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A source of Cough in COPD?

Posted Apr 03 2011 8:04am

It is important to understand that some respiratory (lung) diseases have a prominent obstructive component. The obstructive component of these diseases happens at the level of the many airways in each lung.

The upset snakes
The obstruction is determined by contraction of muscle bands that surrounds the airways like snakes around branches of trees, as well as the swollen interior walls of those airways. Not that being enough, the mucous secretion also reduces the space inside the airways.

Time for air
In fact, the obstruction is a partial obstruction since some air can still travel in and out of the lungs through the narrowed airways. However it is more difficult to get air out with each exhalation because the time has been predetermined.

The air in the train
It’s almost like: “you have 5 to 7 seconds to get out of the train because some people have to board. If you have less space to get out, you’ll take longer and people will enter anyway. You can’t get out. Next station same situation. And next. And next. Then, at one station you and others get upset and push everybody out leaving more space for others to come in”.

Breathing out at the next station
Each station is your breathing in and out through the narrowed passages and at that last station … you may want to cough that trapped air.

When cough is there (air trapped)
COPD patients start coughing early in the course of their disease. Besides the irritation of the airways originally caused by cigarette smoke, the obstruction creates the need to cough with certain regularity. Then, air trapping in COPD patients due to airflow obstruction could be considered a prominent cause of cough.

Acknowledge cough as not-normal
The continuous denial of disease by many respiratory patients leads to the hidden “smokers” cough to run without “noise”. When the patient needs more air like during physical activity, the breathlessness appears but cough was already there.

Cough (and deal with this important indicator)
Considering cough as an important symptom of COPD, leads to understanding of a key issue of the condition. When cough is prominent, think about the obstruction that is happening and the air that is trapped in the lungs. Taking the time to generate an efficient cough is also important.

Don’t wait
It is not necessary to wait for the breathlessness during exertion to realize that there are symptoms. It is important to consider cough as an abnormality instead of an inert part of the disease.

What to do
In fact, the treatment of the disease helps with cough specially when they include bronchodilators to relax those “snakes” aroung the airways in order to let the air flow.

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