Cough accompanied by mucus, phlegm or sputum is usually called a productive cough. This could be a sign of developing a lung infection. When there is a build-up of phlegm in the throat, it irritates the airways and cause discomfort to the patient. The result is cough through which mucus is expelled. Cough accompanied by phlegm is called a productive cough. Depending on the type of cough you have, your doctor will perform a physical examination, and other investigations. These include chest X-ray radiography, blood, sputum examination, ECG and CT to rule out serious diseases such as tuberculosis or lung cancer.
Medical treatment for productive cough
Productive cough remedies aim the cause that trigger the production of mucus and its thinning and elimination. Productive cough treatment recommended by your doctor could include the use of antitussive without a prescription, and expectorants and mucolytics to streamline mucus and relieve coughs.
Decongestants are not recommended when mucus is highly viscous, but rather when it is fluid and obstructs the airways. Some side effects include dizziness, nervousness and hypertension.
Antihistamines block and limit the action of histamine which are triggered by an allergic reaction that causes swelling of the nose and thinning of the mucus. The main negative effects are: dry mouth, dizziness and headache.
Expectorants contain guaifenesin which is designed to streamline mucus. Diluted mucus can be more easily removed. Among the adverse effects of expectorants with guaifenesin are: dizziness, headache, vomiting and nausea.
Expectorants should not be combined with antihistamines, decongestants or antitussives because they can have negative side effects.
Productive cough is common and can lead to serious complications if not treated on time. If the person is suffering from serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis or pulmonary infection, early treatment can help diagnose the problem earlier. For children, even the accumulation of phlegm in the chest from the cold can cause chest congestion – a situation that could be very serious for young children.
Natural remedies and home treatment for productive cough
Breathing warm steam from the bathroom, where the shower with hot water was turned on, proved to be quite effective to liquefy mucus and keep the airways’ humidity. You could inhale the steam coming from boiled water in a saucepan in which were added a few drops of eucalyptus, menthol or peppermint. Inhale deeply.
Among the foods you can eat in order decay mucus include:
Avoid eating cold foods and drinks when excessive mucus is present. Instead, eat and drink hot dishes which help thin the mucus and allow its easy removal. Herbal teas are very useful, drank hot and spicy foods (hot peppers or horseradish). Apply heat on the chest several times throughout the day. If productive cough is bad and you can place a warm towel around the neck to improve it.
Gargle with salt water. Rinse throat and then spit water. Mucus is removed from the upper airways and cough will improve temporarily.
Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with an equal amount of grape juice. Drink this mixture three times a day for 5 days. Grape juice has quite an effective expectorant action and can help eliminate phlegm.
Squeeze in a cup of boiling water juice from one lemon and an onion. Add honey and let it cool at room temperature. Drink the contents in one inning. Prepare yourself that drink three times a day for 2-3 days until you manage to remove phlegm.
Boil a handful of mint leaves mixed with eucalyptus in a large pot. After the leaves have started to boil, remove the pot from the heat and lean over it, holding a towel over your head. Inhale deeply the vapors. They will open and maintain the sinuses’ humidity and will dry the mucus.