Cough is one of the most common symptoms that almost everyone has experienced. However, many people, without realizing the whole situation, approach the fight against cough incorrectly, aggravating their condition and delaying the start of necessary treatment. Sometimes it helps with a cough:

What is a cough?
Cough is a reflex reaction, a strong exhalation through the mouth, provoked by irritation of the receptors located in the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. The role of coughing is to clear the respiratory system of foreign substances or objects that prevent air from entering the lungs.

Mechanism of development
Coughing is an innate unconditioned protective reflex. This means that if necessary, it arises on its own, independent of the will of the person and is realized from the moment of birth. But the cough can also be expressed voluntarily.

The act of coughing is provoked by mechanical irritation of the receptors that are located in the mucous membranes of all the organs that form the airways. The cough can also be caused by chemical effects on the receptors that are located in the internal organs and structures: stomach, diaphragm, pericardium, etc. The nerve impulse received from the receptors goes to the medulla oblongata, where the so-called “cough center” is located, which triggers the reflex.

The act of coughing begins with a short, deep breath. It is necessary to obtain a sufficient volume of air for a forced, sharp exhalation. At the end of such an inhalation there is a contraction of the muscles of the larynx and vocal cords, muscle fibers in the walls of the bronchi.

But at the height of inhalation there is a contraction of the respiratory muscles and muscles of the abdominal wall. Because of this, there is a sharp increase in pressure in the chest cavity. Then the vocal folds open, allowing air to escape from the lungs at high velocity and capture the contents of the airways with it.

Coughing comes in many forms. A number of diseases are characterized by separate forms of cough, recognizing which can greatly simplify the process of diagnosis.

Coughs are classified according to the following parameters:

By intensity: coughing, light and strong.
According to the presence of sputum: non-productive or dry, productive or wet.
According to the time of occurrence – morning, afternoon, evening, night.
Duration: episodic, short-term or episodic and continuous.
Duration: acute – up to 3 weeks, subacute – from 3 to 8 weeks, and chronic – more than 8 weeks.