Illnesses of Respiratory Tract and Cough
Infection and certain inflammatory illnesses of the lower respiratory tract are generally accompanied by cough. The cough in this case may be dry and in some cases it is productive. People suffering from productive cough expel the mucus and sputum from the lungs. This mucus or sputum may be of different color and its characteristics may sometimes make setting of the diagnosis easy. Children are prone to respiratory infections, therefore, every time the infection occurs they generally develop a cough. This is only one of the symptoms of the disease but it can be rather disturbing, annoying and interfere in child's productivity, every day activities and sleep. It is essential to diagnose the underlying condition and treat it accordingly as well as to reduce the cough with suitable medications.
Causes of Persistent Cough in Children
Persistent cough in children can be associated with asthma, infections of the respiratory tract and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The problem may be also connected with certain environmental factors.
Asthma is considered the leading cause of persistent cough in children. It leads to inflammation of the bronhioli, contraction of smooth muscles of the airway and accumulation of the mucus in the airway. All the previously mentioned is considered a major trigger for cough. The cough predominantly occurs during exacerbation of the disease and may occasionally reoccur during remission.
Infection of the lower respiratory tract is always accompanied by cough. Even after the infection has been successfully treated with specific medications a child may continue coughing for certain period of time. Prolonged coughing is in this case explained by the attempt of the lungs to get rid of the excess of mucus which was produced during the infection.
In gastroesophageal reflux disease stomach acid regurgitates from the stomach into the esophagus and mouth. Some of this acid may also enter the respiratory tract and cause irritation. Irritation of the mucous membrane always features with swelling and cough. Once the condition is confirmed and a child treated properly irritation caused by stomach acid is eliminated and a child stops coughing.
Even allergies to dust pollen and pets may be a trigger for persistent cough. And finally, persistent cough in children can be associated with exposure to certain external factors such as passive smoking and air pollution.
Treatment for Persistent Cough in Children
Treatment for persistent cough in children depends on the underlying cause. Children are generally prescribed medications which bring the underlying condition under control and cough medicines which take care of the very symptom.