COUGH DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN YOU HAVE CHEST INFECTION”
Cough is a reflex to help clear your chest and not a disease. If we don’t have this relax, we will all be buried in our own secretions. Our lungs must be moist but free from excessive secretions to help absorb oxygen.
This is what we call as “Hay Fever” and can occur any time. People have been made to believe Hay Fever occurs only in Summer but we know this can happen through out the year.
The mucous membrane (cells on the wall in the nostrils and the wind pipe) starts producing watery secretion to trap and expell the irritants “Runny nose” that is trying to enter your nose and does not mean to say you have a virus or bacteria. If you tickle your nostrils with a cotton bud, the same reaction occurs (sneezing and runny nose)
In Hay fever sufferers and Asthmatics, the same reaction occur but is more profound. These excessive secretions along with the allergens enter the lungs and so need to be coughed out. The cells that produce the secretion swell up and so close the airway (like an automatic door). The key to open this passage door through which the secretions are coughed out is the blue inhaler. People must not stop using inhaler because you think it is making you cough more. Having a good bout of coughing fit after taking inhaler is a good thing because most of the secretions are coughed out.
We cannot stop our lungs producing secretion because the area must be kept moist to help absorb oxygen. Some people start using cough mixtures to stop coughing, this is not a good thing to do because the secretions which are accumulated in the lung must be coughed out.
We know Cough & Cold Remedies Don’t Work unfortunately some doctors and chemist seem to advice you to take them. We advice you not to use irritants (aromatic oils, baby snuffles) thinking it helps your baby to breath better in the night and give cough mixtures. Irritants will increase nasal secretions that will enter the lungs when the baby sleeps at night. The cough mixtures will suppress the cough reflex. These baby will wake up in the early hours (3 am – 4 am) chocking or struggling to breath.
Some doctors are still prescribing antibiotics if you tell them your cough is getting worse after using inhalers. Inhaler is to help you open airways and coughing is necessary to clear the chest. We must avoid temptation to treat this with antibiotics. Asthmatics may need steroids, antibiotics only if they are not responding (have wheeze, dry cough and still breathless) after using inhalers.
Pneumonia produces cough but the coughing is seen only when you are getting better. Initially the lung becomes hard, people cant breath but start grunting and have air hunger. They often are pale, blue and struggling to breath. Once this stage pass off (antibiotic in large dose help), the liquefied lung tissue with dead bacteria (Phlegm or Sputum) must be coughed out.
Cough and colds: When you start having runny nose (Rhinitis) people assume they have caught a cold that is caused by a bad virus. This is not true because the nasal mucosa (cells wall) that cover the nasal cavity is irritated (smoke, pollen, dust, even some perfumes, chilli powder, aromatic fumes) will secrete watery secretion to clear the invading foreign substance (allergens). This is a normal reaction to clear them out. If the secretion is not reduced or stopped, the mucosal lining will be swollen and can block the nose. You must clear the secretion and use some nasal sprays can help. People always tell me that “when they catch a cold it goes straight to their chest”. It is true, the secretions will drip out from nose and also drip backwards and eneter the chest. Using Antibiotics will not help but stopping this excessive secretion and removing the allergen will.
Cough produced by some viral infections (even in HIV patients) are often dry. This is because the lung walls thicken up and the air cannot pass through. They do not cough out phlegm and have dry hacking cough almost bursting out your tummy to produce hernias occurs spontaneously and in the beginning of your illness (Cold, Runny nose, Hay fever, aspiration). This is because the body is helping clear the irritants, allergens, the bacteria or virus trying to enter the chest. Cough due to serious chest infections (Pneumonia, TB) occurs when the infection is getting better. Using cough mixture to suppress cough is not a good idea. The body is trying to get rid of excessive fluid, dead bugs and mucus from your chest. By suppressing cough (using cough mixture) you will prolong the discomfort and your symptoms.
Inhalers are not addictive and are necessary to help clear the airways and are not associated with addiction. By not taking the preventive treatment you are likely to suffer on and off and abuse antibiotics.
People who avoid taking certain treatment that are essential and abuse antibiotics are not only suffering but also likely to be the “Carriers of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Colonised in their Nostrils”. They are a threat to our community.