• Question: Why do people cough?

    Asked by leahdoyle123 to Angela, Gabriele, Karen, Maria, Shane on 12 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 12 Nov 2013:

      Excellent question.
      Coughs are a reaction by the human body to try and clear something from our wind pipe (“trachea” ) or our lungs. It’s a reaction from the part of our body that we cannot control called the “autonomic” nervous system. It’s the same reason our hearts beat and we sneeze. You can deliberately cough but its a different reaction. Ever tried sneezing on purpose!? Pretty hard eh!

    • Photo: Angela Stevenson

      Angela Stevenson answered on 13 Nov 2013:

      Coughing is a symptom and it is your body’s way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway (the tubes that connect to your throat) and can also be a reaction to an irritated airway. Coughs are very effective at removing foreign material, some doctors say that as many as 20 000 viruses are expelled in an average cough! That’s a seriously huge number. Hope that helps!