Coughing is a reflex action, which means that it is an involuntary response to external stimuli. In this case, the external stimulus is usually a foreign irritant that enters into the throat. Usually, when you cough, it is to get rid of any foreign substance in your throat. However, there is more than one cause of coughing. Moreover, it is one of the most common symptoms of many infections and conditions.
Important things to Know
Even though the cough is mostly not a huge concern, you should still be aware of a few things. Firstly, the seriousness of the coughing action depends on the frequency of the cough. If your coughs last less than three weeks, then you have an acute cough. This episode of coughing is likely to get better in a few days.
Furthermore, sub-acute coughing tends to take eight weeks to clear up, whereas chronic coughing will stay persistent past the eight weeks. Therefore, you should always keep track of your coughing to have a better idea of the severity of your condition. In the most extreme cases, you can also cough up some blood or have a harsh dry, painful cough. This usually indicates a warning sign leading to a severe outcome.
Common Causes of a Cough
A cough is the cause of many temporary and permanent conditions. Most of the time, it is just an involuntary response to the clogging of mucus or foreign particles in the airway. A foreign particle may as well be smoke, dust, or any other impurity suspended in the air. Hence, coughing is a way the body gets rid of irritants and contaminants from the throat.
In the case of more frequent coughing, it is the most common symptom of a respiratory infection, along the lines of flu or a cold. These are viral infections and can cause frequent coughing that lasts a couple of weeks. A virus is a microorganism that multiples in the body and inhibits coughing response from the body. Another common cause of coughing is smoking since it involves inhaling foreign particles into the system.
A person with asthma is not new to coughing as well. Asthmatic coughing is usually a response to breathing difficulties. Furthermore, other causes of coughing involve the use of certain medicines. To some people, the intake of certain medicines causes coughing as a side effect. More causes of coughing include bacterial infections, injury to vocal cords, or a gastro reflux disease.
Coughing is a common symptom of many conditions. Even though most of the coughing you experience is nothing to worry about, it is always important to be mindful of warning signs. If your coughing is frequent, persistent, and painful, get urgent care for the alleviation and diagnoses of your cough.