Coughing is a natural response to irritants in the air. Whether an acute irritant, an allergy, or a piece of food lodges in the throat, a reflex reaction begins in the respiratory system. The process causes the voice to open wider than usual and coughing is the release of this irritant and its fluid. The coughing reflex eventually stops and breathing resumes normal levels. The purpose of coughing is to clear the airway.
Coughing is a natural reflex that helps protect the lungs and the airway. A cough is triggered by irritation to the airway, and receptors in the throat, trachea, and lung respond to this stimulation by signaling a center in the brain that controls the cough reflex. Coughing is an important defense mechanism that moves unwanted material from the airways and creates space for more air to enter.
Regardless of the cause, coughing has many benefits. It removes harmful particles from the air and protects the body from infections. Coughing also removes mucus, which acts as a barrier against germs. Coughing is a normal part of the body’s immune response to an infection, so there is no risk of it getting worse. Coughing can be more acute during the cold months, when the air is less moist and the throat is more sensitive.
If you’re experiencing a chronic cough, see your healthcare provider immediately. The best treatment for your cough depends on its cause, but it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice. To avoid spreading the disease, consult a doctor. Avoid certain irritants and secondhand smoke if you suffer from a chronic cough. The best way to stop coughing is to find a cure for the underlying disease.