A cough is probably the most common sign of suffering from a cold or flu. Did you know there are subtle differences between the types of coughs and how you treat them? To provide maximum relief so you can get on with your day, learn how to spot the differences to help you find the right cold or flu medicine.
When it comes to cold and flu symptoms, there are two main types of coughs – chesty coughs and dry coughs.
A dry cough by definition is unproductive (It serves no useful purpose). It is caused by increased sensitivity of nerve endings in the throat and is often the result of irritation. The act of coughing makes you want to cough even more. (Cough = more cough.)
How to Treat Dry Coughs
You can treat dry coughs with cough suppressants, such as lozenges or syrups that contain dextromethorphan, to reduce frequency/intensity of the coughing.
A chesty cough may be productive or unproductive i.e., you can either cough and bring the phlegm up, making it productive, or cough without bringing up the phlegm, making it unproductive, but can often feel pain, pressure, and congestion in the chest. You can also have excess mucus in the airways.
How to Treat Chesty Coughs
Treat chesty coughs with expectorants to help you remove sticky mucus from the airways.
Expectorants, such as Guaifenesin, speed mucus removal by watering down (diluting) mucus to make it easier to remove.