In fact, coughing is one of the self-protection mechanisms found in the human body. Through coughing, the body tries to secrete mucus, microbes, and foreign bodies that have the potential to interfere with the airway. That way, the potential for inflammation and infection due to these bullies can be minimized.
Cough itself is divided into two types, namely dry cough &phlegm. This depends on whether or not mucus or phlegm is produced.
In a dry cough, the airway does not produce mucus. This dry cough can be caused by various things, ranging from asthma, infection, to environmental pollution. In this article, it is the dry cough that will be discussed.
Diagnosis of Dry Cough
The diagnosis of dry cough is influenced on the basis of medical interviews, physical examinations and support.
In a medical interview found a cough that is not phlegm. Generally this condition greatly interferes with activities and reduces the optimal sleep at night.
On physical inspection, the clinical findings obtained can vary. In asthma for example, there can be found the sound of additional breathing in the form of wheezing time exhaling.
Several supporting examinations are expected to ascertain the underlying cause of dry cough. Tests that can be done include:
Chest X-ray to see lung condition
Blood tests to assess the absence of infection
CT-scan to see a clearer picture of the tissue in the lungs
Swab or throat swab, which is the taking of part of the throat tissue using cotton lid for and then examined under a microscope
Spirometry uses a tool that will assess how optimal a person’s breathing is when he exhales strongly.
Causes of Dry Cough
There are various conditions that can cause a dry cough:
Of all the possible causes, smoking is the one most frequent error that often results in a dry cough. Various chemicals contained in cigarette smoke will irritate the airways and damage them slowly.
In the long run, this airway irritation can cause a variety of more severe lung diseases. Starting from bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia to lung cancer.
Dry cough in asthma is caused by a narrowing of the airway that occurs suddenly. This narrowing is usually triggered by specific things, such as dust, cold temperatures, infection and so on.
In addition to a dry cough, other signs that will be experienced in asthma are:
Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing due to coughing or wheezing
Sounds such as whistles when sighing
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
In addition to asthma and cigarettes, the genre of stomach acid to the throat or GERD is also able as a cause of dry cough. The backflow of stomach acid will irritate the throat and trigger the cough reflex.
Other symptoms that are generally experienced, namely:
Burning in the chest
The sensation of a prisoner in the throat
Coughing on post nasal drip occurs the impact of hyperbole mucus production in the throat, triggers vary, ranging from allergies, flu or dust images.
When the mucus in a phlegm cough is usually thick, then the mucus in the postnasal drip is generally liquid and easily enters the throat. In addition to dry cough, other signs that can still exist in postnasal drip are:
Sensation of blockage in the throat
Dry cough can also occur the impact of a viral infection. Although the infection itself will usually improve at 1-two weeks, the cough that arises can last longer.
Cough that occurs after this viral infection is motivated by the presence of irritation post infection. Such coughing can last 1-2 months.
Coughing slowly will improve along with the recovery of the airway based on the irritation earlier. To help with recovery, anti-irritant suction candy and drinking warm water can be the solution.
The presence of pollutants in the air such as dust, dirt, and chemicals inhaled into the gastrointestinal tract, can be a factor that triggers dry cough. Not only that, in some people the humidity of the air that is too dry can also be the cause of this cough. To overcome this, the use of humidifiers can be an alternative way out.
In addition to these six conditions, dry cough can also be caused by various other factors. For example, because of the use of antihypertensive drugs ace inhibitors, pertussis disease, lung damage, lung cancer to heart failure.
Symptoms of Dry Cough
Symptoms that are more dominated according to dry cough is the absence of mucus in the airway that comes out when a cough. Cough experienced is also generally very disturbing activity and suggest the quality of sleep.
Other signs that are also experienced in dry cough can vary, depending on the disease or underlying conditions. These symptoms can be:
There is blood that comes out when the stone
Shortness of breath
Dry Cough Treatment
Treatment of dry cough is based on the type of disease behind it. For example, in cough caused by the cigarette, then the cessation of this habit as a key to treat dry cough.
In the case of GERD, a combination of lifestyle changes, regular application of diet and stomach acid control drugs can generally improve complaints of dry cough experienced.
However, in general, complaints of dry cough itself can help be relieved in several ways. For example with anti-irritant suction tablets, cough reliever drugs containing dextromethorphan, or drinking warm water spiked with pure honey.
Complications of Dry Cough
In addition to basic diseases that increase in weight, dry cough that is not handled can suggest psychic conditions and the quality of life of the person itself.
People who experience a prolonged cough can experience depression, frustration and fatigue due to optimal sleep. In terms of physical, prolonged dry cough can also cause urinary incontinence or involuntary urination, especially in the elderly.
Prevention of Dry Cough
Dry cough can be prevented using minimizing the trigger factors. For example, avoiding the habit of cigarettes and cigarette smoke according to the surroundings, wearing a mask when in a dusty environment, avoiding triggers that can cause asthma. If the flu experienced does not go away, immediately treat or visit the nearest doctor to do an examination.