Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Clinic

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On the matter of coughs

Posted on April 16, 2020 at 5:30 PM

 

This past winter, there were a lot of people who suffered from a nasty cough after a cold or the flu. The cough can last for weeks. Why do people get coughs? As the explanation on NHS website: A cough is a reflex action to clear your airways of mucus and irritants such as dust or smoke. Coughs can be divided into two different types: dry throat cough or chesty cough (wet cough). Some coughs don’t heal up by themselves, if not treated properly, they may develop other severe problems, such as bronchitis, pneumonia or asthma. For some elderly people the cough can even is fatal.

 What causes a cough? In general, most of people with a cough have respiratory tract inflammation caused by viral or allergic factors, such as dust, pollen and cold air. The function of producing mucus to protect the lining of the airway is affected, therefore there is no mucus or phlegm produced. Another common reason is gastro-oesophageal reflux disease which is a possible non-infectious cause, smoking and stress could be the trigger as well. If you already have an underlying problem in your lung or heart, the cough will start with lots of phlegm, which is called a wet cough. This means there is extra fluid in your lungs, which will affect your lungs’ capacity for air exchange.

 As mentioned above, dry coughs are usually felt in the throat as a tickle that sets off the coughing. It could go on all day and night, and would not get better by itself, because you can’t bring up any mucus. For children, constant coughing can bring about an asthma attack. For older people, constant coughing can bring pneumonia or emphysema, which can lead to lung or heart failure.                                        

We have to treat it properly and as early as possible. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that the cough comes from common cold and digestive system dysfunction. According to different individuals’ situation, we can use not only cupping therapy and herbal medicine to help patients to expel the common cold, relax the upper airway to ease off the tickle in the throat, helping patient to bring the mucus up easily, but also acupuncture to help patients readjust digest system function and energy circulation, to reduce the extra fluid in your lung so less mucus needs to be expelled.

                                                                                                                                                         

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