There are several different kinds of cough. The root cause of each type is different; therefore, the treatment of each one needs to be slightly different. You need to understand the different types, so that you can choose the right cough treatment.
You can have a dry, chesty, barking, whooping, reflex or psychogenic cough. If you have a whooping cough, you need to seek immediate medical help. Getting proper medical treatment, quickly, is particularly important when the sufferer is a child.
Treating Coughs Using Over the Counter Remedies
All of these kinds of coughs can be treated, in the first instance, using over the counter remedies. You should choose a cough remedy that matches the symptoms you are suffering from. Therefore, if you have a cough accompanied by mucus in the throat look for chesty cough treatments. These usually contain an expectorant to loosen the mucus and allow you to cough it up.
A cough with no accompanying mucus can be treated with a cough syrup for a dry cough. These syrups work as a suppressant to stop you from coughing constantly. This helps to ensure that you get a good night's sleep, can eat properly and that your throat does not become stressed and very sore from too much coughing.
If you are in any doubt about which kind of cough you have ask your pharmacist. You can also find advice that is more detailed on the web to help you to recognise which kind of cough you are suffering from and treat it effectively.
Treating a Persistent Cough
If you have a persistent cough that does not respond to treatment after three weeks, you must see a doctor. Should your cough make your throat very sore or you find yourself short of breath seek help sooner than that. If you cough up dark or bloody phlegm, you should also seek proper medical help as soon as possible.
Over the counter remedies are fine, but only up to a point and only if they actually alleviate the cough. It is important to know when to seek more specialist medical advice. If your cough is stopping you from sleeping or eating properly, you should also seek medical help sooner than three weeks.
If you have a chronic cough visit, the Mucus Management website to find out more about what could be causing it and when you should seek medical help.