What is a cough?

A cough is your body’s natural protective reflex that helps clear the airways of foreign particles or secretions that may block or irritate the airways

In fact, it is one of the most common symptoms for which patients seek medical attention.There are 2 main types of cough: namely a wet cough (productive) and dry cough (non-productive).

It is important to understand what type of cough you have, to determine the best course of action and if necessary, what medication would be most effective in relieving your symptoms.

Dry, irritating coughs

A dry cough produces no phlegm and is usually tickling and irritating in nature. Since a dry cough does not present with phlegm or mucus and the lungs do not have to cough it up, it serves no physiological useful purpose, and can therefore be suppressed, if there is no identifiable cause and if it is disruptive, e.g. disturbing your sleep.

A dry cough can be caused by viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), asthma, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, allergies, acute bronchitis and croup.

Antitussives suppress a dry cough and are beneficial when a cough impacts quality of life and to prevent complications such as persistent cough, fatigue and sleep deprivation. Examples of cough suppressants ingredients include pholcodine and dextromethorphan

Wet phlegmy coughs

A wet (productive) cough is a cough that produces mucus or phlegm. It is usually chesty and loose. A productive cough should be encouraged because it enables the clearance of secretions from the lower respiratory tract that if retained, could impair breathing and the ability of the lungs to resist infection.

A wet cough can be caused by various conditions including, an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), post-nasal drip, chronic bronchitis, smoking, and pneumonia.

Pholtex Mucus 200 is an effervescent mucolytic containing N-Acetylcysteine which helps break down and thin mucus associated with a wet cough, making it easier to cough up.