Ailments & Conditions

Why We Cough and 6 Ways to Not Cough so Much

Whether it’s during a certain season, when you exert yourself, or seemingly randomly, we all cough. That coughing is annoying, for us and those around us. The question arises though, why do we cough? Sure, it would be great if we didn’t have to hear it every time someone coughs. But does coughing actually serve a good purpose?

In order to figure out ways to stop coughing, we first have to figure out why we cough. Before we even figure that out, though, we need to look into what exactly is happening when we cough. Once we figure out what exactly is happening, we will be able to stop our coughing at the source and at the same time feel better.

What is a Cough?

It might seem like a silly question, but to figure out how to limit our coughing we need to identify what exactly a cough is. A dictionary definition might lead us to find that a cough is simply are leaving our lungs quickly and with a loud noise. By that definition, a scream could even qualify as a cough. Notice, instead, what the Mayo Clinic uses to define a cough. It says, “A cough is your body’s way of responding when something irritates your throat or airways.” This definition makes more sense when we’re looking at the underlying cause of a cough.

There are many different circumstances in which somebody might find themselves coughing. According to that definition shown above, though, a cough is always a result of irritation to either your throat or another airway. A cough is designed specifically to protect us. Our lungs are fairly vulnerable to irritants.