Barking cough is a condition in which the individual is inflicted with cough that is harsh and dry in nature. It is due to the dryness that the sound is emitted when the individual coughs. It has been recorded that barking cough in adults is a case of rarity, instead it is all the more prevalent in children. However, one must be aware of what causes barking cough and what are the symptoms of the same.
A cause that is regarded as the culprit in causing a croup cough is the inflammation of the larynx and the trachea. The larynx and the trachea get inflamed due to viral infections. Parainfluenza virus is found to be afflicting the trachea and causing it to swell up with redness and heaviness felt in the throat. Other causes of barking cough are as follows:
Influenza: Common cold and cough elevate and cause the throat to get scratched, thereby leading to irritation in the throat. When the throat is irritated, it leads to the person having a constant urge to cough due to which the bouts of cough become severe to endure.
Allergies: There are times when an individual is completely aversive to certain materials or herbs and cannot bear to stay in the vicinity of the same. Dust allergies, allergy due to mold infestation, varnish allergy and pollen allergy are some of the potential allergy types that prove to be a cause of severe cough.
Acid Reflux: It is when a person is prone to hyperacidity or gastrointestinal attacks that barking cough may occur. Often noticed after meals, there is an episode of regurgitation that attacks the digestive system. It is due to this that the individual may endure difficulty in breathing, leading to barking cough. When the cough becomes chronic in nature, it leads to asthma as well.
Pertussis: Also known as whooping-cough, this ailment is more common in children than adults. However, adults too could be victims of pertussis. Whooping cough is characterized by a 'whoop' sound that is caused at the end of each coughing episode. One is bound to experience wheezing, harsh coughing sound, watery eyes and runny nose with tongue seldom sticking out and turning blue in response to the intensity of the cough.
Croup or laryngotracheobronchitis as barking cough is called, has a peculiar sound to it. It carries with it a typical harshness during the spasmodic coughing episodes. You have barking cough if you experience:
- Wheezing; sounds that are elicited due to heavy breathing. You must call a doctor if you feel extremely uneasy.
- Harsh Cough; do not ignore this cough as this may further scratch your throat leading to throat infections.
- Hoarseness; the voice becomes rough and there is a screechy sound embedded in your tone when you converse.
- Fatigue; there is an increasing amount of fatigue. Your system gets tired due to the constant tremors and severe coughing attacks that it endures.
- Pain near the rib cage; this is due to the intensity with which the individual is coughing. The pain oscillates to being excess when the person coughs and subsides when there are no attacks of coughing hard.
- Fever; it is due to the coughing that your system is exerted and due to the excessive fatigue that your system endures, fever is the resultant symptom.
You may indulge in:
- Inhaling steam and drinking lukewarm, or boiled water.
- Staying away from dusty environment that elicits sneezes and bouts of cough.
- Making a syrup by blending honey and fresh ginger pieces. Just ½ a teaspoon thrice a day may help in curbing the intensity of your croup.
- Gargling with warm saline water three to four times a day. This will help soothe the throat.
- Adding a few drops of lemon squeezed in a glass of water, that could be sipped at regular intervals, helps soothe the throat and reduce strong bouts of cough.
- Stacking on a few pillows beneath your head while you sleep, especially during nighttime. With your head elevated, you are less prone to attacks or bouts of dry cough.
- Using Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea or horsemint is a perennial herb that helps fight cold, cough and flu. Place two to three leaves of bee balm into a glass of hot water. Keep the mixture covered for a few minutes. Just sip through the mixture a few times during the day. A very useful remedy, especially when your nasal passage is blocked or you have a severe respiratory infection.
- Drinking a hot beverage is a welcome when our nose runs a water supply for hours on end. However, besides drinking ginger tea, you may try onion tea. Cut one onion into four pieces and place it in water. Let the water boil with the onion added to it. The onion leaves its spicy juices in water. Drink the tea to soothe a scratched throat and open your nasal tract.
If these remedies do not work too well for you and there is no significant improvement in your state, you must:
- Consult your doctor without any further delay.
- Consider the antibiotic course administered to you by the doctor and completing the prescribed course. Leaving the course halfway can result in barking cough affecting you all over again. This is, indeed true with any medication course you take and holds good for the treatment for all conditions.
- Accept and adhere to his advise of getting certain examinations conducted. CBC (Complete Blood Count) and a routine Hemogram to check your hemoglobin may reveal the discrepancies in your system.
With these remedies, one may be equipped to counter the causes and symptoms of barking cough. As mentioned earlier, barking cough in adults is less prevalent; however, one may not rule out its potency completely.