You wake up in the morning feeling the pain in your throat when you swallow. You cough and cough and then, you spit blood. You begin to panic and become very anxious about the type of cough you have. Could this be something serious?
You hurriedly went to your doctor and have yourself checked, and the doctor auscultates your chest and back. She tells you that it’s nothing to be worried about, although your tonsils are red and inflamed and you’ll need to buy some Bactidol for that. She tells you that the blood was just because the coughing irritated your throat, which may be coming but has not yet reached the chest or lungs. You pay the doctor’s fee and go home, still feeling anxious and doubtful if there really is nothing wrong with you.
Knowing the Type of Cough You Have
The initial cause of a cough is usually because you are trying to get rid of an irritation in your throat. However, it would be helpful if you have sufficient information on the basics of cough – the types of cough and its causes. Anxiety from coughing is common, especially if the cough has persisted for weeks and you don’t have the time or resources to go and see a doctor.
Here are some common types of cough and how you can approach them.
A wheezing cough is the hallmark of asthma. You often cough and make a sound when you inhale. People with asthma have inflamed airways, which results in wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Coughing often worsens at night or early morning.
Asthma is chronic and it can happen to people of all ages, but it usually begins in childhood. When your doctor suspects asthma, he might ask you to take a spirometry test, which helps determine the efficiency of your lungs. Exercise, too much hot or cold, and severe anxiety can trigger an asthma attack.
For fast relief, you can take medications such as albuterol, a bronchodilator that can be taken orally or through a nebulizer. It helps dilate the airways and makes it easier for the individual to breathe.
It’s an irritating feeling when some fluid from the nose moves down your throat and you swallow it, or you attempt to spit it out by coughing. That fluid is called postnasal drip. This is usually a result of an allergic reaction to dust or pollen. It can also be released through sneezing. Inhaling steam is a natural way to get rid of postnasal drips.
Taking an antihistamine also calms down the symptoms and helps the individual relax and sleep. If the cough persists, though, you should see a doctor to rule out sinusitis.
Unlike the first two types, pneumonia is a serious type of cough. It initially begins dry then progresses to become wet and may be filled with red, green, or yellow mucus. You should be worried when you start having low-grade fever, chills, and difficulty breathing along with a painful cough.
Children with pneumonia are usually hospitalized, as they need careful monitoring. For adults, they may take antibiotics if the infection is bacterial. Over-the-counter cough medicines, rest and hot soup are some remedies for viral pneumonia.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD is mostly seen in chronic smokers. Coughing in COPD is persistent, lasting for more or less three months. There is plenty of phlegm, which can be green, yellow, or even bloody. Bronchitis and emphysema are two kinds of COPD.
Other types of cough are those which are medicine-related. There’s also a cough that makes a whooping sound called pertussis.
If you are unsure of the type of cough you have, you can always read through this article or find other helpful information online to help you ease your anxiety. If, however, your coughing disturbs your daily activities and the symptoms do not alleviate with simple remedies, then, you must see your doctor immediately.