DRY COUGH/NON-PRODUCTIVE COUGH:
There is no phlegm or no sputum production. The throat and upper airways become inflamed. It is of three types:
- Dry hacking cough - A short, weak repeating cough, often caused by irritation of the larynx by a postnasal drip.
- Barking cough - Also called Croup. It is a viral infection that results in swollen vocal chords and throat.
- Whooping Cough - Another name for pertussis, an infection of the airways caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.The patient coughs continuously, after which there is a characteristic whoop sound and strong intake of a breath.
WET COUGH/PRODUCTIVE COUGH:
A productive cough produces phlegm or mucus (sputum). The mucus may have drained down the back of the throat from the nose or sinuses or may have come up from the lungs. A productive cough generally should not be suppressed-it clears mucus from the lungs.
Conditions associated with this type of cough include:
- Common cold: A wet cough with a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, low-grade fever (below 101.5°F), and postnasal drip (mucus running down the back of the throat).Symptoms can last from 2 to 14 days, but most people recover within 10 days.
Expectorants, such as guaifenesin, can help you "cough up" or expectorate the mucus. Antitussives, such as dextromethorphan, can be used to treat the cough.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)/Chronic Bronchitis: A wet cough with mucus, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, and wheezing. It is caused by Cigarette smoking or other long-term exposure to air pollutants or lung irritants. COPD is a life-long condition and requires medical care.