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Can cough receptors catch foreign particles and cause cough?

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Posted on Sat, 21 May 2016
Question: Dear Doctor.
Thank you for your answer.
May I ask last query related to the cough reflex.
As Doctor told me that if hair or particle stuck in the trachea, cough sensor give signal to brain and makes cough .... right?
Then Where are the cough sensors? is it located in the mucus lining on trachea or it is located in the roof of cillia...
I am still cannot fully understand how cough sensor could catch the foreign particle... because there are alot of mucus secretion and cillia on the wall of trachea....
So pls. explain me
is it the same with touch sensor on the skin....?


if cough sensors are located on the treachea such like the touch sensors on the skin.... as far as I know mucus lining is moving continuously with the help of cillia movement.... then cough sensors surely understand mucus lining is moving and makes cough... only by moving mucus lining....
So I am very curious.... how cough sensor understand it is mucus movement and it is foreign particle..
Thank you very much
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
These receptors are present on mucusal layer.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
First of all they are cough receptors, not cough sensors.
They are situated on mucusal layer of trachea.
They are abundant in larger airways and quantity decrease gradually in peripheral airways.
They sense all things which irritate trachea whether it is foreign body or mucus itself.
So these receptors are not specific for foreign body only. They will produce same cough reflex if mucus plug is also there.
So in short anything which irritates trachea will produce cough to remove that irritant thing.
Please let me know
1. Are you doing research in cough and it's mechanism?
2. Are you a medical student?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (15 hours later)
Dear Doctor.
Thanks for your answer.
I am not the student who are doing research in cough and mechanism.
I am the person who just have curious about the cough mechanism (Just curious)
but when I looked for the mechanism of cough, I could only find out the very rough and simple reasons....
So I want to know more details....
Sorry to ask same query repeatly,,,,
If cough receptors located on mucusal layer of trachea,
Doctor told me that they sense all things which irritate trachea whether it is foreign body or mucus itself....
query is
there are alway alot of mucus on the mucusal layer..... and receptors could feel there is mucus....but there is no cough...
What I want to know is how cough receptors could determine it is mucus and it is foreign body...
becuase in my point of view mechanical touch is almost same (mucus touch on cough receptors and foreign body touch on cough recpetors)
that means unusual movement of cillia (becuase of the foreign) deliver the signal to brain that it is not the mucus touch .... it is foreign body touch...
Sorry to bother you again..
Thank you .

doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Mucus is not produced all the time in trachea.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
First of I want to clear basic doubt of yours.
Mucus is not producing in large quantities in trachea routinely.
Usually, only small quantities is produced just to lubricate trachea.
Mucus production in trachea is associated with infection and inflammation. So whenever there is infection (pneumonia) or inflammation (bronchitis), there is large amount of mucus production in lung.
This also initiate cough reflex.
This is the reason for coughing in pneumonia and bronchitis patients. These patients are not having any foreign body but still they cough continuously.
So it is not always foreign body which initiate cough.
Anything that irritates trachea will produce cough.
This implies to foreign body, excess mucus etc.
There is no specific distinct way by which trachea differentiate between foreign body and mucus.
Hope I have solved your query. If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly/askdrkaushalbhavsar.
Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14646 Questions

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Can cough receptors catch foreign particles and cause cough?

Brief Answer: These receptors are present on mucusal layer. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic. I can understand your concern. First of all they are cough receptors, not cough sensors. They are situated on mucusal layer of trachea. They are abundant in larger airways and quantity decrease gradually in peripheral airways. They sense all things which irritate trachea whether it is foreign body or mucus itself. So these receptors are not specific for foreign body only. They will produce same cough reflex if mucus plug is also there. So in short anything which irritates trachea will produce cough to remove that irritant thing. Please let me know 1. Are you doing research in cough and it's mechanism? 2. Are you a medical student? Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.