LISTEN: Can you spot the smoker’s cough?

Listening to someone with a chronic cough can be very irritating, and unfortunately many people walk around with an untreated cough much longer than they should. 

Coughing is your lungs’ way of trying to get rid of toxins.

Smoking and coughing 

A smoker’s cough is a persistent cough, often suppressed by medication, according to an article published in the the Respiratory Medicine  journal.

In the early stages of smoking, a smoker’s cough is a “dry” cough, but the longer a person smokes, the more phlegm or sputum is produced. The colour is usually clear, yellow or green.

Asthma

Health24 previously reported on the 7 dangerous conditions that start with a cough among others. A cough is also one of the major symptoms of asthma, an article in the Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews states. And many patients consult with their doctors following their persistent cough.

Cough variant asthma (CVA) is a subtype of asthma, with a primary characteristic of a cough without any other accompanying symptoms such as dyspea or wheezing. An article in the International Archive of Allergy and Immunology journal reports that CVA patients are among those who consult doctors complaining about a persistent and ongoing cough.  

Can you guess which cough belongs to which category? (Answers are revealed below)

smoking

A.

B.

C.

asthma.cough

A.

B.

C.

asthma,children

A.

B.

C.

asthma.cough

A.

B.

C.

The answers: 

1. A - Smokers usually have a persistent cough, sometimes dry, according to an article published in the the Respiratory Medicine journal.

2. B - Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews journal finds that an asthma cough is typically dry and may be associated with an excessive amount of mucus production as heard in the clip.

3. C - Listening to the different coughs we can hear that the asthma case is likely the one with the wheezing, this evidence is also revealed in the Singapore Medical Journal stating that wheezing is the most common symptoms associated with asthma in toddlers.

4. B - What might appear to sound like asthma might not always be the case. An article in Pedatrics journal explains that the respiratory sounds that take place in the upper airway obstruction may cause various symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction that is often mischaracterised as wheezing and atrributed to asthma. 

Image credit: iStock

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