Truth and myths about coughing

We always hear about different beliefs, the dos and don’ts and what we need to do in order for us to overcome our coughs. Often times advise comes from our elderlies whom have practiced alternative healing methods or has been taught about different beliefs through the years. Scientifically speaking, specialist would attest to some of the beliefs, concluding that some are just plain myths and would not do anything to help or heal us. To give us an overview of what are the myths and what are the truths, read further below.

Some common cough myths are as follows:

  1. Coughing is always due to an infection. FALSE. People experience coughing not only because of an infection. There are some cases that people who have been coughing may already have pneumonia or esophageal reflux and in more serious cases heart failure.
  2. The only way to treat cough is through antibiotics. FALSE. Antibiotics are not needed in every case. Antibiotics are powerful medicines that when not taken carefully or have been advised by a doctor may do your body more harm.
  3. It is self-limiting or can be resolved by itself. FALSE. When a person coughs, it is our body’s way to rid it from mucus and irritants that are commonly due to infections. Although, home remedies can give us relief, prolonged coughing should be consulted and treated by a doctor.
  4. Prolonged coughing means you have tuberculosis. FALSE. Coughing for a long period of time can be signs of pneumonia, asthma, COPD or lung cancer.
  5. When you have a cough a warm soup can cure you. FALSE. Coughing is due to infection that’s why proper treatment is needed. Consuming warm soup can sooth your throat and give you relief but never cure you.
  6. Sour food can cause cough. FALSE. Eating sour foods will not make you get a cough. Some may experience a slight irritation in the throat but will pass after awhile.
  7. Cough syrups can make you drowsy and are addictive. FALSE. Not all cough syrups can make you drowsy; there are some over the counter medicines that have no-drowse effects. Also, cough syrups that contain codeine have addictive potentials but not all has this ingredient.



Facts about cough are as follows:

  1. Cough is not a disease  — it is our body’s defence to rid our bodies of unwanted particles and irritants. Although prolonged coughing can lead to more serious cases, it is best to consult your doctor.
  2. If you are still experiencing coughing for more that eight weeks, this is not normal. Long term coughing is a sign that you need to be diagnosed by a specialist.
  3. When you are coughing it is best not to stay outdoors especially if it is cold. Cold weather and coughing makes it more difficult to breathe.
  4. Drinking alcohol with cough can weaken your body’s immune system.
  5. There are two classifications of coughing, the productive cough that helps remove phlegm and the non-productive cough which is harmful to ones health.



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