Airway Clearance Techniques (ACTs)
Clearing the respiratory tract from coughing
Cough occurs in a person reflexively, when the body needs to clear the respiratory tract from the introduction of foreign bodies or pathogenic flora. Whatever enters the body through the respiratory tract, a cough reflex occurs. When staying in a dusty area or room, saturation of the air with aggressive reagents, the cough practically does not subside - it performs the function of cleansing the respiratory system.
The ciliated epithelium is constantly working, mucus is secreted, which tries to to wash foreign elements from the body.
Types of cough
There are several types of cough in children and adults according to the clinical picture.
Acute lasts no more than 2-3 weeks. It is not independent or protective, but is a symptom of diseases from the ARVI group and causing complications in the area of the respiratory tract. After the patient recovers, the cough disappears.
The duration of a lingering cough is measured in months - it appears in most cases as a complication after the underlying disease.
It must be eliminated, since this is the main sign of the transition of the disease into a chronic state.
Chronic cough can be a symptom of respiratory system diseases such as tuberculosis or asthma. It also appears in patients with neurological pathology, smokers, allergy sufferers upon contact with an allergen. Even strong odors can cause it. It no longer performs a protective function, but, on the contrary, disrupts the functioning of the respiratory system.
Due to constant attacks, the work of the heart worsens, the following consequences appear:
- spontaneous pneumothorax;
- hernia of internal organs;
- heart rhythm problems.
You can classify the types of cough in adults and children by the presence or absence of sputum, as well as its quality.
Dry cough is also called unproductive, it occurs with severe inflammation of the respiratory tract. The mucous membrane lining them swells, sputum does not separate or, thickening, adheres to the walls, makes breathing difficult and irritates the receptors. This condition is exhausting, exhausting, in severe cases, antitussive drugs of central action are prescribed.
Wet coughing is productive. The mucus released during it removes toxins from the body, cleans the respiratory system from pathogenic flora.
A cough that occurs during a viral or bacterial disease changes its type upon recovery - fromdry becomes wet.
By the types of sputum when coughing, you can determine which pathogenic flora provoked the disease. With a viral infection, the discharge is liquid, transparent; with bacterial - thick purulent.
If blood in the sputum after a prolonged attack appears one-time, it is bright, there is little of it - this is a sign of a bursting vessel. If blood clots appear constantly, then this indicates a more serious condition. This is how tuberculosis, heart failure, oncological diseases of the lungs, trachea, larynx manifest themselves.
Allergic attacks should be mentioned separately. First, there is a sore throat, and all the time you want to cough up. In the future, an allergy in the form of a cough can cause it to switch to a wet type.
Allergy, if it is not treated or cannot be identified, the allergen causing this condition, significantly lowers the immune status of the patient, which provokes the addition of infection. In this case, an allergic dry cough is replaced by a wet one.
The nature of the cough symptom may indicate the localization of the inflammatory process.
It is especially important to identify the types of cough in children in order to properly prescribe treatment:
- Silent cough is a symptom of tuberculosis or heart failure;
- Paroxysmal in children - in most cases, a sign of whooping cough; in adults, these symptoms indicate more likely COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or allergies;
- Whistling sounds in adults indicate COPD and asthma, in children - acute obstructive bronchitis or bronchionolitis;
- A barking cough in children that appears suddenly should alert adults. This symptom is characteristic of the appearance of a false croup or indicates an increasing edema of the larynx;
- An inhalation attack is a sign of pleural inflammation;
- If different sounds appear during one coughing attack, then in adults we can talk about the appearance of a cavity in the lungs. If children cough like this, then - most likely - a foreign body is stuck in the airways.
Even experienced doctors try to support their guesses with instrumental and laboratory studies to confirm the diagnosis.
Eliminate coughing attacks
Treatment is started only after the diagnosis is confirmed. The cough itself is not cured - it is only a symptom of the disease. The only exception is when seizures are caused by the penetration of a foreign body into the respiratory organs.
After removing the foreign object, the condition returns to normal.
Depending on the type and origin of the attacks, the following drugs are prescribed for treatment:
- Severe attacks are relieved by drugs with ephedrine, glaucine, codeine. They block the cough center;
- As soon as the type of cough changes from dry to wet, they are canceled and mucolytics are prescribed: Lasolvan , Ambroxol , Bromhexine and the like;
- If the cough syndrome is accompanied by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used; viral infection - antiviral drugs; allergies - antihistamines and steroids.
In addition to medicines, inhalations, compresses, rubbing are used.
If the disease proceeds with an increase in temperature, it is necessary to expand the drinking regime - this not only helps to remove toxins and restores the water-salt balance in the body, but also contributes to the liquefaction of sputum and its easier excretion.
Currently, in the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system, doctors prescribe relatively new drugs Ascoril and Erespal .
Erespal . This medication has anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory effects at the same time. In complex therapy, it eliminates edema of the mucous membranes of the lower and upper respiratory tract, reduces the intensity of attacks. It can be assigned to children from birth.
What type of cough is Erespal prescribed for? There are no restrictions on its use in the treatment of cough - it can be used at any stage to eliminate diseases of the respiratory system of all departments, including a reflex cough symptom with inflammation of the middle ear and paranasal sinuses.
Under its action, histamine H1 receptors and alpha-adrenergic receptors are blocked. This action eliminates the spasm of the smooth muscles of the bronchi and blocks the production of fluid secretion, and therefore the edema decreases.
What type of cough is Ascoril prescribed for? This remedy is recommended for eliminating dry cough in its acute stage. The main constituent - guainesine - stimulates the production of phlegm, its dilution and secretion.
It is used in complex therapy for the treatment of chronic lung diseases: pneumoconiosis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema and the like.
When using drugs, you must carefully read the instructions in order to have an idea of the restrictions on admission and the possible occurrence of side effects.
The use of different dosage forms increases the possibility of using modern medicines for the treatment of cough. For example, if there is a history of diabetes mellitus, then instead of syrup, you should purchase Erespal tablets. Although it should be borne in mind - in this case, the use of the medicine is limited by the age of the patient - up to 14 years old, pills are taken only in extreme cases.
It is not recommended to prescribe even the most modern medicines for the treatment of cough.
All medications have a general effect on the body, and only a doctor can decide whether to usewhich tool is safer and more effective.