Coughing is a reflex, just like breathing itself. And its appearance indicates that there was some kind of causative agent - allergic, infectious, viral, that is, the cause of dry cough, serious or not, which causes irritation in the respiratory tract and causes the body to clear them of allergen, infection, virus or foreign body.
Cough itself is not a disease, it is a symptom of over 50 different diseases or allergic manifestations, from common cold to tuberculosis, oncology, bronchial asthma or heart disease. Most often, a dry cough lasts for several days, moving into productive, moist with sputum, but can sometimes be prolonged. The duration of dry cough is divided into:
- Acute - which after a few days passes into the wet or passes
- Prolonged - which lasts from 3 weeks to 3 months
- Chronic - which lasts more than 3 months.
Let's see why the dry cough does not last a long time, which diseases are the cause of dry cough.
The main causes of dry cough associated with the respiratory system
The most common causes of dry cough are inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract, which are caused by viruses and pathogenic bacteria.
In this case, a strong organism with a strong immune system cope on its own, and if the immune response to a virus or infection is weakened, then antibiotics or antiviral drugs come in for help with ARVI and influenza .
When parainfluenza and the flu should always consult a doctor, as these are very insidious diseases, which recently become very aggressive, leading to a mass of complications. How to distinguish the flu from ARVI read in our article.
If during the acute respiratory viral infection, flu or other infectious disease, a dry cough does not last for a long time, it can be caused by:
- firstly because the immune system in a person is significantly weakened
- secondly, that there are provocative factors that affect the duration of dry cough, they include: smoking and drinking alcohol, very dry air in the room and taking inadequate amounts of fluid for cold or viral illness.
- thirdly, the attachment of a secondary infection or complication after a viral disease, when bacterial bronchitis , pneumonia , tracheitis, pharyngitis develops, etc.
Diseases of the pleura and lungs can also be accompanied by a dry, painful cough - pneumonia, pleurisy. Most often there is a high fever, shortness of breath, chest pain.
Atypical forms of pneumonia
It should also be borne in mind that a prolonged cough can be a consequence of mycoplasma and chlamydia, these pathogens can cause atypical pneumonia, bronchitis, which can occur for a long time, periodically recur. To differentiate the pathogen that caused pneumonia or bronchitis, you can take a blood test using ELISA.
Pertussis, measles, false croup
Pertussis can cause dry cough in children, and in adults. Pertussis is considered to be a childhood infectious disease, although vaccinations have reduced the incidence of pertussis among children, but they occur, in addition, weakened adults also sometimes have cases of whooping cough. With this disease, a convulsive cough is so severe that it often leads to vomiting. In this case, you should take antitussive remedies for dry cough , such as Sinekod , Libeksin, Bronholitin, and others.
In addition to pertussis, among childhood diseases characterized by a strong dry cough, measles and false groats can be identified. Measles, other than cough, is also characterized by rashes on the skin and mucous membranes (see measles symptoms in children ). With false croup, the vocal cords, larynx, trachea and bronchi are involved in the inflammation process, so it is characterized by a barking cough . This disease is more likely to affect children under 3 years old.
Tuberculosis is a formidable disease that has also been epidemic in recent years, not only among people of low social level, as it is commonly believed, but also among the wealthy strata of the population, with the development of favorable factors for its progression. Constant nervous tension, stressful situations, lack of adequate nutrition and good rest, enthusiasm for various debilitating diets, can lead to the development of tuberculosis even among businessmen and people of high social status.
By 20-30 years it is believed that each person is infected with a stick of Koch, but a strong immune system copes with it. It is only necessary to weaken the body and mycobacterium tuberculosis can become more active and cause pulmonary tuberculosis and extrapulmonary forms.
As for the dry cough, it can be caused by tuberculosis of the lungs, bronchi or trachea, larynx. It begins with a dry, unproductive cough, obsessive coughing, weakness, while the body temperature rarely exceeds 37.3-35.5, it often rises to subfebrile figures and only in the evening.
Tuberculosis can be the cause of dry cough in adults, as well as in children, which is especially dangerous, as tuberculosis today is not the tuberculosis that was 40 years ago. Now a large number of drug-resistant forms of this terrible disease are registered, which require a longer and more expensive treatment, and in combination with other chronic illnesses in the patient or HIV infection lead to a fatal outcome.
