The cough in both adults and children is a defense mechanism of the respiratory system. Its primary mission is to expel mucus, phlegm and any foreign objects located from the nose to the smallest bronchioles. In this way it gets harder to breathe better and the occurrence of complications resulting from retention of mucus and phlegm, including bacterial superinfection.
It must always distinguish between acute cough and chronic cough. It is called acute cough to one that lasts no longer than three weeks.
What causes the cough?
Cough is a nonspecific symptom, i.e., single-disease cannot be associated with cough. The causes that provoke it can be numerous:
- Most processes involving cough due to acute infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, larynx and ears) such as colds and flu.
- It also appears when a cough infection of the lower respiratory tract (lungs) as pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchiolitis or flu.
- Coughing occurs not only by infections. Allergies, as rhinitis or asthma are frequent causes of cough.
- Choking with foreign body (dried fruits, for example) will cause coughing that often will be able to remove it.
- Chronic lung lesions, tumors or vascular malformations can also cause chronic cough.
Complications of cough in children
Cough in children has few problems and are always less than would suppress it. Clearly, the cough can disrupt sleep and rest, forcing the child to do more naps to compensate for that lost sleep.
Vomiting may also occur, especially in small children who cannot spit phlegm. In these cases, phlegm and mucus moving by cough going to the stomach and vomiting, but the cough has fulfilled its goal to clean secretions of the respiratory system.