【有没有想过我们为什么会咳嗽?科学家揭示这个谜】

【有没有想过我们为什么会咳嗽?科学家揭示这个谜】一般来说,大多数咳嗽症状会在几周内得以缓解,而通常认为是流感病毒刺激呼吸道令其感染,导致人们咳嗽和传播细菌,这对“宿主”没有任何好处。实际上,研究人员认为,人们的免疫系统在对抗流感时,会释放化学物质来抵抗感染,这些粘液也可以刺激神经,引起气管炎症,导致咳嗽,这样一来病毒就不会进入肺部,造成进一步的感冒并发症。

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5129519/Scientists-uncover-cough.html

Ever wondered why we cough? Scientists uncover the theories behind what causes niggling tickly throats this time of year

  • Viruses may irritate airways, causing people to cough and spread their germs
  • Mucus could stimulate cells in the respiratory tract to prevent it entering lungs
  • Immune systems may release chemicals that damage airways and cause coughs
  • Although unclear what the exact cause is, most coughs ease within a few weeks
  • Researchers from The Hull York Medical School analysed past cough studies

 

It is the time of year where coughs and colds are rife. Now, a recent study published in the BMJ raises the question of why we wheeze when under the weather.

Although scientists from The Hull York Medical School, who carried out the research, are unsure of the exact cause, one theory is viruses have evolved to irritate infected people's airways, causing them to cough and infect others.

People typically suffer two or three colds a year, with coughing being a common symptom.

Although irritating, most cases are not serious and resolve in a few weeks without treatment.

Here we look at the three different theories behind why we cough.

Scientists uncover the theories behind what causes niggling coughs this time of year (stock)

Scientists uncover the theories behind what causes niggling coughs this time of year (stock)

 

How the research was carried out 

The researchers analysed past studies investigating cough.

Such trials typically assess guinea pigs or human airway cells as symptoms vary substantially from person-to-person.

The findings were published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.

Why do we cough? 

One theory is the viruses that cause colds and flu have evolved to stimulate nerve receptors in our airways, causing irritation.

This sends a signal to the brain that causes infected people to cough up germs, which spreads the virus to others.

In such instances, coughing has no advantage for the infected person.

Study author Professor Alyn Morice said: 'The most common form of cough is caused by upper respiratory tract infections and has no benefit to the host.'

Mucus is also known to stimulate nerve endings, which benefits the sufferer by allowing them to cough up the substance rather than it entering their lungs and causing further complications.

Others argue people's immune systems release chemicals to fight infection when they are battling a cold or flu.

Such chemicals cause inflammation of the airways, which causes damage to its cell lining and stimulates coughing.

 


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