with physical activity), fatigue, wheezing, and chest tightness.
It is mostly caused by smoking, which includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic bronchitis, there is a swelling in the linings of your lungs and it constrains your breathing, while when you have emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs eventually lose their elasticity and start to worsen.
- Medication-Related Cough
A dry cough occurs in about 20 percent of patients that use drugs known as ACE inhibitors, to treat high blood pressure. If you noticed your cough a few weeks after starting this medication, you should stop blood pressure medication, even without your doctor’s guidance. Instead, you can regulate high blood pressure with the lifestyle changes or dietary strategies that will be crucial to control your levels.
As the high blood pressure is related to the production of excessive amount of nsulin and leptin as a result of a processed-food diet and a high-carbohydrate (i.e. high sugar), you should stay away from them.
Also, a comprehensive fitness program can be another strategy that improves your blood pressure and heart health without resorting to medications.
When your dry cough progresses into a wet cough with yellow, green, or red mucus that may be the sign of pneumonia. It can be accompanied by fever, trouble breathing, chills, or pain when coughing or breathing in deeply.
Pneumonia can be treated safely at home by getting rest and drinking lots of fluids. In severe cases, especially in young children or in the elderly, pneumonia may require hospitalization in order to receive fluids, oxygen therapy, and breathing treatments.
As pneumonia may be caused by a virus or bacteria, treating with will not be effective for viral pneumonia.
- A whooping Cough (Pertussis)
A whooping cough is characterized by a whooping sound as you breathe in. The CDC statistics show that 84 percent of children under the age of 3 have received at least FOUR DTaP shots and yet, despite this vaccination, whooping cough still exists.
In case you think you have whooping cough, you should seek medical attention immediately, especially if it occurs in a young child.
There are some natural treatments that may help and they are certainly not hurting, such as:
– Avoiding mucus-forming foods,
– Eating light foods (vegetables, soups, and herbal teas)
– Homeopathic remedies for pertussis
– Wild cherry bark lozenges
– Keep your body well hydrated
– Try up to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for seven days
– Keep your room and home well-ventilated and free of smoke
– Massage essential oils with a carrier oil,
– Rest and avoid exertion
– Arrange pillows so the patient can be more upright while sleeping and others.
According to the report published in the Annals of Family Medicine, average US adult believes that a cough lasts about seven to nine days, but in reality, the average cough lasts close to 18 days.
Homemade Remedy – Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon has the ability to help in quick alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat.
1) Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat, without boiling honey
2) Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes
3) After cooling cut the lemon in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
4) The mixture should be cooked on warm heat for about an hour.
5) Strain the lemon from the honey and remove all lemon seeds.
6) After cooling, store the mixture in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator.
This syrup lasts for 2 months if kept in the refrigerator.
– Take ½ teaspoon of a 25 lb. child
– 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed.
– Adults can take 1-tablespoon dose.