- Do you have wheezing and shortness of breath?
- Are you coughing up blood?
- Do you have cough with heartburn or sour taste in your mouth?
MAY BE YOU HAVE CHRONIC COUGH
What is Chronic Cough?
Cough is a symptom that has been experienced by everyhuman and is an essential protective and defensive act, which helps clear particles and secretions from the lungs and helps to prevent infection. But, sometimes ittends to become a chronic condition. A chronic cough is usually defined as a cough that lasts for eight weeks or longer. Although coughing is not usually a sign of a serious problem, it can be annoying, make you physically tired, disturbance in sleep, rough and harsh sound, sweating, and leak urine (especially in women).
Types of Cough
It effectively clears mucous or foreign material from the respiratory tract and called effective and wet cough,this type is often caused by bacterial,viral or fungal infection.
It is dry and does not produce sputum caused by dry irritation, dust, smoke or fumes or due to oedema and mild secretion in the resolving stage of illness.
This type of cough is soundless in nature due to paralysis oflarynx.
Rare type of cough as an outcome of self-conscious activity of the patient to draw attention.
Causes of Chronic Cough
- Postnasal drip: Nose secretions flow back into the throat can irritate throat and trigger a cough. Postnasal drip can develop in people with allergies, colds, rhinitis, and sinusitis.
- Asthma: Wheezing or feeling shortness of breath is the main symptoms of cough variant asthma due to narrowing of wind pipe.
- Acid reflux: When acid from the stomach flows back (refluxes) into tube connecting the stomach and the throat have heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth.
- Respiratory tract infection: Bacterial tracheabronchitis or sinusitis can develop following a viral upper respiratory tract infection that produces thick, coloured mucus sputum.
- Blood pressure lowering drugs: Medications known as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can cause a chronic cough.
- Chronic bronchitis: In this case the airways are irritated, causing cough, sometimes raising phlegm. Mostly current or past smokers are affected.
Diagnosis of Chronic Cough?
Following are the tests being implemented for the diagnosis of chronic cough in a patient:
- Lung imaging: Cigarette smoker or other medical conditions that can affect the lung, a chest X-ray or even a chest CT scan may be done.
- Lung function tests: A lung function tests that measure the pattern of air flow into and out of the lungs is usually done to confirm symptoms of asthma.
- Acid reflux testing: A test may be done to measure the acid level of fluid in the oesophagus. This test is called a pH probe. In some people, a test called upper endoscopy will be done to look for irritation of the oesophagus.
Ayurvedic perspective of cough
Kasa (cough) and Swasa (dyspnoea or difficulty breathing) are the two challenges which are dealt in Ayurveda in the respiratory diseases. It is mainly five typesvata, pitta, kapha, ksataja and ksaya, out of which vata, pitta and kapha nature represent different doshic manifestations of a cough. Ksataja types are due to chest injuries, while ksaya type is due to disease that results in wasting of the body tissues such as tuberculosis.
Ayurvedic remedies for cough
- Acoruscalamus (Sweet flag): Used for its effects on the digestive system and the lungs. This herbeliminates phlegm, clears congestion, and tranquilizes the mind.
- Adhatodavasica Medic (Malabar Nut): A cough suppressant, antitussive activity against coughinginduced by irritants.
- Allium sativum (Garlic): Preventing wound infections, common cold, malaria, cough, lung tuberculosis;it prevents common cold and flu symptoms through enhancement of immune system.
- Carumcopticum (Ajwain): Use to enhance the immune system to ward off cold, flu and other viral infections. Also effective in asthma.
- Astragalusmembranaceus (Astragalus): It decreased mucus secretion, inflammation, and collagendeposition in the lung tissuessuppressed the frequency of cough.
- Lavandulaangustifolia (lavender): Oil is beneficial for problems such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, laryngitis,throat infections and whooping cough. The vapours of steamed flowers are inhaled as a cold remedy.
- Zingiberofficinale (Ginger): Use in ayurveda to alleviate many illnesses including indigestion, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, cough, common colds, fever, allergic rhinitis, respiratory troubles, pain, headache, backache, painful tooth and swelled gum.
- Inhalation therapy: Volatile antiseptic expectorants derived from conifers are often used as inhalants, which includes dwarf pine needle or Scotch pine needle oils and cedar leaf oil.
- Topical treatments: Applied topically to the chest, neck and upper back and covered with a flannel binder, the combination of eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, and camphor act as counterirritants in a dry chest pack to relieve pulmonary congestion.