Coughing is amongst the most recognizable symptoms of illness. Frequent coughing irritates the throat and makes the rib area sore. When you go to the local drugstore, you will find many over-the-counter cough syrups intended for dry and also productive coughs. However, most often it becomes difficult to choose which cough medicine is best for you. Well, the first question is to identify the nature of the cough you have. In case you have a dry cough, you will need a suppressant in order to stop the urge to cough. If there is a lot of congestion, you will need an expectorant in order to loosen the phlegm. Before we discuss the top 5 cough medicines, let’s first discuss the causes that lead to a cough.
A cough is triggered due to several different reasons. Sometimes, it is caused due to environmental irritants and sometimes it could a symptom of an underlying health issue. Some of the common causes for a cough are mentioned below.
Common Cold: This is amongst the most prevalent causes behind a cough. Here the common cold virus attacks the upper area of the respiratory tract and results in an inflammation.
Asthma: In this, the air passage becomes inflamed and irritated. Patients suffering from asthma tend to get persistent coughs, seasonally. A cough is also triggered after an upper respiratory infection or perhaps exposure to environmental irritants.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia causes lung inflammation and leads to widening of the bronchial tubes. As a result of this, the bronchial tubes are unable to clear up the mucus from the lungs and this induces coughing, accompanied by blood and discolored sputum.
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is an extremely contagious bacterial infection which affects the lungs. A key symptom of this bacterial attack is persistent cough. Patients often spit bloody mucus while coughing.
Top 5 Cough Medicines:
Expectorant medicines: In case you feel congested, the best cough medicines are expectorants. These medicines break up the phlegm as well as ease the coughing. Expectorant cough syrups for adults and children are easily available over-the-counter.
Suppressing the cough: In case of a hacking cough, suppressants are the best option. However, some cough remedies are known to cause drowsiness. Therefore it is important to check the label or consult the doctor or pharmacist for a non-drowsy formula.
Antacids for coughing: It might sound odd to take an antacid for a cough. However, if you have no congestion or post nasal drip and also suffer from occasional heartburn, it could be due to acid reflux. GERD can lead to coughing especially while sleeping or lying down. Over-the-counter medicines such as Prilosec and Prevacid are known to be effective medicines to treat this problem. These medicines control the acid in the stomach so that the food does not “reflux” up the esophagus and cause coughing.
Prescription codeine treatment: In case the healthcare professional prescribes a cough medicine, there are chances that it will have codeine as one of the ingredients. Codeine is one of the best cough medicines available to control nasty coughs. However, codeine is known to cause drowsiness, but works much better then usual over-the-counter medications for coughs.
Asthma medications: One of the main causes for a cough can stem from asthma. Therefore, if you have had a history of this disease or experience some of the symptoms, the healthcare professional can make the diagnosis. In this situation, asthma inhalers are the best cough medicines that one can use, to control the hacking.
Before you decide to buy any cough medication, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional to ensure that you do not experience any side effects.