A cough is a protective reflex caused by irritation of the lining mucosa in the voice box (larynx) or windpipe (trachea). Sudden expulsion of air from the lungs at high speeds of up to 80 mph clears mucus or foreign material from the airway. A cough usually starts with a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) which may spread to involve the sinuses (sinusitis) or lower down to the involve the trachea (tracheitis), bronchi (bronchitis) or lungs (pneumonia). Subsequent bacterial infection is common and prolongs the local inflammation irritation. A chronic cough may occur if there is persistent local inflammation or a tumour. The violent jet of air propelled through the airway at the level of the vocal cords may also result in a frequent recurrent irritant effect, hence the importance of suppressant medicines in management.
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Dr Gerald Brookes is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise. He has been interviewed by the Daily Mail, featured on Channel 4's Embarassing Bodies, looked after The X-Factor contestants and recently, appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
Media: Channel 4
Adele was experiencing dizziness and balance problems so severe that she could barely function. In desperation, after consulting her GP to no avail, she got in touch with Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies team. The show then contacted Dr Gerald Brookes, who was able to diagnose her rare condition as Basilar Migraine.
Catherine Eade was having dizzy spells and balance problems. When inexplicably she started suffering memory loss too, she consulted Dr Gerald Brookes at The Harley Street ENT Clinic who correctly diagnosed her problem as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
The Harley Street ENT Clinic looked after The X-Factor TV show contestants for many seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, Dr Gerald Brookes was interviewed by Nicky Broyd of Boots WebMD on the perils of high pressure performing.