Laryngitis, pharyngitis, tracheitis
are also frequent causes of dry cough. With pharyngitis, the mucous pharynx is involved in the inflammatory process, and with laryngitis, the mucous larynx is involved. Both these diseases are both acute and chronic, cough while it is dry, barking, exhausting, intensifying at night. With frequent inhalation of dusty air, dry, cold, and also in the presence of irritating gases and vapors in the air, tracheitis can develop - both acute and chronic. There is also a painful dry cough.
Diseases of ENT organs
Against the backdrop of various diseases of the nasopharynx, such as sinusitis , sinusitis, or chronic rhinitis, allergic rhinitis , the appearance of night dry cough is due to the syndrome of postnasal swelling. When these diseases acquire a chronic course, not infrequently, the mucus that is separated from the nasal sinuses begins to flow down the back wall of the pharynx, it irritates the cough receptors in the tracheobronchial tree. This cough may seem productive and moist, since nasal mucus is released during cough, but this cough should be considered dry.
Oncological diseases of respiratory organs
Cancer of the bronchi, lungs, trachea, throat cancer , and mediastinal organs (organs located between the sternum and the spine - the heart, bronchi, aorta, etc.). If a dry cough does not persist for a long time, it worries both day and night, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible, take a blood test, a lung X-ray, according to the indications, an MRI of the mediastinum organs, bronchoscopy, and oncology can be performed. With any chronic cough, it is necessary to find out the exact cause of its appearance, to date, the oncological tension is getting stronger, the cancer appears even in young people, and everyone knows that the timely detection of cancer increases the chances of recovery or a significant prolongation of life.
Only on the basis of the examination, the doctor can not establish the cause of a protracted cough - this is not possible, therefore, it is necessary to pass the tests and undergo several examinations according to the indications - blood test, sputum, spirography, spirometry, x-ray, bronchoscopy, bodipletizmography, tussography, MRI, CT.
Causes of dry cough, not associated with inflammatory processes of the respiratory system
In recent decades, the number of people suffering from various allergic reactions has increased significantly among the Russian population, especially in children. Almost all children today have any allergic reactions, if not food allergies, as well as allergies to dust , wool, pollen, mites, etc. Pollinosis is a seasonal allergy to pollen of flowering plants that appears in spring and summer, number of people, it is manifested by sneezing, runny nose, tearing, itching mucous and dry allergic cough .
a very common disease, characterized by a chronic, painful dry cough and attacks of suffocation. This disease can not be considered only a disease of the bronchi, it is a serious pathology, which is associated with a general violation of immunity, nervous system and allergy.
The impact of toxic substances in everyday life
household chemicals containing chlorine, washing powders, etc., the presence of cities in the air, megacities of the abundance of exhaust gases, leads to the emergence of an allergic dry cough. Also pay attention to when you started a dry cough, it may be somehow connected with the purchase of new furniture, new repairs, purchase of household appliances. Modern industry, especially the production of plastic, furniture, building materials, even children's toys, often uses an abundance of toxic chemicals that can irritate mucous nasopharynxes, bronchi, causing chronic chemical poisoning. If there are a lot of such products in the room, they are new and exude a smell - this can be the cause of a dry cough.
Occasionally, cases of ascariasis are recorded, during which, during the migration of the ascarid larvae along a small circle of circulation, they linger in the lung tissue, causing a superficial dry cough. Getting into the lungs, the trachea and the bronchi, they cause irritation of the cough receptors, the migratory phase with ascariasis is 8-14 days (see askaridy-symptoms and treatment ).
Professional dry cough
The reason for its appearance may be related to work in harmful production, where in the air a mass of suspensions of toxic substances that cause dry cough in the workers is formed. Workers of the stone-working and coal-mining industry often develop silicosis of the lungs. Also among occupational diseases that cause dry cough is the disease of American farmers or fibrosing alveolitis, where dry cough is only a debut of pathology, the outcome of which is severe respiratory failure.
Some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
Acceptance of certain medicines
as a rule, ACE inhibitors, which are used to lower blood pressure and treat other cardiovascular diseases. In 20% of patients, these medicines cause a dry cough, if after discontinuation of the drug it disappears, therefore, this cough was a side effect of the drug taken.
Cardiovascular diseases, heart failure may also be the cause of dry cough
The cause of allergies, a provoker of allergic reactions can be established with the help of tests, which will be directed by an allergist. It is worth to take seriously any manifestations of allergy, as it is not just a dry cough, runny nose or a rash, with a severe allergic reaction, anaphylactic shock, Quincke's edema can occur, which without timely medical help can be fatal.