Coughing is one of the most common ailments that attack both the young and the old. It is usually associated with the common cold, although illnesses such as infections, gastro esophageal reflux disease, chronic bronchitis, and other upper respiratory tract infections may also cause coughing.
Cough can either be voluntary or involuntary. It is often activated by the presence of irritants, or when afflicted with mucus, edema, pus, or very hot or cold air in the airway. Smoking can also result to chronic coughing. It is the body’s natural defense against excess mucus and foreign particle.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of your cough:
- The first step in treating a cough is identifying what kind of cough is it that you’re suffering from to find out the proper solution.
If your cough is accompanied by a sputum or mucus, it is called a productive cough and can be treated by an expectorant which encourages more coughing to remove the phlegm.
A dry or non-productive cough, on the other hand, is treated with antitussives. Antitussives help stop the coughing reflex by restraining throat irritation. Take caution, however, for continued intake of antitussives can cause dependency.
- Before buying and taking in any medicine, read the labels first as some over-the-counter drugs may contain added ingredients. Pain relievers are added to soothe sore throat. Antihistamines, on the other hand, benefit those with allergies. A bronchodilator helps widen air passage and is useful only for expectorants. Sugar and alcohol are also added to preserve the cough mixtures but are not suitable for children and diabetics.
- For those on a tight budget or who believes in natural remedies, alternative treatments can be effective in treating and getting rid of that nasty cough. To relieve a tight chest and stuffy nose, put a few drops of menthol or eucalyptus in a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. To get rid of phlegm, apply a hot compress using three parts hot water and one part cider vinegar on your throat. And avoid allergens in cases of colds and cough triggered by an asthma or allergy attack. Limit your intake of dairy, poultry and poultry products.
Cough is not a disease, but may be the most obvious symptom of an underlying disease. Usually, when cough is a result of a minor condition like common colds, it may be treated with over-the-counter drugs. However, the presence of symptoms other than coughing signals the need for a medical consultation.
Signs or symptoms to look out for include blood in mucus, mucus that turns into yellow or green, fever, and coughing which lasts for more than three days.
With these knowledge in mind, you are now finally equipped with the basic information you ought to know about coughs and how to get rid of them. Remember, arming yourself with the right and sufficient information may be your defense against this common malady.