Tipos de tos: cómo suenan

Como dijimos anteriormente, la tos nunca es normal, sino que es un síntoma de una afección del aparato respiratorio.

Generalmente la tos no es grave o peligrosa, sino que se trata de un mecanismo de defensa del pulmón. Pero siempre hay que tenerla en cuenta porque es el aviso de que algo está sucediendo en las vías respiratorias. En este post vamos a diferenciar la tos por el sonido.

Como cualquier “música”, la tos tiene variantes según su sonido: seca y catarral

  • Tos catarral: por el ruido que hace, se nota que hay flemas sueltas. A veces, incluso, si uno coloca la mano sobre el pecho, nota cómo se mueven las flemas con la respiración. Los niños no expectoran (expulsan las flemas) antes de los 4 años; por eso, las tragan y, como no se digieren, las eliminan mediante el vómito (con el resto del alimento) y/o por la materia fecal. La flema normal es parecida a la clara de huevo cruda: no tiene color, es transparente y pegajosa. Pero, cuando es amarillenta o verdosa, significa que se infectó. Cuando hay tos catarral y aparece fiebre con expectoración amarillenta o verdosa, es momento de consultar al médico lo antes posible.
  • Tos seca: suele ser consecuencia de una irritación de la vía aérea o de un espasmo bronquial. La mayor parte de las veces empieza a la madrugada y asusta mucho porque suele ser más ruidosa que peligrosa.

Es importante no intentar tratamientos caseros, como jarabes para la tos no recomendados por el profesional, miel, pomadas balsámicas en el pecho, etc.  Cuando aparece fiebre, con tos seca y corta, es necesario consultar rápidamente al médico.

Hay otro tipo de tos seca, que se produce con el ejercicio (especialmente cuando se corre) y/o luego de reírse mucho. Esta tos suele ser producida por un espasmo bronquial transitorio y, generalmente, con un reposo de media hora, desaparece sin necesidad de ninguna medicación. Un aspecto importante de la tos es la hora en que predomina.

Si aparece de día y el niño puede dormir toda la noche (o sea, es ocasional y sin otros síntomas), no suele ser importante. Pero, si persiste y/o aparece fiebre, debe consultarse al médico.

En cualquier caso, la consulta al médico es importante, porque siempre es preferible consultar por un cuadro menor, que después lamentar si se agrava.

 

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