Cough is not only irritating for us, it is quite irritating for others around us as well. You may be working in a quiet environment and all of a sudden you might feel like coughing a bit when you did it, it might trigger another one and this process can go on for quite some time. Coughing is a natural thing. But no one thinks of it like that when there is a continuous cough. Most of us would feel little irritated by it is the fact.
So what is the reason behind it? and how to prevent or treat it?
What causes a cough?
When there is any abnormal activity that happens inside your lungs during its normal function it triggers coughing. This abnormal activity can happen due to various reasons. It could be due to dust, infection, Asthma, heart problems, acid reflux, ulcer etc. Patients of Asthma and TB usually have continuous cough problem.
What are the Types of Cough?
There are many types of cough and the treatments for it will differ based on its type.
- Dry Cough
- Cough with sputum
- Irritant Cough
Gastric problem, air pollution, and allergies can lead to dry cough. Additionally, people who suffer from Asthma can have dry cough as well. When there is severe bacterial and virus infection it can lead to cough with sputum. Dryness that occurs during night sleep and sleep in the early mornings can cause an irritant cough, it usually spoils the sleep in the middle of the night or during early morning hours. This type of cough is similar to a dry cough.
Medication for Cough
There are two types of medications that are available for cough. Medicine that is capable of flushing out phlegm along with cough. Another type will arrest cough altogether. The first type of medicine is used for a cough with sputum. Only then the phlegm will be flushed out from our system. The second type of medicine is used for dry cough and irritant cough.
When there is a severe formation of phlegm we need to use “Expectorant” type of medicine. This will flush out the phlegm. Similarly, if the phlegm is released along with blood (Hemoptysis), we can use cough suppressants medicines. But Cough suppressants should not be used if the phlegm has no signs of blood. This will arrest the release of phlegm. This will lead to increase in phlegm formation. Using Expectorant medicine for a dry cough will fetch zero effects to the condition. Pulmonary Function Test is usually advised by Doctors for this type of cough. After this test, the Doctors will prescribe for Bronchodilators medicines based on the results of the test. This medicine will increase the functioning of lungs.
How to use medications for cough
Cough syrups must be used within one month period after its seal is broken. You should not follow the expiry date on the bottle after it is opened. Not following this will not lead to any side effects, but it will have no effect on the cough as well. Some people have the habit of drinking cough syrup because it makes them sleep better. This practice is extremely harmful and dangerous. When you regularly consume cough syrups for sleep, it will arrest the normally released phlegm from the body. This will lead to increase in phlegm formation in the body and lead to unwanted consequences. Drinkers of Alcohol and Smokers will have low efficiency in flushing out the phlegm from their system. It is due to this reason they always have cough problems.
What Should You Not Do During a Cough?
- Ice water and ice creams need to be avoided.
- Avoid consuming citrus fruits like lemon, orange etc. This will increase the cough levels.
- Do not consume anything that is removed from a refrigerator immediately.
- Old curd and yogurt should not be included in the food.
Are there any home remedies available for cough?
Black pepper and Ajwain leaves have the capacity to suppress and control cough problem. Add a little black pepper and cumin seeds to a glass of water, boil it for 5 minutes, filter it and drink it warm.
Take some ajwain leaves and boil it along with some holy basil leaves, strain out the leaves and drink the water warm to get immediate relief from cough.
These home remedies will only give a temporary relief from the problem and make us feel better for a while.
You can drink warm water when there is a severe cough.
If the cough persists for more than two weeks time, it could be a sign of Asthma or TB. So consult a Doctor after this time period.
We cannot cure cough caused by Asthma problem. You should only use inhalers with special medicines to treat it. Never self-medicate yourself for cough problem without Doctor’s advice. Medication that is used by someone should not be passed on to the other person. Different people might have a different reason for cough. There are different type of medications for different age groups. So, always use medications that are prescribed to you by a Doctor.