Colds and flu often cause a short-term cough or, in some cases, can be followed by a chest infection. A cough is a reflex action that helps to clear your airways of mucus, and can be a symptom of a chest infection.
Having a cough can be uncomfortable, but you don’t have to just live with it. There are remedies you can try to help ease your symptoms. Here is all you need to know about coughs, including treatments as well as top tips on how to recover from a chest infection.
A new continuous dry cough or a high temperature could be coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus, you need to get a test as soon as you can and stay at home until you get the results.
Overcoming a cough:
Broadly speaking, there are two main types of cough – ‘mucus’ or ‘chesty’ ones that produce excess mucus of phlegm and ‘dry’ or ‘tickly’ that product no mucus or phlegm.
Most coughs will go away on their own within 3 weeks, but having plenty of rest, keeping warm and drinking water can help relieve the symptoms.
A cough syrup could also help soothe your throat, or you could try lozenges dissolved slowly in the mouth to temporarily stop coughs and lubricate an irritate throat.
For dry coughs:
LloydsPharmacy Dry Tickly Cough
A non-drowsy syrup for soothing relief from irritating dry coughs and sore throats.
To help open airways
LloydsPharmacy Mentholated Bronchial Balsam
Effective, quick relief from troublesome coughs with menthol decongestant.
For chesty coughs
LloydsPharmacy Mucus Cough
Provides quick relief from chesty coughs that are causing you discomfort
Chest infections – all you need to know:
A chest infection can lead to a chesty cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, along with pain or discomfort. You might also experience a high temperature of 38°C or above, headaches, aching muscles and tiredness. These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they usually get better on their own in about 7-10 days, although the cough and mucus can last up to 3 weeks.
If you’re experiencing a chest infection, come in store and speak to a member of our healthcare team. They can suggest decongestant treatments to help loosen the mucus in your lungs as coughing up the mucus helps clear the infection.
It’s important to see your GP if your symptoms get worse, you cough up blood, it’s lasted more than 3 weeks, you’re pregnant, you’re over 65, your immune system is weak, or you have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or asthma.
Top tips on how to recover from a chest infection*:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink lots of water
- Use an air humidifier or inhale steam from a bowl of hot water
- Raise your head up while sleeping using extra pillows
- Use pain relief to bring down a fever, ease headaches and muscle pain
For more advice on how to treat a cough or chest infection, speak to a member of your health care team in store or over the phone. Find your local LloydsPharmacy here.