Cough is our respiratory system response against irritants inside the respiratory system, although it is a common issue which people may experience in various health conditions. It can be of two types like dry cough and wet cough.
The irritant present in our respiratory system activates our body’s specialized cell to send a message to the brain, and then the brain sends a message to the muscles of the chest and abdomen via the spinal cord to contract rapidly. As a result, a burst of air out through the respiratory system pushes out harmful irritants present in your respiratory system.
Cough is an essential reflex of our body as it removes the harmful substance present in your respiratory system that may sicken or make it harder to breathe. When you are ill, a cough helps you to remove mucus and other secretion out of your body to clean airways so that you can breathe easier and heal faster. Coughing often worsens at night because when you lie down, the mucus collects at the back of your throat, which further triggers are coughing.
What Is Wet Cough?
A cough that brings phlegm is called a wet cough. It is also known as productive cough because, in this condition, people experience excess phlegm moving up and out from the lungs. This condition is almost always a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, typically in children. In case of upper respiratory infection like cold or flu your body produces mucus higher than the normal condition.
Wet Cough Causes?
This condition mainly occurs due to the microbial infection like a virus, bacteria, and other which cause conditions like cold or flu, the respiratory system. Your respiratory system is inlined with mucus membrane, which acts as a protective layer and protects your lungs from various kinds of irritants, and keeps airways moist.
In case of cold or flu, your body produces a high concentration of mucus than the usual condition, which results in a wet cough. This mainly helps your body to trap and expel out the organism causing infection.
There are various other reasons which leads to the wet cough. So if you are experiencing persistent wet cough for more than a week, this can be due to the following listed health condition.
- Pneumonia- This condition occurs due to the viral, bacterial, or fungal infection in the lungs. Pneumonia ranges in severity from mild condition to life-threatening.
- COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is mainly a group of conditions that damage both lungs and the tube, brings air into the lungs. The leading cause of COPD is smoking.
- Bronchitis- This condition mainly occurs due to the inflammation in the bronchial tube, which carries air into the lungs. Bronchitis can be acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis mainly occurs due to various viral infections where the leading cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking.
- Cystic Fibrosis- This is a genetic condition that results in the production of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs and another organ.
- Asthma- However, in this condition, people usually experience a dry cough, but some time in asthma, people experience wet cough, which can be chronic in condition
When To See A Doctor?
To diagnose a cough, a doctor first asks how long you’ve been suffering from this and how severe the symptoms are? Although a physical examination is good enough for the professional doctor to diagnose the cough most of the time. But if you are experiencing persistent wet cough along with fever, weight loss, and fatigue, then your doctor may ask for the below-listed test
- Chest x-ray
- Lungs Function Tests
- Sputum Analysis
- Pulse Oximetry
- Arterial Blood Gas
Wet cough is almost always a microbial infection which goes away on their own. You can also try some remedies to get rid of coughing, but if the situation remains the same ever after a week, do not delay and visit the nearest general physician and get expert advice.