What Is Cough?
A cough is referred to as tussis as well. It is a spontaneous reflex, which many animals and human have. The purpose of a cough is to clean the breathing passage and throat of the mucus, fluids, irritants, microbes, and foreign particles. In a cough, lungs expel the air rapidly.
A cough can be a deliberate or an involuntary action. A cough often gets cleared without any medicines, but sometimes people take cough syrups to soothe the irritation caused by a cough. But some of the coughs can be a symptom of serious illness.
Cough reflexes can be classified into three phases:
- An inhalation that means breathing in.
- Pressure is increased in the lungs and the throat with the closed vocal cords.
- On the opening of the vocal cords, the person may experience a sudden expulsion of air that creates the characteristic cough sound.
- When someone coughs abnormally, then it may be a symptom of a certain disease. Some of the coughs can be caused due to contagious diseases such as common cold. Some of the causes can be non- infectious as well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cough?
Some of the symptoms that are accompanied with the cough are as follows:
- A cough is accompanied with a stuffy and a runny nose.
- One may frequently keep clearing the throat.
- Hoarseness in voice.
- Wheezing and difficulty in breathing.
- One may feel swallowing difficult or may suffer from the cough while swallowing.
- In some cases, blood is witnessed while coughing.
- Soreness in the throat is felt.
- Sometimes body temperature may also increase.
- Night sweats.
What Are The Causes Of Cough?
- Asthma: People with asthma attack can frequently lead to cough-related problems. Some are inflicted with such complications due to various respiratory infections.
- Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS): After one’s nose generates excessive mucus, it goes down to the throat, causing cough.
- Bronchitis: Bronchitis is an issue that causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes. This issue further triggers a cough due to the production of coloured sputum.
- Pollution, smoking
- Flu, certain allergies
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Cough?
- Use warm water to gargle. Hot-water gargling helps in reducing inflammation. One can also add a little salt to the water for extra effect.
- Increase the consumption of fluid-based foods so that the mucus is thinned and removed through a cough as much as possible.
- Stay away from people with flu or cold.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Cough?
Some of the things that should be avoided while suffering from a cough are as follows:
- Do not expose oneself to the smoky and dusty area if suffering from a cough, as such conditions can worsen a cough.
- Do not work in industries that produce toxic fumes.
What Are The Best Foods For Cough?
- Soup: The soups are beneficial in treated and soothing cough. Especially chicken soup does wonder in a cough. Also, vegetarians can have vegetable soups as well. Soups have anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing the damage caused to the throat by coughing. Make sure not to add sour and hot sauces like vinegar and soy sauce as it may worsen the irritation in the throat. One can have a bowl of warm soup twice a day when suffering from a cough.
- Foods containing spices: The spicy foods have heat in them due to a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin acts like natural expectorant and helps in thinning the mucus. Some of the spices that help in a cough are cayenne pepper, black pepper, turmeric, liquorice, and cinnamon.
- VitaminC rich foods: Vitamin C is well known for its benefit of boosting immunity. Hence, it fights with the agents causing cough. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin C and can be consumed when suffering from a cough are broccoli, kiwi, bell peppers, etc.
- Honey: An age-old remedy for a cough is honey. It provides a protective layer on the throat; hence provide relief to a sore throat. Also, it is rich in antioxidants. Honey is the ingredient in many of the cough syrups.
What Are The Worst Foods For Cough?
Some of the foods that one must avoid while suffering from a cough are as follows:
- Milk and Dairy products: Sticky thick mucus may flow down to the throats back from cold or an allergy is called phlegm. If phlegm is the cause of a cough, then one must avoid foods that may cause the formation of mucus. Milk and other dairy products increase the mucus formation particularly when the infection already persists. Therefore, one must stay away from dairy products when suffering from a cough. Some of the dairy products that one should avoid are milk and milkshakes, sour cream, whipped cream, yoghurt, ice creams, etc.
- Caffeine: Coffee is a common diuretic that leads to excessive urination and later complications of dehydration. This further leads to a dry cough. So, avoid consumption of caffeinated drinks.
- Citrus Fruits: Avoid consuming citrus fruits such as watermelon, bananas, peaches, and mangoes. Such food items contain citric acid that irritates the throat leading to a cough.
- Fried foods: One must not consume fried foods such as French fries, chips, etc. as these secrete an irritant known as acrolein that is known to increase cough reflex.
- Processed chips: Processed foods such as fried noodles, cheese, cereals, etc. can suppress the immunity of a person So, there are more chances of infections if one consumes too much of such food items.
- Allergen foods: Some people who have complications like asthma can further be affected with allergic disorders such as a cough on consumption of irritant foods like yeast, nuts, fish, milk, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Cough?
What Are The Tips To Manage Cough?
- Always cover your mouth and nose whenever you trigger sneeze or a cough.
- Always stay hydrated and consume plenty of fluids.
- Make sure to keep your environment clean, especially items of daily use such as cell phones, toys, countertops.