Coughs and Colds

Published: 21st January 2009
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Time and again, cough and cold have always been a frequent and recurring problem among humans. Cough is an action your body takes to get rid of substances that are irritating to your air passages from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Cough occurs when special cells along the air passages get irritated and trigger a chain of events.
Cold is also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. It is a most commonly occurring, contagious and self-limiting illness that could be caused by any 1 of more than 200 viruses. The increasing number of viruses prevents the body to build resistance. Besides the food in take every day to control these problems, there are several medicines and other medicated bases that would help you defend against these infections and keep you in good health.

For effective curing and to lead a healthy life, it is better if you consult a doctor or physician before taking any medicine and especially if your infection is severe and persists for a longer period.

What is cough and cold?

Cough - This is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs typically in order to clear the lung airways of fluids, mucus or build-up of phlegm in the trachea. Cough is a sudden, repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound. Coughing can also be triggered by a bolus of food going down the trachea instead of the oesophagus. Frequent or chronic coughing usually indicates the presence of a disease.

Cold - This is a common and mild infection that makes you feel tired, achy and lasts for 5 -10 days. On an average, a pre-school kid has 9 colds a year, 12 colds per year for a kid in kindergarten and adolescents and adults will be affected with 7 colds a year. The primary cause of spreading a cold is through hand-to-hand contact or by touching objects that have been touched by a cold affected person.

Rhinovirus is the most common cold virus. Corona virus, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are other less common cold viruses. Symptoms of a common cold include nasal stuffiness and drainage, sore throat, hoarseness, cough, fever and headache.

What are the treatments available?

Cough decongestants - These are medications or treatments that relieve nasal congestion or other bodily fluid. They can be applied using nasal sprays, swallowed in tablet form or liquid form. Decongestants break up congestion, as of the sinuses, by reducing swelling. Usually they reduce swelling of the mucous membranes in the nasal passages. Pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine and oxymetazoline are some types of oral decongestants. Among which oxymetazoline is a commonly available one and is quite helpful in making it easier for one to produce phlegm.

Dry cough - The cough is dry, non-productive, irritating and sometimes with a tickly throat. This is also called as post-viral cough and is generally caused by a virus, head cold or influenza (flu). Dry coughs may also occur in response to a dry atmosphere, air pollution or a change in temperature.

A dry cough could also be a sign of other problems such as gastro-oesophageal reflux, asthma, heart failure or a medicine-induced. Avoiding dry environments and drinking plenty of water would help you in recovering soon from dry cough. Codral Dry Cough Liquicaps X 24 is a non-drowsy formulation that provides fast relief from dry coughs and nasal congestion. It also reduces the urge to cough, clears blocked nose, dries a runny nose and helps you breathe easier. Codral Linctus Dry Cough Liquid 100ml is a non-drowsy liquid and a good choice for treating dry cough and nasal congestion.

Know when your dry cough is severe

When you start to cough up blood or phlegm.

When you are short of breath or feel wheezy.

When your cough is only at night.

When you have a temperature or when associated chest pain.

When you have other symptoms such as an ongoing headache, sore ears and rashes or when you have high blood pressure, a heart complaint, respiratory illness like asthma and gastric problems.

When you have recently lost weight or have general muscle aches.

When your cough has lasted longer than 10 days, with little or no improvement.

Sore throat - Cold causing viruses or bacteria commonly cause sore throat. Sore throat is named for the anatomical site affected. Chemicals, cigarette smoke, injury, allergy or postnasal drip may also cause sore throat. Certain medical treatments such as tonsillectomy, airway management during a surgery or cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation can also be a cause for sore throat. Benylin Sore Throat 200ml gently relieves the pain and discomfort associated with sore throat, colds and flu, headache and earache. It also reduces provides temporary relief over fever.

Know the symptoms of sore throat

Symptoms specific to the throat include pain with swallowing for pharyngitis and a hoarse voice when laryngitis is present.

Formation of pus on the surface of the tonsils.

Swallowing becomes very painful.

Breathing and inhaling will be very difficult.

What are the medications available?

