Why we cough

Have you ever wondered why we cough?

Many would immediately suspect a cold. But this is not always the case.

We cough when we have inhaled something that the body identifies as a foreign object in the lungs. Often, these are not viruses or bacteria, but dust and other air pollutants.

Observe this more closely. Go into a restaurant or building with others and notice that many start coughing at the same time – this is hardly a sign of a cold. Or if you wake up in the morning and your family is coughing, has swollen eyes, and is hoarse, this could indicate CO2 or carbon monoxide poisoning. In this case, you should urgently ventilate the area.

If you consult a doctor, they might prescribe cold medicine and recommend staying at home. However, this could continue to expose you to CO2 and carbon monoxide, leading to fever and weakening the immune system. Viruses, which constantly surround us, can then attack more easily, as our immune system is already occupied with air pollutants against which it can do little. Ultimately, we could indeed get a viral infection, but not as the cause, rather as an additional symptom of the original poisoning by air pollutants.

A single heater, a fire 20 km away, unfavorable wind directions, and poorly ventilated rooms can already be enough. Especially since we already spend a lot of time indoors.

So, instead running to a doctor first or do a covid test, the first thing to do is open the window or leave the room.


In countless places, we have conducted experiments on how the introduction of fresh air into indoor spaces affects the environment. This includes buses, trains, and cars.


By opening windows, doors, and through ventilation systems.


Most people react similarly. After a few minutes, when the fresh air mixes with the indoor air, the first individuals occasionally start to cough or sneeze.


People's reactions are mostly similar. They try to avoid the fresh air, fearing that it will make them sick. However, the coughing is not triggered by the fresh air but by the poor indoor air quality.


If the experiment with fresh air continues, all subjects stop coughing after a short time and feel noticeably fitter within minutes, can concentrate better, and experience a significant improvement in general mood. However, those who have retreated to a wind-sheltered area cough significantly longer and tend to feel worse rather than better.


The reason why the coughing reflex only occurs when mixing good and bad air is quite simple. The body only notices that there is a problem when it perceives the difference. If one is almost permanently in bad air conditions, the body gets used to it after a few minutes and suppresses the cough reflex, as it is only intended as a short-term reaction.


This is most noticeable in children. When they play outside in cold weather, one rarely hears coughing. However, when they enter indoor spaces, they almost immediately start to cough. This does not happen, or happens much less frequently, with a quick change from inside to outside.


When it comes to coughing, everyone immediately thinks of a viral infection. However, it is forgotten that viruses are not large enough to immediately trigger a coughing reflex. Also, this would mean that one has walked into a cloud of viruses at the moment of coughing, which is completely absurd. Moreover, it would then be too late to do anything about it, as one would have already been infected.


In our opinion, therefore, coughing cannot be a sign of a possible viral infection. It rather indicates a general problem with the air. This can include dust, or other contaminants, such as cleaning agents, exhaust fumes, and emissions from clothing.


One should never forget that viruses and bacteria constantly live in our bodies without causing harm. However, if we are exposed to pollutants, especially in indoor spaces, for too long, this leads to coughing, hoarseness, and possibly even fever. Only then do viruses have an easy time and start to multiply uncontrollably, as the immune system is fighting against air pollutants for which it is not designed, thereby becoming weakened.


It has been scientifically proven that coughing, head and limb pain, fatigue, general feeling of illness, and fever can be caused by air pollutants. Therefore, it is incorrect to assume that cold symptoms are caused by viruses. Rather, it should be assumed that the cold is a reaction to air pollutants, which ultimately leads to a viral infection.


So, if you feel like you're getting a cold, you should immediately avoid staying indoors or at least open all windows. Cold has no connection with a possible cold. This is a completely incorrect portrayal of the actual processes.


Viruses need the body temperature of humans to survive. In winter, they therefore have a much lower chance of survival in the air. However, in winter, due to heating and longer stays indoors, we are exposed to much higher concentrations of pollutants, which weaken our immune system, allowing the viruses already present in our body to multiply uncontrollably.