This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Cough. - Coughing Is a convulsive expiratory effort, usually repeated several times in rapid succession. It is symptomatic of several varieties of conditions, but by no means always indicates disease of the respiratory organs. It is present in consumption, pneumonia, pleurisy, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and, in fact, may appear as a symptom in nearly all diseases of the respiratory organs. It may also appear as a symptom of disease of the spine and spinal cord, of the oesophagus, the heart, the liver, and the stomach. In occasional instances, it may arise from the irritation of worms in the intestines, from the pressure of tumors in the chest, as well as from gout, rheumatism, and uterine and ovarian derangements. Occasionally it Is seen in very young children who arc teething, being due to sympathetic irritation. Attention has very lately been called to what is known as ear cough, arising from disease of the ear.
Chin Cough is a term frequently applied to a light, hacking cough in small children, arising from slight irritation of the throat or air-passages. It was formerly applied to whooping-cough.
Stomach Cough is generally duo to pharyngeal catarrh, which results from derangement of the digestion.
Nervous Cough is often occasioned by disease of the spinal cord. Under this head may also be included cough which is dependent more upon habit than upon any local disease.
Painful Cough usually arises from some serious disease of the respiratory organs.
Hacking or Tickling Cough is quite frequent in the first stage of consumption when it results from sympathetic irritation. It may be due to an elongation of the palate.
Heavy or Hollow Cough is one of the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and advanced consumption, and is usually -attended by copious expectoration.
A Short, Sharp Cough generally accompanies the first stage of pneumonia.
The Hoarse, Barking Cough of croup is readily recognized by its peculiar character. In true or membranous croup, the hoarse, barking character gives way to a whistling cough. A loose cough, attended by a slight rattle, is an indication of improvement in the last-named disease.
The Whooping Cough, characteristic of the disease of that name, is bo called from its violent spasmodic character, and from the fact that the spasmodic, expiratory efforts attending the cough in this disease are terminated by a very greatly prolonged inspiration, attended by the peculiar sound very aptly termed a whoop.
The remedies for a cough vary according to its cause. An irritable, hacking cough can often be relieved by means of a little lemon juice; dissolving a small piece of white sugar upon the tongue; or chewing slippery elm. Simply gargling a little hot or cold water will produce relief, as well as the use of a steam inhaler. Painful cough is best treated by hot applications for the relief of the pain. Liver, stomach, and ear cough are cured by treatment of the organs primarily affected. Nervous cough can often be cured by a simple effort of willpower. The patient, having formed the habit of coughing from a slight temporary irritation of the throat, continues to cough when the original cause is removed. By a simple exertion of the will, this cough can usually be controlled. Equal parts of lemon juice and honey will frequently relieve a harrassing cough. The chest compress is also useful.