Seeing the Doctor or Treating the Cough Yourself

When do you need to go to the doctor and when can you treat the cough yourself?

Our usual reaction to cough is to ignore it because it is just a minor irritation and will go away after a few days.  After that few days had passed, we somehow resolve the issue by taking the old time remedy of increase fluid intake by drinking a lot of water and fruit juices, eat more fruits and take more time to rest or sleep.  True enough a lot of our common cough and colds are immediately cured by taking these immediate remedies.  But there are stubborn coughs which we often mistake for common coughs that will not be cured even you have taken immediate precautionary measures.  The cough will still progress to the next level where the prescribed home solution has no major effect but a slight and temporary comfort.

Ways to treat a common cough            

  1.  Increase fluid intake.  Whether you are experiencing a productive or non-productive cough, increase fluid intake is usually best way to relieve coughing.
  2. Vitamin C.  This is present in our natural food such as fruits and vegetables.  It is best that you increase your intake in form of fruit juices or fruit as snacks.  Vitamin C helps us to be strong and keep our immune system up and running.  With a good immune system, bacteria causing infection can be prevented.
  3. Take some rest.  The best way to rest and recharge our body is by sleeping.  We should keep in mind that sometimes a cough is a symptom of something more serious.  If we recharge our body, we build and repair our cells and tissues and again allow our immune system to function properly.

When to consult a doctor

  1. If cough is for more than 10 days you should consult the doctor and be able explain the onset and progress of your cough to help him give proper diagnosis.
  2. If cough is accompanied by fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius.  This may suggest infection and antibiotics maybe required.  Do not buy medicines from old prescription as the same medicine as you do not know if you are experiencing the same type of cough.
  3. Chest pains, shortness of breath and a history of heart disease.  For patients with a heart disease, self-medication is not recommended. You should seek advice from your cardiologist during your regular visits to prepare you for emergency situations. And always tell the attending physician about your heart condition because some cough medicines may contradict with your current heart medication.
  4. If you hear a wheezing sound that is like of an asthmatic person.  If this is your first time to experience this condition, you must seek immediate attention as it may cause to heart attack if the asthma attack is severe.
  5. Chills and sweats at night time is a symptom of a more serious condition like Tuberculosis.
  6. Loss of appetite and weight loss.