Coughing is the body’s natural response to removing and cleansing foreign substances or irritants from the inside of the throat or respiratory tract. In general, coughing can be divided into two types, namely coughing up phlegm and not phlegm.
Usually coughing only occurs occasionally and does not last long. Although some coughs can heal on their own, don’t be underestimated. Coughing needs to be addressed appropriately, so as not to interfere with activity and does not develop into conditions that will affect overall body health, such as decreased appetite, weakness, headaches, insomnia, and injuries to the throat.
Cough Causes and Risk Factors
Coughing generally occurs due to a disruption in the respiratory tract, which is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Inflammation and respiratory infections, such as pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis and tuberculosis, are often characterized by cough symptoms.
In addition, coughing can be caused by irritation of the respiratory tract, either due to dust, dirt, or pollution. Coughing can also occur due to an allergic reaction.
Anyone can experience coughing, regardless of age and gender. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of coughing and worsen existing coughs, including:
- Have smoking habits.
- Have a history of allergies or asthma.
- Live or move in a dirty environment with high levels of air pollution.
- Having lung disease, such as bronchiectasis and COPD.
A Quick Way to Overcome Cough
Generally the cough will heal itself within a few days without special treatment. Even so, there are several ways you can do to speed up healing, namely:
- Sufficient rest and drinking lots of water.
- Drink a mixture of lemon juice with honey.
- Gargle with salt water regularly to cleanse and expel phlegm.
- Prop a few pillows under your back while sleeping so that your head is higher than your body.
- Keep the room clean from dust and dirt, including those attached to fans or air conditioners. Also keep clean of items that you touch frequently, such as cellphones.
- Stop smoking, and avoid cigarette smoke.
- Use a mask, especially when on the move in a dusty or smoky area.
- Routinely washing hands, especially after coughing and also before and after eating, going to the toilet, or caring for sick people.
In order to cough more quickly, you can take cough medicine according to the type of cough you experience. Cough medicines containing diphenhydramine HCl and ammonium chloride can be an option to relieve coughing, especially those caused by allergies. In addition, the two ingredients of the drug can also help you to rest.
If you have a cough with phlegm, you can choose a cough medicine that contains bromhexine HCl and guaifenesin. Both of these drugs function to thin the phlegm so that it is easier to remove. Because it does not cause drowsiness, you can still move as usual after consuming this type of cough medicine.
You should be vigilant if the cough occurs continuously and for more than three weeks. This condition should be treated immediately, because it can be a cough that never subsides is a symptom of a serious disease, such as chronic bronchitis and whooping cough.
To avoid the risk of dangerous side effects, you should read the drug usage information printed on the drug packaging. If your cough gets worse, it doesn’t heal for more than three weeks, accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, and weight loss, immediately consult a doctor. It is feared, the cough appears as a symptom of a disease that needs to be dealt with quickly.