Daily Tribune (Philippines)
Not all coughs are Covid-related
“Contrary to what most people think, a cough is not a disease but rather the defense mechanism of the lungs and airways from irritants like cold air, cigarette smoke or strong perfumes,” says pulmonologist Dr. Gwen Agra.
“A cough is a reflex that starts when the respiratory system sensory nerves are stimulated. An impulse is sent to the brain which then sends a message to the muscles in the respiratory system to contract to produce a cough.”
There are three stages in coughing, Dr. Agra adds. First, you take a breath in. Next, pressure increases in your throat and lungs when the vocal cords close. And then there’s the explosive release of air as your vocal cords open, creating that characteristic sound.
Dr. Agra reiterates, “Cough is supposed to protect you by getting stuff that doesn’t belong in your lungs and windpipe. But if a cough persists for three weeks with no sign of improvement, go see a doctor.”
There are various triggers for cough apart from irritants. Some of these are allergies and asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), even acid reflux and postnasal drip. But the most common of all triggers are viruses that cause respiratory tract infections (RTI).
“Colds and the flu are the most common causes. Wet or productive coughs get the germy mucus out of your lungs when you’re sick. Most will go away in a few days. After a cold, though, some “dry” cough last weeks or months, says the doctor.
“A cough that is a symptom of a more serious condition is unlikely to go away on its own. If left untreated, the condition could worsen and cause other symptoms,” Dr. Agra warns.
Unilab’s Solmux Advance is an over-the-counter medicine that provides complementary action against RTI addressing both sticky, hard to expel phlegm and lowered immunity when one is sick. It contains carbocisteine and zinc, a unique formulation that works towards a quick recovery.
A cough that is a symptom of a more serious condition is unlikely to go away on its own. If left untreated, the condition could worsen and cause other symptoms, Dr. Agra warns.
Zinc is a nutrient found in cells throughout the body and helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Carbocisteine, on the other hand, has been recognized as an effective treatment for the management of COPD. Several studies also show that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Solmux Advance is the only carbocisteine with zinc in the market that is proven to give relief to patients by helping speed up their recovery from cough.
“I usually co-prescribe minerals like zinc with mucolytic like carbocisteine. Together, this is an ideal combination that effectively relieves cough by aiding in the expulsion of phlegm with decreased bacterial adhesion to cells and helping in faster recovery by boosting immunity,” Dr. Agra says.