A cough is a reflex that keeps the airways and the throat clear of mucus and irritants like smoke and dust. While it can be extremely annoying, it is rarely an indication of anything serious.
A chest cough means that it produces phlegm to clear the airways while a dry cough refers to the type of cough which doesn’t produce any phlegm or thick mucus.
Most coughs don’t require treatment and clear up within a few weeks. However, if your cough persists for an extended period of time, see your GP!
Common Causes of a Short-Term Cough
- Inhaled smoke or dust
- An allergy like hay fever or allergic rhinitis
- A lower respiratory tract infection which affects the lungs/ lower airways, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
- An upper respiratory tract infection which affects the throat, sinuses, or windpipe; such as whooping cough, sinusitis, flu, cold or laryngitis
- A flare –up of a condition like asthma or chronic bronchitis
Common Causes of Persistent Cough
- An allergy
- Asthma, which often causes additional symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing
- Bronchiectasis: Widening of the airways of the lungs
- Bronchitis and other long-term respiratory tract infections
- A prescribed medicine like an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitor)
- Postnasal drip, which is often caused by rhinitis or sinusitis
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
When to see your GP
If you have a cough for a week or two, there is no need to see your GP. But, seek medical attention if:
- Your cough is getting worse
- You have had the cough for more than three weeks
- Your have breathing difficulties or chest pain
- You have other symptoms like lumps or swellings in your neck, weight loss or a change in your voice
As mentioned in the very beginning, mild cough doesn’t require any treatment as it will go away on its own within a couple of weeks. In addition, medicines designed to suppress cough or inhibit the production of phlegm are not recommended, as little evidence suggests that they do work and there is hardly anything safe regarding these remedies.
To avoid having the risk exposure to these medicines and their concerning ingredients, make a remedy yourself! Here is an amazing recipe which calls for readily available ingredients which are organic, all-natural, and completely safe.
Homemade Herbal Cough Drops
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
- Beat the coconut oil until whipped, using stand or a hand mixer
- Add the honey and whip until the two ingredients are fully blended
- Add the cinnamon
- Freeze for half an hour
- Remove the cough drops from ice cube tray
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge
- Use as needed