A cough is a sudden and often repetitively occurring, protective reflex, caused by stimulation of sensory nerves in the mucosa of the pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchi, which helps to clear the large breathing passage.
there may be several classification of Cough, but, if you are confused, easiest route to take is whether the cough is acute (started few days or weeks ago) or chronic (happening from many months or years back).
Now the question is — When acute cough and chronic cough occurs?
Acute coughs can be divided into infectious (caused by an infection) and noninfectious causes.
a) Infectious causes of acute cough include viral upper respiratory infections (the common cold), sinus infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and whooping cough.
b) Noninfectious causes of cough include flare-ups of chronic conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and environmental allergies.
Chronic cough is to divide them into their locations with respect to the lungs.
The categories are environmental irritants, conditions within the lungs, conditions along the passages that transmit air from the lungs to the environment, conditions within the chest cavity but outside of the lungs, and digestive causes. You Should Read Low Air Quality? How to Save Yourself From Air Pollution
But there are no worries. Although the above listing is dreadful, most of the time cough occurs due to common cold (which is also listed above).
This sudden reflex , that is , cough, occurs to expel materials like mucus, to outside. Sometimes like in viral infection, the irritation in the respiratory tract leads to cough. Sometimes, hereditary diseases like asthma leads to cough but mostly this occurs along with wheezing sound while the patient breath.
In case of digestive causes, the person who has acidity or acid reflux disease may experience cough. But this may occur with heart burn sensation.
So, it is very important to detect the cause of cough. Not to take cough syrup of your own. Just taking cough syrup in any kind of cough will never spare this problem.
Mostly these cough syrups are expectorant which normally works in by thinning the mucus, breaking up the fluids that cause congestion and by clearing thick mucus from the airway, making it easier for the mucus to be coughed up.
In many cases, there may be underlying pathology like infection deep inside lung, may be bacterial or viral. It may also occur, like in Asthma, constriction of the bronchus occurs leading to cough. So, specific drug is needed to treat this case and cough syrup will do little to nothing.
If the cough is due to heart burn or acidity, rather the patient should antacid in this case. Repeated occurrence may require the patient to get a prescription medicine from a doctor.
In case of bacterial infection like if the patient has pneumonia, then, antibiotic must be given. In that case, your doctor should prescribe you the specific antibiotic for efficient treatment.
A psychogenic cough, or habituated cough may be the cause in the absence of a physical problem. In this case, emotional and psychological problems are suspected.
However, other diseases have to be ruled out before a firm diagnosis of psychogenic cough is made. Psychogenic cough occurs more commonly in children than in adults.
So, the above explanation gives you a clear picture to understand that if you have cough, visiting a physician is utmost importance. Cough may looks like same, but may be of different origin, which may be treated differently at different times.
This diagnosis is made by physician. He or she may use many diagnostic procedures and come to conclusion at last that what medicine is suitable for you and what will be the regimen for you.