Cough

A cough is a common reflex action that clears the throat of mucus or foreign irritants. Coughing to clear the throat is typically an infrequent action, although a number of conditions can cause more frequent bouts of coughing.

In general, a cough that lasts for less than three weeks is an acute cough.

A cough that lasts between 3 and 8 weeks, improving by the end of that period, is a sub acute cough.

A persistent cough that lasts more than eight weeks is a chronic cough.

Most cough episodes will clear up, or at least significantly improve, within two weeks. If you cough up blood or have a “barking” cough, talk to your doctor. Any cough that hasn’t improved after a few weeks may be serious, and you should see a doctor.

A cough can be caused by several conditions, both temporary and permanent.

A cough is a standard way of clearing the throat. When your airways become clogged with mucus or foreign particles such as smoke or dust, a cough is a reflex reaction that attempts to clear the particles and make breathing easier.

Usually, this type of coughing is relatively infrequent, but coughing will increase with exposure to irritants such as smoke.