Basically medicines that are orally taken are formed into disk shape, pellet shape or into a small pill like a tablet. Mixture, elixir, syrup and liquids are some other types of oral medicines. Medicine intended for external use includes inhaler, drops, ointment and spray.

Ointment - This is a highly viscous or semisolid medicated preparation used topically on a variety of body surfaces. Tixylix Chest Rub Ointment 50g is a vaporising ointment containing fragrant aromatic extracts, for treating nasal congestion of colds and flu, blocked noses and make breathing easier, especially at bedtime.

Oil - This is a viscous, hydrophobic liquid containing medicated substances. Olbas Oil 10ml, which is a blend of pure plant oils, provides temporary relief of the symptoms of catarrh, colds and sinusitis, the pain of rheumatic conditions and lumbago. You can choose Bosistos Eucalyptus Oil 200ml for recovering from the symptoms of colds and flu and muscular and arthritic pain.

Mixture - This is a product of blending or mixing of medicated substances, without chemical bonding or other chemical changes, so that each ingredient substance retains its own chemical properties. Nyal Bronchitis Mixture 100ml is a good choice for bronchial cough. Chemists Own Childrens Cold & Allergy Mixture 200ml is a good medicine for nasal and sinus congestions, relief of stuffy heads and runny noses associated with colds and allergies.

Liquids - Such type of medicines are in the form of fluids containing medicated substances dissolved in them. You can take Codral Linctus Dry Cough Liquid 100ml that is non-drowsy, for dry coughs and nasal congestion. Duro-Tuss Mucolytic Cough Liquid 200ml is also a good medicine.

Capsule - This is a pill in the form of a small gelatinous case enclosing a dose of medication. Capsules usually enclose medicines in a relatively stable shell, allowing them to be taken orally or be used as suppositories. Ease A Cold Acute Flu Strength Liquid Cap - Day X 18, Night X 6 is a non-drowsy formulation for reducing the symptoms of flu, fever, headache, muscular ache, sore throat, bronchial cough and stuffy nose. Actifed Dry Liquid Cap X 12 is a good choice for relief of dry, raspy coughs. You can take Ease A Cold Liquid Cap X 24 for reducing the duration and severity of common cold including cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, runny nose and hoarseness.

Elixir - This medicated preparation contains an active ingredient such as morphine that is dissolved in a solution containing some percentage of ethyl alcohol. Elixir is an oral medicine. You can choose Dimetapp DM Cold And Cough Elixir 100ml for effective temporary relief of nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and a dry cough. Dimetapp Elixir 100ml is also a good choice for relief of cold and allergy, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy watery eyes and sneezing.

Cream - This a soft solid or thick liquid containing medicaments or medicated ingredients, applied externally for a prophylactic, therapeutic or cosmetic purpose.

Drops - These are medicated liquids that usually come in a number of different formulations. Nasal drops are used for clearing the clogged nasal passage. Robitussin EX Paediatric Drops 50ml is an expectorant that provides relief from chest congestion and coughs in children.

Inhaler - An inhaler is a small device with medicated filling that is inhaled for clearing nasal blocks, when affected with cold. Bosistos Vapor Inhaler & Inhalent helps relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, clear mucus, reduce cough and soothe sore throat. It is easy to use, economical, hygienic and re-useable. Vicks Inhaler 0.5ml Pocket Pack is also a good choice.

Spray - A fine jet of medicinal liquid dispensed from a pressurized container. A spray is mainly preferred for discharging the medicine directly on the affected area. Spray Tish Metered Dose Pump Spray X 180 Doses offers temporary relief of stuffy noses due to colds, hay fever or rhinitis. Difflam Throat Spray 30ml is also a good medication.

Syrup - This is a base containing concentrated or saturated solution of refined sugar in distilled water. Medicated syrups are a blend of medicaments and normal syrup. Nucosef Syrup 100ml is a good medicine. Tixylix Daytime Cough Syrup 100ml helps soothe children's coughs throughout the day and relieves running and blocked noses. It helps loosen phlegm, relieves chest congestion, nasal and sinus congestions.
The author talks about coughs and colds and what medications and vitamins are available to get better. The increasing number of viruses prevents the body to build resistance, that's why it is better to take some vitamins.

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