A cough is a body reflex. The cough performs the function of the so-called protection when foreign objects enter the respiratory tract or when the mucous discharge is accumulated. The types of cough are determined by the nature of its cause – a foreign body or disease. The main types of cough are dry and wet, that is, accompanied by the discharge of sputum.
Types of cough are divided into permanent and temporary.
A constant type of cough is noted quite rarely, for example, with chronic bronchitis or laryngitis.
A temporary type of cough is noted much more often than a permanent one. This type of cough develops with diseases of the respiratory organs of an inflammatory nature, with pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as with bronchial asthma. Often a temporary coughing fit develops if a foreign object enters the respiratory tract. In this situation, indicators of intrathoracic pressure increase, which can lead to transient swelling of venous vessels on the neck and swelling of the face.
Types of coughing vary in volume and tone. For example, there is such a thing as a barking cough, which develops with compression of the trachea or with swelling of the vocal cords. There are also mild coughs and a short, clear cough.
In the case of the development of a wet cough with sputum, the nature of the sputum that comes out when coughing is important, since its qualitative and quantitative characteristics determine one or another disease.
Sputum with different types of cough can be:
– slime-like, usually at the onset of bronchitis;
– purulent mucosa, with diseases of bronchopulmonary origin;
– purulent, which occurs with pneumonia and with suppuration of bronchiectasis;
– with the development of croupous pneumonia, secretion of rusty sputum is noted;
– sputum with blood impurities can be excreted with pulmonary emphysema, since the development of this condition often causes rupture of capillary vessels, especially with a sharp cough;
– sputum with foam can be separated in case of swelling of the lung tissue;
– Thick and viscous sputum can be separated during the development of an asthmatic attack.
If sputum, which is separated during the cough, has a foul smell of rot, this may indicate the death of lung tissue.
Another determining factor in distinguishing between types of cough is the presence or absence of shortness of breath. Most often, shortness of breath is observed in people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. In this case, shortness of breath can be only a subjective sensation of a person or can be detected objectively with respiratory disorders.
By specificity, dyspnea may be inspiratory, expiratory or combined.
Inspiratory dyspnea occurs when a mechanical obstruction appears in the upper respiratory tract – in the larynx or in the trachea. With a narrowing of the trachea and bronchial tissues, both inhalation and exhalation are difficult. Such breathing can be heard from a distance. With a narrowing of the bronchioles and the development of inflammatory edema, difficulties arise with expiration, that is, expiratory dyspnea occurs, for example, with bronchial asthma. But people suffering from pulmonary artery thrombosis, as a rule, are distinguished by the presence of combined shortness of breath.
Dyspnea of a pathological nature occurs with the development of various ailments of the respiratory organs. Such shortness of breath may have some kind of obstruction at the base for free air penetration or a reduction in the surface of the lung’s breathing, for example, when a lung is compressed or when there is an accumulation of fluid in the pleura cavity. In addition, pathological dyspnea can occur with a decrease in elasticity in the lung tissue.