Coughs and Colds

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are more than 200 different types of viruses that cause a cold¹, though most commonly we get a cold from either rhinoviruses or coronaviruses.

Coughs are usually also caused by viruses (one of them being the common cold) that cause inflammation somewhere in the respiratory system – in the lungs, throat or windpipe. Coughs can present as either chesty or dry.

What can we do to avoid catching a bug?

Although no vaccination exists for the common cold, below are some important techniques that may help you reduce the risk of getting one:

  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!
  • Regularly wipe down and sanitise any items you use frequently throughout the day, as well as any hard surfaces such as your desk.
  • Dispose of any used tissues immediately and avoid using handkerchiefs.
  • Keep a pocket-sized hand sanitiser in your bag when you are at work or school and use on a regular basis, particularly after touching hard surfaces in public areas.
  • If you are caring for someone who has the flu, keep one metre distance where possible and use a surgical mask where possible to prevent catching the virus.
  • Use an antiseptic spray in the room to kill germs in the air.
  • Boost your immune system with quality supplements such as immune boosters, garlic tablets, echinacea and vitamin C.

Your TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist can help

A cough and/or the common cold can be very disrupting to your day-to-day life. Your TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist can provide you with expert advice about how to ease symptoms, so you can focus on the important things in life.

Chesty Cough

Many people with a common cold will find they experience a chesty cough, which is characterised by a feeling of heaviness on the chest. Sufferers tend to find other symptoms of chesty cough include bringing up mucus or phlegm – a condition that tends to be worse during the night.

If symptoms persist, sufferers should consult a doctor as there may be an infection present. Although irritating, chesty coughs are not usually life-threatening unless there is another underlying health problem at play.

It is possible to seek treatment for chesty cough in the home, with products such as lozenges and cough/cold medicines often the best course of action.

Dry Cough

Having a dry cough can be irritating, especially when it persists and will not go away of its own accord.

Dry cough can be caused by a number of factors, including irritants in the air, smoke, inflammation and infection. For most people, dry cough is due to an infection in the upper airway that comes immediately after suffering a cold.

In the majority of cases, the condition will heal itself, but there are treatments such as cough liquids to help ease the symptoms of dry cough. Lozenges can also help ease any discomfort and are available from your TerryWhite Chemmart store.

If the dry cough persists, is severe or gets worse please see your doctor.

General advice only – this information should not replace the information provided to you by your health care professional. If symptoms are severe or persist, please speak to your health care professional. Information current as of date of publishing.

Always check with your pharmacist or medical professional before starting any new medications or supplements, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are taking any medications currently, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or researching therapies suitable for infants or children.