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WHY DO WE COUGH?

WHY DO WE COUGH?

Cough is a natural defense mechanism that effectively protect the respiratory tract from inhaling foreign bodies and by clearing excessive bronchial secretions. Similar to other reflexes such as sneezing or blinking, coughing also helps automatically protect and clean the body against substances such as excess phlegm, microbes or dust that irritate the respiratory tract and lungs. The cough mechanism consists of three stages, when dust irritant agents enter the respiratory tract, it stimulates the nerves that send messages to the brain and the central nervous system is informed of the presence of these agents. In the second stage, brain that receives the stimulus, orders chest and abdominal muscles to remove the related substance. Finally, in the third stage, muscles contract and suddenly exhaust air in the lungs by coughing.

Cough, which is a defense mechanism, is evaluated as dry (non-productive) and sputum (productive) that is not accompanied by sputum and mucus. It is also possible to classify the cough as acute, sub-acute and chronic cough. Coughing is a very common symptom that can have different causes. It is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor in cases of severe and persistent cough although it is not an indication often for serious illness.