The Ayurvedic classification of cough has a lot of similarity with the general classification of cough. There are mainly two types of coughs like dry or hacking cough and the loose reproductive cough, also known as chesty cough. While the dry cough is described as Vataja cough in Ayurveda, the loose reproductive cough is named as Kaphaja cough. However, there are also a few other types of cough that affect many people. Sometimes, cough is considered as an indication of another disease. However, each type of coughs has different characteristics and requires different method of treatment.
The dry coughs are considered one of the most common types of cough. As the name suggests, the dry coughs are usually hard and dry. They are irritating and quite troublesome and they can affect the sufferer by tiring and exhausting him/her. Dry coughs can make the sufferer's chest muscles pain with coughing, as well. The dry coughs are generally caused by a virus infection. Cold or dry air or the air pollutants like cigarette smoke, smog and dust are also some of the causes behind dry coughs. Sometimes, dry coughs may feel like a tickle at the back of one's throat. Using a cough suppressant can help in getting rid of dry coughs.
The loose productive cough is another common type of cough. This cough is also known as chesty cough, as it is considered as a sign of chest congestion. This type of cough can be caused due to colds or flu. The cough is loose and contains phlegm. It is considered helpful, as it helps in coughing up all the phlegm lying in the chest and also clears the lungs and air passages of excess mucus. The loose productive cough clears the phlegm that can cause trouble in the form of high fever and vomiting, if it remains in the chest. An expectorant is sometimes suggested in this type of cough, as the expectorant helps in loosing and thinning the phlegm and makes it easier to cough up the phlegm.
Whooping cough is another common type of cough. It is also known as Pertussis. This type of cough is most commonly found among children and toddlers and is a highly infectious condition. It is mainly caused by a bacterial infection and is characterised by a long coughing fit. During the long coughing fit, a sufferer faces problems in drawing adequate breath and the coughing may become so hard that, it causes the person to shake or spasm. Sometimes, the blood vessels of the sufferer's eyes may also break due to the intense effort of coughing. The coughing spasm may turn into dry heaving or vomiting, as well.
Another common type of cough is the chronic cough. This type of cough is mostly found in the people suffering from certain health disorders or diseases. The diseases like cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, bronchiectasis, or bronchitis, are usually accompanied by chronic cough. The body responds to the inflamed or otherwise blocked airways through this type of cough, and also makes an attempt to exchange oxygen. A chronic cough may sometimes sound dry or raspy, like in the case of COPD. It can also sometimes sound wet and may be full of phlegm, like it happens among the people suffering from cystic fibrosis.
The asthma and allergies are counted among the common types of cough. The asthmatics usually tend to have a dry, non-productive cough that is sometimes associated by choky breathing or crackling sound. Usually, the asthmatics and allergic people have similar experiences like having coughing spells when their airways become constricted. The main reason behind this is a trigger, like the airborne pollutants, pollen, animal dander, cigarette smoke or the products containing fragrance. In most of the cases, this type of cough is treated with a short acting bronchodilator in the form of an inhaler. It can be treated with longer acting corticosteroids, as well.
Another common type of cough is the cough in common cold. Usually, in case of common cold or flu, two phases of cough can be seen like a non-productive or less productive cough, and a productive cough. During common cold, a person first experiences the non-productive or less productive cough. This is because, when viruses invade the lung, the lining of the respiratory tract is attacked and impaired. The normal secretion of mucus also gets hampered, as the mucus becomes stickier and adheres in the lungs. One cannot expel this easily and coughing can become quite troublesome and exhausting. However, with the progress of cold, more mucus is produced and the non-productive cough becomes productive. This makes it possible for the affected person to throw out the phlegm by coughing.
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