So you have a very annoying cough with your respiratory infection. STEP AWAY FROM THE COUGH MEDICINES. Do not be in a hurry to spend your money.
Why not? 80% of the time they either don’t help at all, or even more important,, they make you worse.
There’s an old saying in medicine, “Drain-o-mycin is much more important than wonder-mycin of the month, which means, draining or clearing an infection is more effective than putting an expensive antibiotic on board.
And cough medicines actually do reduce the protective cough reflex so mucous secretions build up, get thicker, and FESTER. When mucous is thick and trapped, antibiotics don’t even get there to help, and infections get worse!
What should you do?
Easy. First save your money. Don’t buy cough medicine – even though Madison Avenue tells you they will make you feel better, stop your coughing, do the dishes, and take out the trash. Drink plenty of clear fluids – water or fruit juices. Stay somewhat active – the motion will tend to loosen mucous and help you get rid of it.
Four times during the day, lean over your couch or desk or bed for 2 minutes and get the junk in your chest draining out with the help of gravity. Sounds silly, but it works. If you get the junk out during the day, you won’t have a big buildup at night that will start to drain out when you lie down, causing a cough.
You just have to take a pill? Take Mucinex. It will thin secretions and help them drain. Really, Mucinex is helpful, especially if the secretions are plentiful and thick.
You get a high fever or you feel really sick, get to your doctor. Don’t ask to be treated over the phone. It’s really hard to examine your lungs and lymph nodes on the phone…
This is Dr. J Hocutt for Town Square Delaware Health Alerts. Write to me at AskDrHocutt@TownSquareDelaware.com. My comments are not intended as recommendations for individual treatment. See your personal physician to decide what is bestfor you.