Cough is a reflex action of the body described as a forced expulsive manoeuvre usually with a characteristic sound. There are 2 types; PRODUCTIVE is a cough producing phlegm and
DRY or non-productive.
Coughs are associated with upper respiratory tract infections and they are usually are self-limiting.
Danger symptoms that require urgent referral to a GP are: very high temperature with a cough, signs of infection such as coloured sputum, chest pain other than when the person is coughing, coughing up blood, any cough longer than 14 days. Asthmatics cough could be a sign of controlled asthma.
A persistent night time cough in children requires a routine referral to a GP to investigate the possibility of asthma.
Postnasal drip may also lead to a cough. Excess mucus runs down the back of the throat causing a sore throat and cough which is worse at night, this can be caused by sinusitis of hay fever.
Some medicines can also cause a cough, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Coughs in children may also be croup which is caused by a virus. This cough can be distressing for both the child and parent. If it is severe, visit the GP.
Smoking cessation will also help reduce cough symptoms and complications of upper tract infections.
Treatment options:
Depending on the type of cough, productive and non-productive we have a range of cough mixtures and medications available in Miller’s pharmacy that may help you, call into our pharmacist Niamh who will be able to provide with advice.