Coughing is a natural reflex of the body and occurs in order to try and clear the airways of mucus (phlegm) or contaminants such as dust or smoke. A cough often arises with a viral infection such as the common cold, flu or with other conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There Are Two Types Of Cough:
These are a Dry (unproductive) cough or a Chesty (productive) cough.
Dry Cough (unproductive)
A dry cough presents as a tickle in the back of the throat. It has no mucus when coughing. A dry cough can occur due to the airways becoming damaged due to an infection, changes in temperature and cigarette smoking. A dry cough may occur as a side effect of certain medicines. If you are concerned that one of your medicines may be causing you to cough, please contact our pharmacist for more information. If a cough lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should consult the Zoom Chemist pharmacist or your doctor. Also, a dry cough in children that is worse at night should be reported, as it may be a sign of asthma.
Chesty (Productive Cough)
A chesty cough presents as a cough with mucus or phlegm. This excess phlegm is produced by the body to help fight infection or to remove contaminants from the lungs. Phlegm that is coughed up, is normally clear, however if it is yellow or green, it suggests that you may have a chest infection. In such cases, you should visit your GP as a course of antibiotics may be needed. If you notice any blood in your phlegm, it could be an indication of something more serious, and you should visit your GP as soon as possible.
A cough often occurs with the common cold or flu and presents with symptoms such as headache, fever, nasal congestion and general aches and pains. If you experience any shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing or chest pain, you should consult a doctor.
Zoom Chemist offer a range of treatments for coughs. The treatment depends on the type of cough you have.
Dry Cough Treatments
Cough suppressants: include pholcodine and dextromethorphan. These work by acting on the area in the brain that causes a person to cough. This therefore helps to reduce coughing. Brand include Actifed, Benylin and Covonia.
Chesty Cough Treatments
These work by diluting out the mucus, thereby making it thinner and easier to remove by coughing. Benylin and Covonia chesty cough preparations are well known and effective treatments.
Decongestants such as Sudafed can help by unblocking the nasal passages and airways. They can help to reduce coughing and treat accompanying symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose. Please ensure you read the information leaflet that comes with these medicines and inform one of our pharmacists if you take other medicines or have other medical conditions. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine may be included in some products to treat coughs. These work as a cough suppressant and can also aid a good nights sleep. Benylin Original is a drowsy cough treatment to aid sleep. If you would like any more information about Coughs, please contact our Zoom Chemist pharmacist, or alternatively please start a new topic on our forum.