Onset of winters is a troublesome period all over India especially in the North for people of all ages - more so for the elderly, the children and the sick. This is the time when one finds every alternate person coughing, clearing the throat, sneezing and/or blowing the nose. This is the season of increased respiratory symptoms due to multiple allergies and/ or infections. It is worse for patients of allergic rhinitis and asthma as well as those who are smokers and suffer from chronic obstructive lung disease.
Cough is said to be acute when present for about 3 weeks or less and chronic when present for over 8 weeks. Acute respiratory catarrh is the most common cause of cough as stated above. There are however many other causes which can be considered as responsible in an individual patient. The exact cause of cough can be found only after careful investigations by an expert physician. Your best chest clinic in Chandigarh offers the most comprehensive consultation and test plans.
Bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, interstitial lung diseases, gastro-esophageal reflux and sometimes drugs are other important causes of cough. Respiratory tumours and cancers are also important to consider in the elderly people and chronic smokers. Besides a good and detailed clinical history, most of these diseases require chest x-rays, lung function tests and sometimes chest CT scan for diagnosis. Sputum examination and bronchoscopy may be required in some cases especially when suspecting tuberculosis or lung malignancy.
Patients already known to suffer from asthma or other chronic lung diseases need to be extra careful during the change of weather. They might need to increase their dosages of inhalers and other drugs as per advice of the doctor. One must avoid extraneous exposure to aggravating agents – avoid dust, smoke and dry, cold air, take adequate fluids and fresh vegetable/ fruits. Annual flu vaccination at your best chest centre in Chandigarh is also recommended as it significantly helps in prevention of influenza, respiratory catarrh and consequential aggravation of asthma.