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Related to cough: bronchitis, whooping cough, dry cough


sudden, forceful expiration of air from the lungs caused by an involuntary contraction of the muscles controlling the process of breathing. The cough is a response to some irritating condition such as inflammation or the presence of mucus (sputum) in the respiratory tract, as in infectious disease, or to heavy dust or industrial or tobacco smoke. Coughing may also be a reflex action to factors outside the respiratory tract; diseases that are not respiratory in nature (e.g., congestive heart failure or mitral valve disease) often bring on coughing. If there is mucus or a foreign substance in the respiratory tract, the cough should not be hindered since by this action the offending matter is expelled from the body. If, however, the cough becomes exhausting, sedation is indicated.



a reflex act usually occurring as a result of the irritation of the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract during an inflammatory process caused by pathological products (for example, sputum) or foreign bodies. A cough is one of the principal indications of disease in the respiratory organs (larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs). The cough center in the brain can sometimes be stimulated without irritation of the respiratory tracts. This is the so-called nervous cough that occurs in cases of fear and embarrassment. A distinction is made between a dry cough (without the formation and secretion of sputum) and a wet cough (with sputum).

The cough stimulus begins by deep inhalation, followed by a tensing of the bronchial and all the respiratory muscles resulting in forced expulsion. In so doing, the rima glottidis is closed, and intrathoracic pressure rises sharply. With the opening of the rima glottidis, the air bursts forth from the respiratory tract, carrying with it the sputum that has accumulated in the bronchi and pulmonary alveoli, dust particles, and so forth. Thus, a cough can be beneficial in helping to cleanse the respiratory tract. However, a protracted and severe cough that occurs with infections of the pleura, liver, and some other organs is harmful to the organism, since a systematic elevation of the intrathoracic and intrabronchial pressure leads to the gradual formation of pulmonary emphysema and impedes the flow of blood through the veins to the heart. This can lead to cardiopulmonary insufficiency.

Treatment is directed at the affliction that has caused thecough. With a wet cough, particularly if it is difficult to bring upthe sputum, expectorants are used; with a dry, persistent cough, cough suppressants are administered.


A sudden, violent expulsion of air after deep inspiration and closure of the glottis.
References in classic literature ?
Snagsby in his modesty coughs an apology behind his hand for drinking anything so precious.
Staying hydrated is the best thing you can do for a cough.
PRACTISE GOOD HYGIENE Research by cough firm Covonia found more than a quarter of us go a whole day without showering when we're ill and 23 per cent leave a trail of snotty tissues.
Although nurses routinely conduct neurological assessments, they may not be familiar with the importance of effective cough and swallow physiology as indicators of neurological dysfunction.
Given the large size of the industry, referred to by Drug Store News as "one of the most strategically important categories in retail pharmacy," it is only natural to ask: Does cough medication actually work?
The biggest misconception about kennel cough is that dogs do not have to have been in kennels to contract kennel cough.
Severity of cough (mild: 1-2, moderate: 3-5, severe> 5), time of the cough and vital parameters were recorded 90 seconds after fentanyl injection.
With cases of whooping cough on the rise it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease and know what to do if you suspect that you, or your child, has the disease.
The panel noted, however, that evidence supporting the diagnosis and management of unexplained chronic cough is limited.
If your cough lasts longer than eight weeks, you should seek medical advice," advises Prof Morice.
Professor Alyn Morice, cough expert and head of cardiorespiratory studies at Hull York Medical School says: "In the day, your body's natural reaction is to swallow often, helping nasal mucus to drain down the nose and throat.
Aspiration of even a small amount of a neutral-pH refluxate causes cough," Koufman explains.