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Andrea Bernhard
MD
FAMILY MEDICINE

Dr. Bernhard became a physician in order to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Her goal is to treat every patient with respect and dignity, and to deliver the highest quality care. Dr. Bernhard has lived in Hawaii for 10 years, and even completed her residency at the University of Hawaii. In her own words, “I get to care for wonderful people in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

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Cough Symptoms & Treatment

To start, coughing is our body’s way to clear the airway. In fact, it serves as an automatic reflex action to clear mucus. It is also a reflex action to clear your airways of any products that may cause choking. If the underlying cause is due to bacterial infection, then you may be prescribed antibiotics.

Everyone coughs occasionally to clear their throats. In summation, the cough reflex protects the lungs. But, if your cough is persistent, seek medica attention. Typically, a persistent cough is one that lasts around 6 weeks.

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Common causes

Common causes of coughs include the following. For instance:

To start, upper respiratory tract infections. URTIs are due to a viral infection.

Secondly, lower respiratory tract infections. LRTIs are less common and can lead to more serious lung infections. Such as bronchitis or pneumonia, for example. These conditions may be caused by infections due to viruses. It may also due to bacteria or fungi as well.

Thirdly, asthma. The wheezing sound while breathing, breathlessness and cough at night are strong symptoms of asthma. This leads to frequent coughing when exposed to cold air.

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Lastly, irritants in the air like smoke or chemical fumes irritate the airway passage and therefore results in coughing.

To note, other major infections such as whooping cough and tuberculosis (TB) may cause a longer-lasting cough. Additionally, coughing can be because of medical issues. Specifically, issues like lung cancer and cystic fibrosis in lungs cases coughing symptoms. It may also be due to pneumothorax, which is when air gets trapped outside the lung and is inside the chest. Bronchiectasis, where airways of the lungs are excessively widened and produce extra mucus, is also another medical issue that causes coughing. Lastly, a pulmonary embolus, which are blood clots in the lungs, is also another issue that causes coughing as well.

Cough Treatment

Typically, cough treatment depends on the likely cause of your cough. Firstly, for acute coughs from viral infections, simple remedies may be required. For example, a good inhaling steam and honey will soothe your throat. Lemon tea will also soothe your throat and blocked airways as well. In contrast, for cases of mild fever or aches and pains, it is advised to take Tylenol for relief. You can also take Advil as well. Normally, the cough will resolve on its own.

Tylenol for relief. You can also take Advil as well.

Cough Prevention

In summary, stop smoking or inhaling smoke when you suffer from a cough. Also, avoid dusty or smoky places. Furthermore, drink plenty of fluids as well.

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