Chronic cough

Synonyms in a broader sense

Tussis, irritable cough, irritated throat
engl .: to cough


Chronic cough is a symptom that can occur due to various diseases.
In everyday life, coughing occurs mainly in connection with colds and other infections of the upper respiratory tract.
The urge to cough is an important mechanism in the body to remove substances and pathogens that are potentially harmful to the organism from the lungs. This is a complex process for which not only the organs of the neck but also the diaphragm are required.
However, the coughing takes place involuntarily, which is why it is also referred to as a cough reflex.

One speaks of chronic cough when this lasts for eight weeks.
Ideally, however, it should a doctor should be consulted beforehandso that the underlying disease can be identified and treated if necessary.
The root cause for the appearance of a chronic cough is usually due to one Dysfunction of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract justified. This is usually covered with tiny hairs, which clean the airways naturally.
At a infection or by a Damage from exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke or the like these hairs can be damaged. Since if these hairs are damaged the Cleaning of the airways no longer optimal the body has to work through this Trigger one Coughing stimulus for another mechanical cleaning of the airways to care.
This explains that especially chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract as well as a chronic damage from toxic substances can lead to a chronic cough.
In order to find out which illness is behind the cough, it is important for the treating doctor to know which one other symptoms occur and over what period the cough persists.
Are specialists in the field of chronic cough therapy Specialists in pulmonology also for Ear, nose and throat medicine.
Also General practitioners and internists are often confronted with the problem of chronic coughs.
The therapy of chronic cough is always based on the underlying disease which is responsible for the symptoms.
In the case of permanent damage to the cilia, the administration of a Mucus-reducing drug help alleviate the discomfort.
In the case of an infection, the focus is on combating the individually predominant pathogen.

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root cause

The causeswhich can be responsible for the development of a chronic cough diverse. The focus is above all Pathogens triggering the cough as an expression of an upper respiratory infection. Either Viruses as well as bacteria can cause such an infection.
It is the same Inhalation of toxic substances a common trigger of chronic cough. Especially through regular cigarette smoking or that passive inhalation of cigarette smoke can damage the airway mucosa and thus cause chronic cough (Smoker's cough) to lead.
'Ask another important cause chronic diseases how bronchial asthma represent.
Also the Taking certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors can lead to a chronic cough. A doctor should always be consulted for a check-up so that he can adjust the medication if necessary.
In the case of allergies, the increased activity of the immune system can lead to increased fluid and Secretion of mucus in the bronchi lead and thus also lead to the complaints.

Cough from stress

If the chronic cough has no apparent external cause, such as an infection, taking medication or inhaling dust, the diagnosis is often: Cough from stress.
to cough is a natural action the body uses to get rid of foreign objects and clear the airways. If coughing often occurs in stressful situations, the body tries to relieve the stress "cough up“And to get rid of unpleasant problems in this way, even if in this case no mucus has to be coughed up or a foreign body has to be removed.
Especially very critical people who have high demands on themselves and others can be affected by chronic cough due to stress. Then cough attacks occur with poorly solved tasks and dissatisfaction. Often these people are also easily irritable and quick-tempered. But also nervous tension, fears, Depression or certain situations can trigger coughs due to stress, for example when you have to talk for a long time.
Acute relief can then be provided a glass of water or Throat candies create. Homeopathic treatment can also be successful.
However, in the long run, the cause of this psychogenic cough should be found. A psychologist can help figure out the situations in which the chronic cough occurs and identify the actual feeling that is causing the Throat irritation triggers. Often times one is not aware of these situations oneself or cannot see a pattern behind the chronic cough. Behavioral therapy can help you to be more aware of your body and your own feelings and to be more mindful.
Methods for Stress relief like meditation or Autogenic training can also achieve long-term success.
A similar phenomenon to coughing due to stress is constant throat clearing. There is a constant feeling of having to clear one's throat even though the throat is free. Often this chronic throat clearing is also psychogenic.

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When is the cough chronic?

When cough lmore than three weeks if it continues it is called chronic. In this case a doctor should be consulted. Often these are so-called circular infections of the upper respiratory tract, which always lead to inflammation and thus to a cough. If the cough lasts longer than three weeks, it must be clarified whether a so-called Smoking catarrh (Smoker's cough) or one chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are behind the symptoms.

