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Coughing is body’s protective mechanism which helps us clear our breathing passage of dust, microbes, irritants, etc. There are two types of cough, wet and dry. They maybe caused due to common cold, flu, allergies, smoking, etc.
Now, let us see how we cough. When anything irritates our breathing passage, our brain activates the cough response. First of all, we gasp in, a large volume of air into our lungs. Next, the epiglottis closes off the windpipe. Then, the rib and abdominal muscles contract, putting pressure on the lungs. But, as the windpipe is closed, the air can’t move out, so pressure builds up. Finally, the epiglottis opens and air forcefully rushes out, carrying the irritant and thus, producing a cough.