Coughing is a normal physiological response of the body to eliminate any substance that causes irritation to our respiratory tract. When an irritant enters the respiratory tract either from the nose or from the mouth, to expel it out, the lungs expire forcefully and the air exits under high pressure. Thus due to coughing, the airway is cleaned. A cough can be involuntary in response to a stimulus, or voluntary.
Coughing may be caused due to different pathologies and due to underline diseases. Coughing can be chronic or acute. When present for three weeks or less, coughing is said to be acute, and if more than that, it is said to be chronic.
Acute coughs are further categorized into infectious and non-infectious.
Acute cough caused due to the following causes:
- Acute bronchitis
- Upper respiratory infections
- Sinus infections
- Pneumonia etc
Chronic cough may be due to reasons for example:
- Chronic bronchitis.
- Emphysema etc.
There can allergic reactions caused by different irritants present in the environment. These can be pollens, dust, cigarette smoke, pollutants etc. These can also be the reasons of coughing. Some causes of chronic coughing which are rare include different pathologies in the lungs, in the passage way or other organs such as carcinoma lung, sarcoidosis, CHF due to edema in pleura, infections of the throat, ear infection etc. it might also be due to side effect of some other drug such as of ACE inhibitors etc.
Consult a doctor to rule out the cause of the severe cough be it acute or chronic.