Acute and chronic cough: Causes and treatment

Cough is mainly a reflex of the body to get rid of throat irritants in the air passage. Cough can be caused due to infections or viral fevers, but can also be one of the symptoms of diseases related to the heart, lung, stomach and the nervous system. Cough symptoms are seen irrespective of age, but the intensity of it can be the one differentiation, for you or the physician to figure the seriousness of it. There are basically two types of cough – acute and chronic. Read along to find out more about them and their differences, causes and possible treatments.

Acute cough: It is a common cough due to seasonal allergies or hay fever.

  • Causes: It occurs along with other symptoms like cold, fever, shortness of breath and lasts for less than three weeks. It can be the initial signs of flu, tuberculosis, pneumonia or any other respiratory illnesses.
  • Treatment: These cough symptoms can be treated easily, with either home remedies or allergy medications. But a visit to a doctor is advisable as it will help you diagnose if there are any other deeper issues.

Chronic cough: It is a more serious condition where the need for medical attention is a must. This lasts for more than eight weeks.

  • Causes: The chronic cough symptoms are mainly caused due to smoking tobacco products, which can also cause chronic bronchitis. The other causes are asthma, gastrointestinal reflux disease or post-natal drip. It can also be due to the side effects of certain medications or long-lasting infections.
  • Treatment: In this case, medical help is the most recommended form. Also quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to allergens and irritants can assist in relieving cough symptoms.

Both acute and chronic cough need to be treated with the right medication. Both conditions should not be ignored, as it may lead to further complications. Lifestyle changes are also beneficial, which would mean a balanced diet and regular physical exercises. A thorough check up by a physician is also recommended.

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