Cough & Cold
Coughs and colds are usually caused by infection with a germ called a virus. They normally clear away on their own
There are three phases to a Cough Reflex:
- An inhalation (breathing in)
- A forced exhalation with the glottis closed. The glottis is in the area where the vocal cords are located; it is the middle part of the larynx.
- An explosive release of air when the glottis opens. A cough typically has a characteristic sound. If somebody coughs a lot it can be a sign of a disease. Germs rely on coughs to spread to new hosts. In the majority of cases, a cough is caused by an infection in the respiratory tract.
Causes of Cough & Cold
- Causes of acute Cough & Cold In most cases the infection is in the upper respiratory tract and affects the throat, known as an URTI (upper respiratory tract infection). Examples include flu, the common cold. If it is an LRTI (lower respiratory tract infection), the lungs are infected and/or the airways lower down from the throat (windpipe). Examples include bronchitis and pneumonia (rare).An acute cough can also be caused by hay fever.
- Causes of chronic Cough & ColdA chronic cough and cold may be caused by smoking, mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose (nasal drip), GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), asthma.
Symptoms of Cough & Cold
- Runny Nose
- Blocked Nose
- Breathing problems
- Being unable to swallow
- A rash
- Chest pains
- Very bad (severe) headache, sore throat, earache or swollen glands.
Risk factors of Cough & Cold
- Lack of Sleep
Complications of Cough & ColdA cold usually goes away on its own and doesn’t want a visit to the doctor. However, sometimes it develops into a health complication like bronchitis, pneumonia, an ear infection, sinusitis, or an asthma attack.
Complications most commonly occur in young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. These individuals especially should monitor their cold symptoms and call their doctor at the first sign of complication.
If cold symptoms last longer than 10 days or if they continue to worsen, you may have a secondary complication.