The Different Kinds of Cough

 What different kinds of cough do exists?

There are different kinds of cough and we experience all of this type throughout our life. Cough is a reaction of the body when the air passages are blocked.  The body rapidly expels air from the lungs in order to clear the airways of any object blocking the air passages.  This could be mucus, fluid or foreign objects.  There are two types of coughs distinguished for their characteristic and onset.

Productive cough is one of the kinds of cough that is caused by a foreign object blocking the air passages. This is usually phlegm or mucus. You can feel the up and down movement of the phlegm as you inhale or exhale and while coughing you will feel it trying to get out of your lungs.  The longer the phlegm stays in your lungs the difficult it is to be extracted and thus may lead to a more serious condition such as pneumonia.  Drinking lots of fluid is one way to help liquefy the phlegm but an expectorant will best help for the expulsion of phlegm. The more phlegm is expelled the more breathing will become easier until you resume to your normal breathing.  A productive cough when properly managed will only last for seven to 10 days.  In case your coughing continues beyond the prescribed date and phlegm turns to mucus and color changed to something greenish, you should need to seek medical help.

Non-productive cough is the opposite the productive cough.  There is no presence of foreign object that blocks air passages.  Coughing is usually a result of irritants to the respiratory tract such as dust, perfume or other chemicals that the person is sensitive.  Dry cough is sometimes associated with the nearing end of a previous cold.  Suppressant is the medication for non-productive cough but this is not highly recommended because the body and the food we eat contain natural healing powers to this kind of cough. Here are some examples of non-productive cough:

  1. Whooping cough or pertussis is one of the kinds of cough that are common among children from ages 0 to 2 years old.  A child has a whooping cough if during attack there is no presence of phlegm, the face is flushed and the child seems to be choked.  This coughing is usually accompanied by vomiting.  Taking antibiotics does not usually cure the whooping cough but instead prevent it from spreading to others the patient gets in contact. This usually runs for six weeks and is highly contagious.  Young babies who are most prone to whooping cough are vaccinated with DPT or Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus because of the high death rate among babies.
  2. Barking cough.  As the name implies, the person with this kind of cough literally sounds like a dog.   The upper respiratory tract is swollen due to a previous cold.  At first it is non-productive cough but later if phlegm and mucus start to develop on the upper respiratory due to infection then it can become a productive cough.  From my personal experience barking cough is terribly painful on the chest.

There are other types of cough which has no physiological base but rather are psychological in nature.  The psychogenic cough is a form of a habit sometimes acquired from a prolong cough whether productive or non-productive.  It can also manifest as a form of nervousness tic.  Others acquire the habit of coughing from a prolong or continuous exposure to irritants or allergen that even in the absence of the irritants they either cough or sneeze in the presence of objects that will remind them of their coughing habits.  You will notice that when these sufferers are asleep, no coughing can be heard form them.