Persistent cough denotes a succession of unrelenting coughs. A cough is basically a defense mechanism of the body that is used to rid the respiratory tract of mucus and irritations that are dusty or smoky. A cough can either be dry or chesty. Dry coughs usually take place when the throat and upper respiratory tract has been inflamed. Generally the cough is dry because no mucus is produced. The brain may think that the cause of inflammation in the throat or upper respiratory tract is as a result of the presence of a foreign object, and so it sends signals to initiate coughs to remove it. The signal is usually a tickle in the throat. A dry cough may be caused by a common cold or influenza. A cough is chesty when it produces mucus, and this is usually helpful in instances where the passageway of the lungs becomes blocked with mucus.
A cough may be categorized as acute, sub-acute or chronic; this categorization is due to their duration. An acute cough usually lasts for a period of three weeks or less. A sub-acute cough lasts for a period of three to eight weeks. A chronic cough is usually referred to as a persistent cough and can last for more than eight weeks. Coughs that results from the common cold or influenza normally clears up after a few days, however, most coughs takes two weeks to clear up.
What are the causes?
Most coughs are caused by an infection in the respiratory tract which results from viral bacteria.These may include the common cold, influenza or bronchitis. A persistent cough in an adult may result from asthma, smoking or triggered off by prescribed medications, such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor. If your cough persists for two or more weeks, or gets worse, you should consult your general practitioner.
Remedies for a Persistent Cough
- Take a long hot bath and make sure that you inhale and exhale the steam. This should assist in moistening the throat.
- Tilt your head upwards, even when you sleep.
- Do not consume too much cough medicine. The consumption of excessive may leave a drying effect. Try a dry candy instead as this will help in moistening the throat as well as the mouth.
- Drink a lot of fluid. Fluids help to break down mucus.
- Use a vaporizer while sleeping.
- Drink something hot. A hot beverage such as tea helps to moisten the throat.
- Consume vitamins; vitamin A, C and E are essentials in fighting bacteria that causes cold and cough.
- Eat peppermint candies and drink peppermint tea; peppermint is effective in the relief of one’s cough.
- Consume a mixture of honey and carrot juice right through the day; this usually assists in the breaking down of mucus as well as moistening the throat and mouth.