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how to recognize it and what the remedies are – breaking latest news

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how to recognize it and what the remedies are – breaking latest news

by Antonella Sparvoli

Everyone suffers from cough several times throughout their life. What are the causes that can trigger this defense mechanism implemented by the body and how to treat it

Coughing is a defensive mechanism that our body uses to “clean” the respiratory system. During an infection it helps eliminate mucus and other secretions that can prolong the disease. If food or drink goes wrong, the cough reflex can even save your life. On the other hand, a cough that persists for a long time is never a good sign. In these cases it is essential to understand the causes.

What are the different types of coughs

How can you understand the origin of a cough? «Its characteristics and the way in which it originated help to identify its cause – stated Sergio Harari, director of Pneumology at the San Giuseppe Multi Medica Hospital in Milan and professor of internal medicine at the State University of Milan -. If it occurred recently and is dry, it is likely due to respiratory infections. Chesty cough is typical of acute bronchitis. But if the episodes last a long time or occur repeatedly, further investigation is needed. There are many diseases that can have cough among their symptoms, from pneumonia to tuberculosis up to lung cancer, but what we most frequently notice is that a persistent cough is the first symptom of asthma.”

« Before reaching a diagnosis, however, it is not uncommon for patients to undergo a series of visits and tests in search of an answer, when instead a specialist with a few questions and a simple spirometry can immediately understand if it is asthma. In recent years, great attention has been paid to gastric reflux cough, but the most common causes remain asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitic-type pathologies.”

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How to fight a cough

What to do in case of a cough? «As a rule, an acute cough should not be nipped in the bud, precisely because it is a defense mechanism. Cough suppressants should be taken only in selected cases. Otherwise, the risk is to inhibit it, favoring the stagnation of secretions. Cough therapy depends on the cause, it is the underlying disease that must be treated. In the case of chronic forms caused by asthma or COPD, for example, you can count on numerous inhaled drugs, often used in combination. But what matters most is personalizing treatment and teaching patients to take medications continuously and correctly.”

The causes of cough

The cough reflex can be activated by the accidental breathing of food as well as by a series of chemical substances, such as those contained in cigarette smoke, by toxic gases or, again, by gastric juices which can sometimes return to the respiratory tract during a acid reflux episode. Among the most common causes of acute cough are undoubtedly respiratory infections. «The way in which different pathogens can stimulate coughing varies from case to case. It is not always caused by direct damage by viruses or bacteria. In fact, immune cells may also be involved in response to the respiratory infection. These cells of the body’s defense system can promote the production of inflammatory molecules such as cytokines, prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances capable in turn of stimulating the cough reflex by irritating the cough receptors found along the airways”, explains Harari .

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December 3, 2023 (modified December 3, 2023 | 5:32 pm)

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