Why We Cough

Coughing can really wear you out for the days or weeks it lasts. It can be painful and obnoxious, and seems to show up at the worst of times – whether that be while you are trying to sleep, or when you are in a very public place where people seem to want to get away from you for being ‘sick.’ In order to avoid or treat a cough, it is important to understand why we do it. Once you have a full understanding of its origin, you can take the next step in treating it and also preventing it in the future.

Coughing is an automatic reaction our body uses in order to protect the lungs from any kind of irritants or mucus. When your airway becomes irritated, your nerves send a message to your brain to trigger a cough. This reaction is an attempt by your body to clear any debris that could potentially be dangerous if it gets too close to your lungs.

Coughs can be classified two different ways: acute or chronic. Acute coughs only last a short period of time and can be very sudden. Some sort of debris accidentally making its way into your airway usually causes these. Chronic coughs last much longer and typically are signs of a bigger problem such as some sort of sickness or upper respiratory condition.

You should come see one of our family doctors if you or a loved one has one of the following symptoms that can be associated with a cough:

– Fever

– Chills

– Aches

– Coughing that lasts more than a few days

– A barking cough

– Difficulty breathing

– Coughing up mucus or blood

Keep an eye out for coughing with your family as our North Texas weather is slowly changing into cooler temperatures! Stay healthy!