Different Types of Coughs - How to Interpret Them
|   Jan 25, 2017
Different Types of Coughs - How to Interpret Them

Cough is a sudden and often repetitively occurring reflex which helps to clear large breathing passages from fluids, irritants, foreign particles and microbes.

While it’s difficult to find out type of cough by how it sounds, there are some key differences that give clues about what that cough really means.

Different Types of cough

Postnasal drip

Sounds like either a dry or wet cough. It is caused by mucus dripping down your throat which tickles nerve endings, triggering coughing. It is usually worse at night. If it’s due to allergies, patient may also have itchy eyes and sneezing.


Sounds like a dry cough that ends with a rattle or wheeze. People with asthma have inflamed airways, which can cause difficulty breathing as well as wheezing and coughing. It usually gets worse at night or while exercising; chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue are the other associated symptoms.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Sounds like a chronic hacking cough that produces a lot of mucus particularly in the morning. The main cause is smoking. The cough gets better with the progression of the day.

GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease)

Sounds like a dry spasmodic cough; it’s actually the second most common cause of chronic cough. The cough gets worse on lying down or while eating. Most of the patients of GERD with chronic cough may have no other symptoms.

Cough due to medicines

Sounds like a dry cough. A group of drugs known as ACE inhibitors are commonly prescribed to treat Blood pressure, they can cause cough in 20 percent of patients. This cough starts few days after starting the medicine.


Sounds like initially a dry cough which after a few days turns to a wet cough with yellow or green mucus. It will be accompanied with fever chills, trouble breathing, and pain when breathing in deeply or coughing.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Sounds like a severe hacking cough that ends with a whooping sound as you breathe in.

The first symptoms are similar to the common cold: stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes, fever and cough. But after few weeks classic coughing signs emerge with hacking very intense that patient may throw up or turn red or blue.

Whatever be the type, it is important to get a proper diagnosis done by a physician or a medical practitioner so that the problem doesn’t aggravate further. A stitch in time saves nine!

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