Wet Coughs   



Wet Coughs

 
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.

Symptoms
You have a 'rattly' or 'tight' chest and there is usually a general sense of breathlessness and congestion. Symptoms often become worse with walking and talking.

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 and expectorant.
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, sticky phlegm.
• Steam inhalations (menthol) are good at breaking down phlegm.
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.
DO NOT:
• 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 and exprectorants.
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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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