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Flu season: how to stop coughing and start living

3 min read

Vasily Pokrovsky
physician, pulmonologist usupovskiy Hospital

“Cough is a powerful reflex to cleanse the respiratory tract from irritating their particles,” says pulmonologist usupovskiy hospital. Cough receptors are located in the region of the epiglottis, trachea, bronchi, lungs, and sometimes in the ear canal, heart shells, the stomach.

Usually we cough for two reasons: due to mechanical factors (mucus, phlegm, particles of respirable substances) or heat (if we are too cold or hot).

Productivity” cough is of the following types:

  • productive (“moist” — when we atkarchives phlegm or mucus),
  • nonproductive (“dry”).

For the duration of the cough is:

  • acute (within three weeks),
  • subacute (3 to 8 weeks)
  • chronic (over 8 weeks) according to the criterion duration.

“Dry” or “wet” cough, can only tell the patient, but it is, as the duration of cough is important for choice of treatment. Acute cough in most cases due to acute respiratory illness. Subacute cough is often a symptom of recent illness and is due to continuing increased sensitivity of cough receptors, reacting within a few weeks, even to small stimuli. The other (much less common) cause of subacute cough can be a lingering inflammation of the trachea and the main bronchus (protracted or prolonged tracheitis tracheobronchitis).

Chronic cough has a much greater number of possible reasons: chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, bronchiectasis, interstitial lung disease, heart disease (heart failure), gastroesophageal reflux (casts from the stomach into the esophagus), prolapse of the posterior wall of the trachea, foreign body in the bronchus, psychogenic or neurotic cough.

How to treat

Most — no way. To treat a cough without going to the doctor is impossible, because initially you should find out its cause. But what if the cough is strong and dry, and a visit to the doctor is scheduled in a few days? Here are some life hacks.

  • First, do not provoke cough — that is, you must at all costs “to cough”. If you intentionally provoke the reflex, the mucous membrane is irritated will only get stronger and may even be injured.
  • Second, restrain the beginning of the cough, despite the expressed feeling of irritation in the throat, trachea or behind the sternum — take the state of physical and emotional rest (sit down), hold for 5-15 seconds, do 2-3 small SIPS of non-carbonated unsweetened water at room temperature, radishes shallow breaths through the nose. To curb a cough, you can apply the candy canes (not medical, not antisepsis — selection of medicines, remember, is postponed until the visit to the doctor) — oily base cover the mucous membranes and reduces irritation of cough receptors, and swallowing reflex, a competitor cough, reduces the intensity of the latter.
  • Independently to understand the reasons of coughing is impossible, you do not need it. In any case don’t ignore a cough and not pigeonhole a visit to the doctor.

    Be healthy! Take care of yourself and your loved ones!

    About Vasily Pokrovsky

    Primary care specialization received in 2007, after graduating from the medical faculty of Terga. Went full-time clinical residency due to specialty “Therapy” (FMBA of Russia). In 2009, the primary professional retraining on a speciality “Pulmonology” (RSMU). In 2012 trained the Diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders (Department of sleep medicine, Clinical sanatorium Barvikha).

    Worked as a General practitioner and a lung specialist in a specialized hospital, Federal scientific clinical center of FMBA of Russia from 2007 to 2016. 2012 — practical work a sleep.

    Regularly improves its practical medical skills. The main direction of professional activity — modern diagnostics and conservative treatment of General therapeutic pathology, pulmonary diseases, sleep disorders. Conducts scientific work in scientific clinical center of FMBA of Russia.

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