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“Oh My God…Not Again”! - Cough Can Be...

27-Oct-2014.By: Sylvester Iriogbe


As a kid, imagine how terrible it feels to put-in so much mental and psychological efforts in building blocks and all of a sudden, just by one involuntary of the body, the whole block is shattered.

Imagine trying to paint a picture of the epical ‘Superman’ character and just at the last touch of the brushes…Splash!!!… It happened. Water-colour is all over your drawing-board and the beautiful Superman painting has suddenly turned to an abstract gibberish.

Sometimes it could be as bad as playing with your peers at a friend’s birthday party and then suddenly, you have just spilled some Chapman on your friend’s pretty white dress. Even worst still is, having to miss your examination just because you cannot put yourself together to write.

Be it in academics or leisure, cough is one of children’s most distressing experiences. Although everyone, including adults is prone to having cough at some point in life, it tends to take too much away from children’s beautiful everyday life, especially with respect to fun, wellbeing, mood, and even academic performance.

As parents, having the basic understanding of the dynamics of cough is the first step to ensuring that you child is not made to suffer this unpleasant experience.

Cough occurs essentially when the breathing passage of the body is trying to clear itself of an irritant, including mucus and other foreign objects. It is a sudden and often repetitively occurring reflex

Cough is a vital way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Cough is caused by several factors, some of which we will try to explain below:

Infection- These are cough cases in kids arising from certain conditions like Colds, Flu (Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes), and Croup (Croup is a respiratory illness that is usually caused by an acute viral infection of the upper airway. It tends to appear in children between 3 months and 5 years old, but it can happen at any age).

When a child is exposed to cold condition, it could results tin mild cough; meanwhile, cough resulting from flu is sometimes more severe and oftentimes dry (Dry cough). Cough resulting from Croup oftentimes has a "woofing" effect and some breathing difficulty which results in noisy breathing.

Acid reflux- Acid Reflux is a condition that is caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the oesophagus, especially as a result of changes in the barricade between the stomach and the oesophagus (when the lower oesophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed, relaxes abnormally).This condition resultsin children coughing and frequently vomiting or spitting. There may also be possible symptoms of bad taste in the mouth and heartburn in some cases. Acid Reflux may be difficult to detect in infants and children because they cannot describe what and how they feel. However, parents should carry out proper observation on their coughing kids for Acid Flux indicators.

Asthma – Asthma is a disease that affects the airways carrying air to and from the lungs. Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and therefore is one type of cough that is difficult to identify in kids. Asthma is said to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The swelling of the airwaves wall makes the airways to become narrower and as such less air can pass through them to or from the lungs. Symptoms of the asthma include wheezing (a hissing sound while breathing), chest tightness, breathing problems, and coughing.

Allergies/Sinusitis – is one tough kind of cough that just won’t go away easily. Sinusitis can be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune problems. Most cases are due to a viral infection and resolve over the course of 10 days. Sinusitis can cause a prolonged cough, itchy throat, runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, or rash. When Sinusitis is in its chronic stage, it could last longer than three months.

Whooping cough: Also known as Pertussis, Whooping coughis an infectious bacterial disease that causes intense coughing. The name comes from the noise that follows a breath after the cough. Whooping coughis characterized by back-to-back coughs, followed by an inhale that has a "whooping" sound. Other symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, and low fever. Whooping cough is contagious, but easy to prevent with a vaccine. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit. It can be contacted by anyone, but it is more common in infants and children. It's especially dangerous for infants and its effect on children can even result to difficulties in eating, drinking, or breathing.

Some other common reason that may cause a child to cough could arise from inhaling a foreign body like food or a small toy; or some kind of exposure to irritants like pollution from cigarettes or fireplace smoke. It is very important for parent to maintain some healthy lifestyle that can help prevent these coughs. This is to say that most coughs can or may possible be prevented with healthy lifestyle habits by parents.

Some lifestyle modification can help to prevent cough in children. Avoiding triggers is a key factor for improving control and preventing most coughs. Triggers are those factors or conditions that cause coughing. The most common triggers include exposure to tobacco or other kind of smoke, air pollution, and foods that contain sulphite.

Clean and hygienic environment could also help prevent allergens like dust that could cause coughing in children. Parent should ensure that home and nursery environment is constantly kept clean.

Some studies have also shown that elevating the head side of the bed can also help improve the symptoms.

For adult, moderate exercise has been said to improve some cough symptoms; however in those with GERD, vigorous exercise may worsen them.

Avoidance of specific foods and eating before lying down should also be considered. Foods like chocolate, fatty foods, acidic foods, and spicy foods should be watched. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the most common foods that trigger an allergic reaction include wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and fish.

Cough syrups for children may be an effective way of managing coughing in children, but care must be taken as some of these products could actually worsen the child’s condition.

Tuxil range of cough syrups offers effective relief from cough, cold, fever and related conditions. They are presented as suppressants for the treatment of dry cough (Tuxil C; adult and children) and expectorants for use in productive coughs (Tuxil D & N; adult and children). The formulations target effective treatment of daytime cough without causing drowsiness (D series) or nocturnal cough (N series).

Tuxil range of cough syrups contains ingredients that help loosen up mucus and makes expectoration easier; especially Tuxil D for adult and children which contains cetirizine, a third generation antihistamine which does not cause drowsiness. So patients are alert all day at work and at play. Children's Tuxil (runny nose & allergy) is indicated for symptomatic relief of sneezing, itching, watery eyes (lacrimation), runny nose (rhinorrhoea), itchy eyes, and/or itching associated with seasonal (e.g., hay fever) allergic rhinitis or other upper respiratory allergies.

Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM





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