Also a asthma or inhaling industrial dusts can cause a chronic cough.
Likewise, bronchial carcinoma must be ruled out, which is often noticeable as a long-lasting cough.
Furthermore, the following diseases can be behind the chronic cough:

  • Allergies
  • chronic sinusitis (Sinusitis)
  • Lung infection (pneumonia)
  • tuberculosis
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • permanent use of medication (ACE inhibitors, ASS 100)
  • Heart failure
  • Myocarditis
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Food intolerance
  • Cystic fibrosis

Especially in children it can lead to the so-called Pseudo croup come. This is a viral infection caused by parainfluenza viruses (sometimes RS, rhino and measles viruses).

Most often there is a dry and barking cough. In addition, children show hoarseness and wheezing breathing sounds when inhaling (inspiratory stridor). If the course is serious, it may cause shortness of breath.

Also the whooping coughtriggered by the pathogen Bordetella pertussis usually leads to a barking cough that can last for months.
In the times of comprehensive vaccinations in childhood, whooping cough has become rather rare.

Adults who suffer from a mild chronic cough or cough should also always have one Reflux disease be excluded.
This is a constant backflow of gastric juice due to insufficient stomach closure upwards (Cardiac sphincter not closing properly).
Usually at night and when lying down, gastric juice then runs back into the esophagus and is then inhaled. In the course of time this leads to constant clearing of the throat and sometimes to repeated small ones Lung infections.

Furthermore, a cough can also be of a purely psychogenic nature, i.e. no organic cause can be found (see below).
However, pulmonologists often diagnose a psychogenic cough very early on. In many of these cases, an organic cause can be found in subsequent check-ups.
The so-called Emphysema also causes chronic cough with sometimes very strong expectoration. The reason is bloating of the lungthat are no longer reversible. Frequently affected by emphysema are patients who smoke and those with poorly controlled bronchial asthma.
For this reason, it is very important to treat people with asthma so that they do not have an asthma attack. It is believed that the more frequent an attack occurs, the faster it develops into pulmonary emphysema. Emphysematics in an advanced stage of the disease are mostly on a permanent oxygen supply (possibly with a mobile oxygen device) reliant.

Even patients with the so-called Bronchiectasis suffer from chronic cough with sometimes very strong expectoration. These are sacs in the lungs in which tough mucus gets caught and is difficult to cough up. It is not uncommon for bacterial infections to build up on the disturbed ventilation, which makes the treatment of bronchiectasis even more difficult.

Chronic cough in the baby

Six to eight times a year, babies and toddlers have respiratory infections, acute infections do not last longer than eight weeks. If a cough persists for this period of time, it is a chronic cough in the baby. The cause of the disease should always be clarified by the pediatrician, who can then also determine the appropriate therapy.

There are several possible causes of chronic cough in babies:

  • Asthmatic diseases: Occurrence in the first months of life is rare, in most children bronchial asthma develops in the fourth and fifth year of life and in half of the cases it improves by adolescence. Frequent and long-lasting respiratory infections in children are seen as possible contributing factors for bronchial asthma
  • Pseudo croup in the baby: (an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract that typically occurs at night and is caused by a barking cough, hoarseness and in severe cases shortness of breath is characterized)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic sinus infection
  • Constant inhalation of pollutants like tobacco smoke can trigger chronic coughs in babies. In the vicinity of children you should not smoke or work with other pollutants, such as substances that contain solvents. Other substances such as animal hair, mold, house dust mites and tree pollen can irritate the sensitive airways of small children and trigger allergies
  • A Reflux disease, i.e. the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus, can trigger chronic coughs due to the constant irritation of the mucous membrane
  • Food intolerance are discussed

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Chronic cough in the child

Upper respiratory tract infections are more common in children than adults. If the lining of the airways is permanently damaged, a chronic cough can result.

Chronic cough represents a symptom which common in adult humans occurs. children are however rather seldom affected by chronic cough, as cigarette smoke and other chemical causes, which could be responsible for damage to the airway mucosa, are usually eliminated.

Still, chronic cough can also occur in children.
Infections of the upper respiratory tract are more common in children than adults.
Depending on the pathogenwho is responsible for the infection, the Treating the condition can be lengthy and with chronic cough.

Especially when it comes to one permanent or temporary damage to the mucous membrane If it gets into the airways, a chronic cough is likely to develop in children too.

