People suffer coughs for any number of reasons. They may have a cold or allergies, which results in the irritation that makes one cough. Additionally, they may suffer from bronchitis or emphysema which, also results in coughing due to lung congestion. A cold or allergies can cause a dry cough, which is usually a signal that the throat is irritated. When the throat becomes irritated, the body’s natural reaction to try to expel the irritant out of the area. Many times this can result in a chronic cough if not treated properly by a doctor.
Someone who smokes, has persistent pulmonary problems, or recurring bronchitis will also have a chronic cough. Many times this type of cough will not be dry as it is usually due to lung congestion or bronchi irritation. In addition, this cough will not be as dry sounding, but will usually produce a mucus from the lungs, which has been expelled. People who have emphysema usually notice a gradual increase in their cough as time goes on whereas those who suffer from bronchitis or pneumonia will usually notice an improvement after several days of treatment with antibiotics and inhaled medications.
While there can be coughs that are harmless and simply the result of a temporary irritation, some coughs can be very serious. Any time you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic cough lasting several days or that keeps them up at night, they should be evaluated by a medical professional. He or she will be able to determine if the cough is a result of a cold or allergies or a more serious condition that may require aggressive treatments to correct. It is important to remember that there are also certain conditions which start out with a cough that could be life threatening. For that reason you should always consult a doctor.