Coughing: Coff… Cofff!!

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‘I know two kinds of audiences only — one coughing, and one not coughing.’

Authur Schnabel.

To cough is to expel air from the lungs suddenly with an explosive noise.

Coughing occasionally is normal and healthy. Rarely does a cough require medical attention.

Coughs clear the excess mucus from the air ways — the upper respiratory tract and the lungs. This eases breathing, allowing enough air to fill the air sacs.


Coughing prevents entry of foreign matter into the air passages. Particles that gain entry trigger cilia that line the air ways. This stimulates the urge to cough up the matter into the environment.

It also acts as a signal that the respiratory system has been exposed to irritants. These can be in form of dust, chemicals, smoke or fumes. It, therefore, alerts you to keep off such places, thereby protecting the respiratory organs from harmful exposures.

Researchers have found out that coughing increases consciousness and blood-flow. According to Phyllis Eorgan, a critical care nurse at the Johnson City Medical Center, “Coughing helps to keep patients conscious, and thereby facilitates blood flow to the brain, in cases where patients have reported abnormal heart rhythms. Increased blood flow minimizes the possibility of neurological defect.” This is such an important effect that is highly beneficial.

Coughing can also act as a symptomatic alert for serious health condition. Any cough that goes for several weeks or a cough that expels discolored or even blood-stained mucus may be an indication to an underlying condition requiring medical attention.

Persistent coughing may signal the presence of allergies, pneumonia, postnasal drip, a sinus infection, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux, chronic lung disease or even possible lung damage.

Prolonged, vigorous coughing is exhausting and can cause sleeplessness, headaches, urinary incontinence, and even broken ribs. MayoClinic.

Acute and chronic coughs are characterized by prolonged, persistent coughing that lasts longer than three weeks.

‘My dear doctor, I am surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, as I have been practising all night.’

John Philpot Curran.

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