Coughing serves an important function. Specifically, it clears excess mucus and unwanted irritants from our throat and airways. Hence, enabling air to flow freely into our lungs. However, not all types of cough have the same purpose.
In fact, illnesses often trigger our bodies to produce extra mucus. Thus, in such situations, coughing may be a symptom of an underlying health issue. In that case, how can you tell between the different types of cough?
Table of Contents:
1. Main categories of coughs
Coughing can be broadly categorised into three major groups based on duration: acute, sub-acute, and chronic.
An acute cough lasts up to 3 weeks. Common colds are the main cause of these coughs. However, you should watch out for these signs that may indicate an urgent need for medical attention:
- Extreme shortness of breath,
- Swelling of lips,
- Coughing up blood, or
- Blue lips and fingertips.
A cough is categorised as sub-acute if it lasts for 3 to 8 weeks in adults. This may be due to a cold or lung infection that has dragged on longer than usual and may require a visit to the doctors.
A cough is considered to be chronic if it lasts longer than 8 weeks in adults and more than 3 weeks in children. Chronic coughs can be caused by allergies, asthma, smoking, or severe illnesses such as lung cancer. If you have a cough that is chronic, it is advisable to seek treatment and determine the exact cause.
2. Types of cough
There are four common types of cough, each with very distinct characteristics. Paying close attention to the symptoms will give you clues on what your body is trying to tell you, and when you should seek help.
A wet cough is characterised by mucus and fluid secretions in the windpipe and lungs. These secretions can be brought about by acute conditions including a cold, influenza, and infections. Depending on the duration of your wet cough, you may consider over-the-counter medications or seek professional treatment. If your child has a wet cough, consult your paediatrician before using any form of medication.
Contrary to the wet cough, a dry cough is non-productive (coughing does not bring up phlegm or mucus), and may occur in response to an irritant, such as dust, that enters the airway. The use of an air purifier or humidifier may ease the discomfort brought about by coughing. A dry cough is also a common symptom of asthma. Therefore, if you, or your child, has a dry cough persisting for longer than 3 weeks, do arrange a visit to the doctor’s to determine its exact cause.
Croup is caused by a viral infection that results in swollen vocal chords and upper airways, and usually worsens at night. Due to the inflammation of the vocal chords, croup typically sounds like a harsh, “barking” cough. In addition, children may make high-pitched sounds during inhalation or breathe very rapidly. This can be frightening for both children and parents. Seek immediate medical attention if your child has any breathing difficulties. To alleviate mild symptoms of croup, take a steamy shower or place a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is characterised by severe coughing spells that conclude with a sharp gasp for breath. This gasp for breath has a “whooping” sound, thus giving the cough its name. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterial infection and requires antibiotic treatment, but can be prevented through vaccination. If you, or your child, has a whooping cough, seek treatment early. Family members and caregivers should also be treated since whooping cough is highly contagious.
Before your cough gets too serious, you should consider home remedies or consult a doctor, especially if it lasts longer than 8 weeks (or 3 weeks for children).
Delange, Jacqueline. (2018). Types Of Cough By Sound: ‘The Doctors’ Diagnose With Their Ears (VIDEO). https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/07/types-of-cough-by-sound_n_1326502.html
Levine, Hallie. (2018, October 19). 7 Kinds of Cough and What They Mean. https://www.health.com/cold-flu-sinus/whats-causing-your-cough
Nall, Rachel. (2018, April 24). What causes a chronic cough? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321597.php?sr
O’Keefe Osborn, Corrine. (2018). What Does My Type of Cough Mean? https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-coughs
Cough Symptoms and Treatment. (2018). Parents. https://www.parents.com/health/cough/cough/
Chronic Cough. (2018). The Lung Association. https://lungontario.ca/a-to-z/chronic-cough
With so much in my heart I am here to express myself on how Priest Salami saved my marriage from divorce. Myself and my husband were having some misunderstanding and it was tearing our marriage apart to the extent my husband was seeking a divorce. So I have no option other than to go to the internet to seek a solution to my problem. It was there I came across Priest Salami details and about how he has helped a lot of people by restoring their relationship. I contacted Priest Salami and in less than 48 hours my husband cancelled the divorce papers. Now myself and my husband live together in peace and harmony all thanks to Priest Salami for saving my marriage from breaking up. Priest Salami contact information are via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatsapp number: +2348143757229
i want to share to the whole world how Dr Kachi the Great of all the Spell Caster, that helped me reunite my marriage back, my Ex Husband broke up with me 3months ago, I have been trying to get him back ever since then, i was worried and so confused because i love him so much. I was really going too much depressed, he left me with my kids and just ignored me constantly. I have begged him for forgiveness through text messages for him to come back home and the kids crying and miss their dad but he wont reply, I wanted him back desperately. we were in a very good couple and yet he just ignores me and get on with his life just like that, so i was looking for help after reading a post of Dr Kachi on the internet when i saw a lady name SHARRON testified that Dr Kachi cast a Pure love spell to stop divorce. and i also met with other, it was about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 24 hours at the end of her testimony she dropped his email, I contacted Dr Kachi via email and explained my problem to Dr Kachi and he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen, that he will restored my marriage back, and to my greatest surprise my Ex husband came back to me, and he apologized for his mistake, and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day our marriage is now stronger than how it was before, Dr Kachi you’re a real spell caster, you can also get your Ex back and live with him happily: Contact Email drkachispellcast@gmail. com his Text Number and Call:: +1 (209) 893-8075 OR Contact his Website: https://drkachispellcast0.wixsite.com/my-site