This damage to the mucous membrane can be caused by a chronic bronchitis, Sinusitis or one lung infection be evoked.
Especially when other complaints such as fever occur and the cough is accompanied by productive sputum, infection should be considered as the cause of the symptoms.

The so-called whooping cough also leads to strong and persistent cough.
A existing vaccination against whooping cough should therefore always be checkedwhen the strong and typical cough occurs in children.

In children, should certain diseases need to be clarifiedwhich can lead to a chronic cough.
So it stands asthma in the foreground of the diseases that can be responsible for a chronic cough in children.
Provide another important group Allergies as the cause of the complaints. These can be against mold (in the apartment), pollen or food and cause chronic coughs.

With young children, too Objects that are in the airways of the Reason for the cough be. If an inhaled object is suspected, inhale A doctor should be consulted.

Chronic cough in the morning

Besides the Type, duration and productivity the present cough may also the timingwhere the Increased cough, help the attending physician to diagnose the individual illness.

Cough occurs especially in the morning on when a so-called productive cough present.
That means one increased mucus production takes place on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and this the cough can be coughed up.
There in the night the Mucus production does not decrease, but coughing does not occur while sleeping, after waking up in the morning there is initially a lot of mucus in the airways, which is coughed up.

A prolonged prolonged productive cough can have a number of different causes. In particular, irritation of the respiratory tract due to inhalation of cigarette smoke is responsible for the morning cough. Upper respiratory tract infections or allergies can also lead to a productive cough and thus to an urge to cough in the morning.

Chronic cough with sputum

Cough, which is accompanied by a so-called sputum, is also called productive cough designated.
The sputum usually has one yellowish clear color and can to be coughed up.

The causes for one chronic cough with sputum are diverse.
So stand both Upper respiratory diseases as well as that Inhalation of harmful substances like cigarette smoke in the foreground of the possible causes of the discomfort.

Damage to the so-called cilia, which line the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, is usually due Beginning of the problem.
A poorer cleaning of the airways goes with one increased mucus production hand in hand.

Are also at Infections the immune cells of the body more active and a Secretion of mucus is increased. The mucus must be coughed up mechanically. Since there is no cough when sleeping, there is a cough especially in the morning very productive with a lot of sputum.

Depending on the cause which is responsible for the mucus and thus the sputum, different therapy options come into consideration.

A bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract should be as specific as possible with a antibiotic therapy treated while a virus-induced illness will not.
The Inhalation of harmful cigarette smoke should if possible fail become. Expectorant drugs as well as a adequate hydration can help in most cases Reduce discomfort.

Chronic cough after a cold

At a cold is it a Upper respiratory tract infection.
Usually are Viruses responsible for causing a cold.
In addition to fever, fatigue and runny nose, coughing can also be a symptom of the disease. Usually the symptoms of a cold leave within one to two weeks clear to.

A causal therapy can usually not be recommended, which is why the therapeutic measures for a cold are usually symptomatic in nature.
So can through Protection, one adequate hydration, the Taking antipyretic and pain reliever drugs symptom improvement can usually be achieved. The cough can mostly be caused by taking expectorant medication to be improved.

If the cough lasts longer than the other symptoms after a cold, there may be several causes.
On the one hand, the pathogens may still be present in the respiratory tract and cause the symptoms there.

The disease can also damage the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract. With such damage to the mucous membrane, the urge to cough can persist for several weeks, although the other symptoms of the cold have already subsided. At a prolonged coughing should be clarified by the attending physician.

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Home remedies for chronic cough

Next the use more specific Medication or medical measuresThere are several that can treat the underlying condition that is responsible for the discomfort Home remedies, which are used for chronic coughs. The use of these home remedies does not always make sense.

Especially in the case of a cough, which is accompanied by sputum, expectorant home remedies can reduce the symptoms. The most important home remedy for chronic coughs is adequate fluid intake.
Hot drinks such as teas are particularly suitable here.

In drugstores, supermarkets or pharmacies you can Sage, thyme, anise, ivy or licorice teas which help particularly well with chronic coughs.

By the Sweetening the tea with honey the cough-relieving effect of honey can also be used.

Also Onion juice is a home remedy that is supposed to loosen the phlegm when coughing productively.

Hot wraps and Cold baths such as inhalation measures are other home remedies, which with a chronic cough to relieve the symptoms can be used.