One of the common winter complaints that accompanies a cold or flu infection is a cough. You can protect yourself from colds by boosting your immune system.
A cough is often the main symptom of a viral infection in your throat, main airway or the airways going into your lungs.
Even though it can be annoying a cough is sign that your body is doing it job to try to clear your airways if they are blocked by something, such as phlegm (mucus), smoke, dust or a piece of food.
Most coughs clear up on their own and you can take care of yourself without visiting your doctor. However, if your cough lasts for more than three weeks, then see your doctor.
If you have a cough and you’re short of breath, cough up blood or have unexplained problems like weight loss or a high temperature (fever), you should see your GP urgently.
Different types of cough
A cough is often described as being wet or dry. This is one of the questions we will ask you before we recommend a cough mixture to help with your symptoms.
A wet cough:
- sounds chesty and phlegmy
- is also known as a productive cough.
A dry cough:
- is less likely to produce phlegm (mucus)
- can sound irritated, harsh, barking, or whoopingis also known as a non-productive cough.
There are a number of ways to help to relieve the symptoms of a cough, and you should talk to our trained staff to help you to choose the best medicine for your needs.
Some of the strong cough medicines containing an ingredient called Dextromethorphan were removed from pharmacy shelves in 2019 and can only be sold with the advice of your pharmacist.
There is a growing interest in taking cough mixtures containing natural medicines such as honey, Ivy Leaf Extract and other immune boosting ingredients.