Coughing is a natural way to remove
mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages. A
cough is a symptom and not a disease in itself. A
productive or wet cough, produces phlegm or mucus.
It generally should not be suppressed as it clears
mucus from the lungs.
You have a 'rattly' or 'tight' chest and there is
usually a general sense of breathlessness and
congestion. Symptoms often become worse with walking
You should seek medical advise when:
• you start coughing up blood.
• you run a fever.
• you are short of breath.
• you cough mostly at night.
• you suffer from chest pains.
• the cough has lasted more than five days.
• you have other symptoms and conditions.
Treating wet coughs
The usual treatments are expectorants,
decongestants, mucoiytics or steam inhalation.
• Expectorants (guaifenesin) help to expel mucus,
• Combination products: a mixture of decongestant
Be careful, as some of these can cause rapid
heartbeat, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and dry
mouth. They should not be used if you suffer from
hypertension, heart problems, diabetes, urinary
retention and hyperthyroidism.
• Mucolytics (acetyl cysteine) break down thick,
• Steam inhalations (menthol) are good at breaking
Helpful tips to deal
with wet coughs:
• drink lots of water.
• take hot steamy showers to break down mucus to
make coughing up easier.
make sure you stay warm.
• get lots of rest.
• take an expectorant to expel mucus from lungs.
• take a cough suppressant, as it will cause a
build-up of phlegm.
• take antihistamines as they tend to dry up
secretions leave them in the lungs.
• take combination enough mixtures with suppressants