Not a few people who rush to take cough medicine when a cough strikes. Are you one of them? Come on, know when cough medicine should be consumed, so that this complaint can be handled properly.
Coughing is not actually a disease, but rather the body’s natural response to clear the respiratory tract of phlegm and irritants, such as smoke or dust; or from infectious causes, such as viruses or bacteria.
Generally, the cough will subside on its own within a few days to about 2-3 weeks without the need for special drugs. However, because it can interfere with comfort, not a few people want to immediately overcome this complaint in various ways. One that is quite common is to take cough medicine.
Recognizing the Types of Cough
Cough management must be adjusted to the type of cough and the causes that accompany it. If categorized from the duration of the symptoms, there are 2 types of cough, namely:
Short-term (acute) cough
An acute cough lasts less than 3 weeks and is usually caused by an infection, such as the flu, sinusitis, pneumonia, or COVID-19. A short-term cough caused by a viral infection with less severe symptoms generally does not require special treatment.
In addition to infection, acute cough can also sometimes be caused by allergies, for example to cigarette smoke, perfume, dust, dry air, to certain foods.
Long-term (chronic) cough
A chronic cough is a cough that lasts 8 weeks or more. This type of persistent cough can generally be caused by various things, namely:
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Respiratory tract infections, such as chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, or pertussis
Acid reflux disease or GERD
In certain cases, a chronic cough that does not go away can also be caused by certain dangerous diseases, such as lung cancer. In addition to a cough that doesn’t go away, this disease can also cause other symptoms, such as coughing up blood, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and weight loss.
Meanwhile, in terms of productivity, cough can be divided into 2 types, namely dry cough and cough with phlegm.
Should I Take Cough Medicine?
As previously explained, coughs usually go away on their own without special treatment, for a maximum of 3 weeks. However, sometimes the cough can be felt quite severe, so that people who experience it want to get well soon. To overcome the cough, they immediately took cough medicine.
If you want to use cough medicine, you are advised to take it according to the type of cough. If the type of cough you are experiencing is a dry cough, cough medicines that contain antitussives and expectorants, such as dextromethorphan, can be an option.
Meanwhile, to treat cough with phlegm, you can take cough medicine with phlegm that contains mucolytics and expectorants, such as bromhexine.
When using cough medicine, make sure you take it according to the instructions for use and the dosage. If after 5-7 days the cough does not subside, see a doctor immediately.
In addition to cough medicine, many people immediately take antibiotics when coughing, even though these drugs are not always needed to treat coughs. It is important to remember that antibiotics are only effective for treating coughs caused by bacterial infections. This drug is also ideally used according to doctor’s recommendations and prescriptions.
Therefore, if you have a cough that doesn’t go away with regular cough medicine, it’s best to check with your doctor right away.
Overcoming Cough the Natural Way
In addition to medicine, there are some natural cough treatments that you can do yourself at home, namely:
1. Drink enough water
Respiratory tract infections, such as the flu, can cause irritation of the throat and the formation of phlegm that causes coughing. Drinking enough water can help loosen phlegm and keep the throat moist. Drinking water is also good to prevent the body from becoming dehydrated when sick.
2. Consumption of warm drinks with the addition of lemon
To soothe your throat and make it more comfortable, you can also drink warm water or tea mixed with honey and lemon. Honey and lemon are relatively safe to give to children as a cough treatment.
However, honey is not recommended to be given to infants or children under the age of 1 year, yes. This is because giving honey to babies can cause poisoning or botulism.
3. Take a warm bath
The steam that comes out of warm water can help relieve coughs and clear mucus or mucus in the respiratory tract. This method is also good for relieving cough symptoms caused by allergies.