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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


What Is Cough ?

Cough are the very common problem in childhood and are usually a symptom of infections such as a cold, measles or whooping cough. The cough itself is a reflex action, designed to prevent anything other than air from entering the lungs. A cough clears the upper part of the breathing tube of phlegm, mucus or any inhaled foreign body. It is worth remembering that, if a child suddenly starts to cough with no other obvious signs of infection, a breathed-in foreign body, such a piece of food, may be the cause. But normally, cough clear up on their own and should not be dosed with strong medicines, unless prescribed by a doctor.


Most childhood cough starts as part of an obvious respiratory infection the commonest being a cold. A cold can be caught at any age from birth onwards and coughing is nearly always one of the symptoms. The infection of the cold can spread through the tubes which make up the lower respiratory tract. In the larynx, or voice-box, this can cause laryngitis. Infection of the trachea, or windpipe, will cause tracheitis, and infection in the lungs will cause bronchitis or pneumonia. Small children who are prone to bronchitis whenever they get a cold, may also develop wheezing. This can be diagnosed as wheezy bronchitis or, sometimes, as asthma. A cough may last for several weeks after a cold. In this case usually a noisy bark without any rattling noise and no sputum will be present. It will be worse at night when the child is lying down. This happen because, after a cold, the nose and sometimes which, during the day, can be cleared by blowing the nose, sniffing or swallowing (where the stomach can neutralized it harmlessly). At night time, however the discharge trickles down the back of the throat, irritates the entrance to the lungs, and sets off a reflex cough. The reflex prevents the discharge from entering the lungs and so prevents more serious problem arising. Sometimes, other factors, such as enlarged adenoids, a chronic infection of the sinuses or an allergy, can cause a similarly persistent discharge down the throat and so result in a long-lasting cough which is worse at night than in the day. Another cause is whooping cough which has once again become widespread as fewer children are being immunized against it. When it starts, the infection is often very like an ordinary cold but, gradually, the cough gets worse especially at night. Bouts of coughing, during which the child’s face goes red, followed by being sick or a characteristic whooping, make the diagnosis more obvious. Measles is another common cause of coughing. When a child first gets measles, he will suffer from a runny nose and a cough, and the eyes become pink. Small white spots inside the mouth appear followed by a rash on the body. A cough which starts suddenly, without any other signs of infection may be caused by a foreign body which has been breathed in and become lodged in one of the tubes leading to the lungs. Young children often put small toys in their mouths and can quite easily swallow sometimes or breathe it in through the nostrils. A child of any age can breathe in a small piece of food or a titbit such as a peanut. If such an accident happens, it is important to see a doctor any foreign body that remains in the lungs can cause serious infection. Another cough that has no signs of infection is the habit tic. A child who, for example, may have some emotional problem can develop a persistent, nervous cough. Whether or not the child has a habit tic will become apparent if the child stops coughing whenever happily occupied or asleep.READ MORE


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