Coughing is simply the body's mechanism for clearing secretions from
the lungs, and is most often associated with upper respiratory tract
infections such as colds and bronchitis.
Rarely should a cough
be suppressed, unless it is disruptive to sleep or is quite severe
or ongoing. In these cases, an antitussive such as dextromethorphan
(DM) can be used to reduce the frequency.
In addition to coughing
associated with the common cold, smokers often suffer from "smoker's
cough" as the body attempts to rid the lungs of the irritation
and excess mucus caused by smoking.
If the cough is extremely
persistent, or produces secretions with blood in them, consult your
health care practitioner for additional treatment information.
According to Traditional
Chinese Medicine, a cough can be classified into two groups: a cough
which is caused by an attack of external pathogens on the lungs, or
one which is the result of a functional imbalance of the internal organs.
In general terms,
a cough caused by external pathogens indicates an acute, sudden disease
following an exposure to wind or cold. This type of cough also comes
with the symptoms of stuffy nose, nasal discharge, aversion to wind
and cold, fever, and scratchy or painful throat.
Coughs due to
internal injuries are an indicator of chronic diseases such as visceral
and bowel disorders, and are characterized by poor appetite, loose
stools, pain and fullness in the chest.