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Have you ever been the centre of unnecessary attention in a classroom or a meeting because you could not stop coughing? If that was not enough, constant coughing is often accompanied by a sore throat and chest pain. Though we are quick to label cough as an ailment, what most people are not aware of is that coughing is a reflex action. When you cough, it clears your throat of mucus and other foreign irritants. So, it is natural for you to cough from time to time, but the problem arises when this cough becomes persistent and painful.
Usually, the best way to get immediate relief from a coughing fit is by popping the good old Vicks Cough Drops or applying Vicks VapoRub to get relief from cough. Here’s how these two remedies work to offer the much-needed respite from cough.
Vicks Cough Drops and Vicks VapoRub for Cough
Vicks Cough Drops:
If you want an instant feeling of relief from sore throat, get yourself some Vicks Cough Drops that are available in ginger, menthol, and honey flavours. These cough drops make use of ingredients that can provide immediate relief from sore throat irritation.
Vicks VapoRub contains menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil that offers multi-symptom relief from cough and cold symptoms, such as breathing difficulty, body ache, headache, and muscle stiffness. You can apply Vicks VapoRub to your chest, throat and back . You can also add two teaspoonfuls of Vicks VapoRub in hot water (not boiling) for steam inhalation and feel the fast relief within five minutes from dry cough.
What are the Different Types of Cough?
The two major types of cough are:
Here’s what you should know about dry cough and wet cough and its various treatment methods.
What is a Dry Cough?
In simple terms, a dry cough is a type of cough that does not bring up mucus. It starts in the form of a ticklish sensation in the back of your throat and this triggers your cough reflex. This is how your hacking cough begins. Usually, dry coughs are quite difficult to manage, and these coughing fits do not subside quickly. One of the reasons of dry cough is the inflammation or irritation in your respiratory tract, but there won’t be any excess mucus to cough up.1
Causes of Dry Cough
The common causes of dry cough are:
Asthma:One of the common reasons of dry cough is asthma. It is a condition characterised by the swelling and narrowing of the airways. Coughing is a common symptom of asthma, but not the most prominent one.2
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):GERD is a condition that occurs when the stomach acid regularly flows back up into the oesophagus. This oesophagus is what connects the mouth to the stomach. The stomach acid tends to irritate the oesophagus, thereby triggering a cough reflex.3
Viral infection:If you are infected by one of the viruses that causes common cold, dry cough becomes a prominent symptom of the condition. This dry cough tends to last longer as the airways tend to be overly sensitive after a viral illness.4
Postnasal drip:The postnasal drip is the extra mucus that drips down your throat. This occurs when you have a cold or seasonal allergy, which is when your nose responds by producing more mucus than usual. This postnasal drip tends to tickle the nerve in the back of your throat, giving rise to dry cough symptoms.5
Treatments for Dry Cough
Honey + hot water:This is one of the most common and effective home remedies for dry cough. All you have to do is add a spoonful of honey to hot water and drink it. The honey is known to soothe irate throat tissues and gives you immediate relief.6
Vicks Cough Drops and Vicks VapoRub:As mentioned above, Vicks Cough Drops and Vicks VapoRub have been used by families since ages to keep dry cough in check. The ingredients used in these items possess amazing medicinal properties and work actively to provide relief from dry cough.7
Medications:In case the cough does not subside, you might need antibiotics or further testing. It is advisable to visit your doctor immediately.8
What is a Wet Cough?
Wet cough, also known as productive cough, brings up mucus. This type of cough is mostly brought on by a common cold or flu, and is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as a runny nose, fatigue, and postnasal drip.
Wet cough derives its name from the fact that it sounds wet since the body attempts to expel the mucus out of your respiratory system, especially your nose, throat, airways, and lungs. When you have wet cough, you might feel like there’s something stuck to the back of your throat or your chest. Moreover, when you cough, it brings the mucus into your mouth. 9
Causes of Wet Cough
The major causes of wet cough are as follows:
Bronchitis:One of the causes of wet cough is bronchitis. This condition is characterised by the inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which carry air into the lungs. 10
Pneumonia:Wet cough is a symptom of pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Without timely treatment, this condition can become fatal. 11
Cystic fibrosis:Another prominent cause of wet cough is a genetic condition called cystic fibrosis. This condition affects the respiratory system and results in the production of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs and other organs. 12
COPD:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also causes wet cough, which is a group of conditions tending to damage both the lungs and the tubes that bring air into the lungs. 13
Treatments for Wet Cough
HumidifierOne of the home remedies for this type of cough is to use a cool-mist humidifier. This works wonders for babies and toddlers who cannot take antibiotics. You can also use some saline drops in the nasal passage and clean the nose using a bulb syringe.14
Antibiotics:If the wet cough doesn’t subside despite the home remedies, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics if the cough is caused by a bacterial infection.15Besides dry and wet cough, people also tend to suffer from paroxysmal cough (whooping cough) or croup cough (affecting children below 5 years of age). Though cough is your body’s way of keeping your system clean, it can also be a symptom of an underlying condition. 16
- There are several treatments and remedies for cough but visit your doctor immediately if this cough doesn’t subside.
- Use the product as directed and always read the label.
2., 3., 4., 5. https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-cough#common-causes
6., 7., 8. https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-cough#treatment
10., 11., 12., 13. https://www.healthline.com/health/wet-cough#causes-in-young-children
14., 15. https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-coughs#wet-cough