A cough can be annoying, irritating, embarrassing and even painful. It is sad to note that they can occur frequently during common cold, flu and other forms of respiratory illnesses.
Coughing is triggered since the airways are irritated or attempting to eliminate foreign material. Even though annoying, a cough is considered useful since it helps remove mucus from the lungs and airways. Without coughing, it is more likely for an individual to develop secondary infections such as pneumonia.
Over-the-counter cough medications
The most useful of the over-the-counter cough medications are expectorants. These medications help thin out and loosen the mucus in the body, thus making the cough productive. The faster the mucus is eliminated from the lungs and the head, the sooner the individual feels better.
The over-the-counter cough suppressants are a suitable choice if an individual has a cough that does not stop. It is sad to note that research reveals that they are not effective. Children should not be given cough suppressants since they could not provide any benefit and can even cause detrimental side effects.
Prescription cough medications
If the individual has a consistent dry cough that could not be relieved by other measures and there is difficulty sleeping or disrupts with daily activities, the doctor might prescribe a suppressant. Even though they can quiet down the cough, it should not be used frequently to avoid a secondary infection.
These are prescription medications commonly used by those who have asthma. The medications work by opening up the airways to promote easier breathing. In some cases, it is prescribed for those without asthma if the doctor believes that the airways are swollen and medication can greatly help.
Humidifiers are beneficial during the winter season when heaters are used which causes the air to become dryer than during the summer season. Remember that dry air can be irritating to the body and adding moisture to the air with the help of a humidifier can minimize the irritation. When using one, make sure that it is properly cleaned to prevent the growth and spread of germs.
Increased intake of fluids
By increasing the intake of fluids, it helps make the mucus easier to expel. Once the mucus is thinner, it can be easily eliminated from the body. Water is the preferable choice and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages since they cause the opposite effect.
Honey is a natural remedy to soothe a cough as well as a sore throat due to irritation. It works by coating the throat and calms down coughing. Remember that this is not a cure but more effective in calming down coughing than the over-the-counter cough suppressants.