Cough is not just cough. It can either be dry or productive. When we say that it’s productive, it means that you can cough out something (mucus or sputum).
Cough is good for the body if it is productive and it should not be stopped. We don’t mean you should go begging for it to come. What we are trying to say is that it comes to help our body when there’s an impending danger.
Productive cough is usually a reaction to a foreign body or irritant in the respiratory system. For instance, in a dusty environment, enough dust will unavoidably enter into our respiratory tract. The dust will, most often carry along bacteria, fungi or virus with it. In other for the body to get rid of these alongside the dust, mucus production will ensure. Depending on where the foreign bodies ended in the respiratory tract, productive cough will be triggered to enable our body remove those substances.
Now, do you think it’s good to stop the triggered cough? Of course the answer is no. More reasons it shouldn’t be stopped include:
1. Stopping it is an act against body defence mechanism
The body has several ways through which it naturally protects itself. One of the ways is through triggering of productive cough. If the body succeeds in doing this, its effort can be abolished with drug called anti-tussive or generally known as cough syrup. When this happens, the self-defence the body is trying to achieve is compromised and the body can therefore be overtaken by infection. That’s to say, it’s very bad to stop productive cough with drug.
2. Stopping it would make the mucus, which could be carrying infective microorganisms, be retained in the respiratory system
Retention of mucus in the respiratory tract is not good. Whether the mucus has infective microorganisms or not, it should be allowed to be coughed out. Allowing mucus be retained in the respiratory tract through cough stoppage will compromise the integrity of our health as it will make us come down with bacterial, viral, or fungal infection which might be entrapped in the retained mucus.
3. It will bring about respiratory tract infection
When we breath in microorganism that causes infection, infection doesn’t automatically occur. The body fights it. One of the ways it does this, as we said earlier, is through triggering of productive cough. When this happens and we stop it with drug, the microorganism will then cause infection in us called respiratory tract infection or lung infection. When this happens, we will be needing antibiotics which relatively cost much.
Productive cough shouldn’t be stopped. Allow it for it comes only to protect your respiratory system.
Note: if the sputum is blood stained or has lasted more than 7 days, seek medical help immediately.
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