What allergy medicine should i take for cough
Since allergic cough is caused by totally diverse factors, it requires a completely diverse treatment, which typically involves the following:
- Taking nasal steroids, which also ease the inflammation and irritation along the nasal passageway, keeping the patient comfortable.
- Taking decongestants, which relieves stuffy and runny nose.
- Taking antihistamines, which inhibits the release of histamines and thus, relieves the symptoms such as stuffy nose, runny nose, and swollen nasal passages.
- Avoiding allergens or irritants your body is sensitive to; the most common allergens are pollen, mould, animal dander, and dust mites.
- Undergoing immunotherapy, which means getting allergy shots or little doses of the substance you are allergic to, so that as the dosage increases, the body develops a tolerance to the said substance.
Allergic cough is rarely a serious condition, although its symptoms can be extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially if the patient does not seek medical assistance. If the allergy is not managed properly, there is a risk of developing asthma. So even if allergy symptoms are extremely mild, it is still best to see a doctor to seek relief from symptoms as well as long-term protection from complications.
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Cough experts tell numerous over-the-counter cough medications probably aren’t worth the money.
The cough is one of our basic defense mechanisms. This reflex and that unceremonious expulsion of air, mucus, and microbes spares us every sorts of infectious and inflammatory pulmonary misadventures.
But who hasn’t had too much of a excellent thing?
When the hacking becomes relentless, it can hold us up, wear us out, and lay us low.
Most people first seek relief from one of the countless number of over-the-counter cough medicines. But numerous of these over-the-counter cough medications own little evidence of effectiveness.
Choices, choices, choices of cough medications
OTC cough and freezing medicines come in a bewildering number of varieties. We tell cough and freezing remedies because while there are some products marketed purely as cough remedies — often called tussins — numerous own additional ingredients that are supposed to control freezing symptoms, too.
It may be a little easier to make a choice if you realize that most of these products contain the same few athletic ingredients, in a limited number of strengths and combinations.
Here’s a rundown of the five main types of ingredients:
Expectorants. These cough medications work mainly by affecting the production, consistency, and clearance of mucus in various ways. Guaifenesin (pronounced gwy-FEN-e-sin), which thins mucus, is the most common OTC expectorant. The cough guidelines cite studies showing that guaifenesin is effective, but also point to others showing that it’s not. Desire a free, dependable way of loosening mucus? Just attempt drinking plenty of water the next time you own a cold.
These cough medications work by suppressing the cough reflex in the brain. Dextromethorphan (pronounced dex-tro-meth-OR-fan) is one of the most common ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicine products.
Decongestants. These work by constricting blood vessels, which shrinks swollen membranes and allows more air to pass through nasal passages. As a result, tissues dry out so there is less postnasal drip. Pseudoephedrine (pronounced sue-doe-e-FED-rin), the athletic ingredient in Sudafed, and phenylephrine (pronounced fen-ill-EF-rin) are the most common decongestants.
Decongestants can be wonderfully effective in the short run, but they also present problems. You can become dependent on decongestant nose sprays if you use them for more than four consecutive days.
Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in the illicit production of the addictive stimulant methamphetamine. You don’t need a prescription, but you do need to show ID to purchase it. Pseudoephedrine can potentially make you jittery, interfere with sleep and lift your blood pressure. If you own high blood pressure or heart disease, check with your doctor before using it.
Antihistamines. How these work depends on the source of the problem. If hay fever or allergies are the cause of the congestion and cough, antihistamines are true to their name.
They block histamine, a natural chemical that makes blood vessels leaky and causes the allergy sufferer’s runny nose and watery eyes. But histamine isn’t involved in symptoms of the common freezing. The older antihistamines love brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine own another effect: They inhibit the activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, decreasing the secretion of mucus and widening airways.
Still, exactly how the older drugs suppress a cough is unclear.
Some researchers tell they may work by blocking histamine in the central nervous system. In the brain, histamine is a neurotransmitter, one of the numerous chemicals that enable cell-to-cell communication. Products billed as «multi-symptom» solutions often include these older drugs.
Analgesics or pain relievers. Numerous OTC freezing medications contain acetaminophen. Doses vary, but are every relatively little (less than mg). The harm is that some people may not realize that freezing and cough concoctions contain acetaminophen.
If they also take higher doses of acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for pain, it might cause severe liver injury and possibly acute liver failure.
So what cough medication should you take?
For your everyday cough from a common freezing, a excellent choice is cough medication that contains an older antihistamine and a decongestant. Older antihistamines include brompheniramine, diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine.
The studies that own guided these recommendations can’t possibly reflect every individual experience. If you ponder a product is working fine, it probably won’t hurt you, although you may be paying for a placebo effect rather than a proven remedy.
Always hold in mind the other, less common causes of a bad cough, especially GERD and asthma.
If you own a cough that you just can’t shake, see your doctor and explore the possibility of other sources of your misery.
Get immunized against whooping cough
Instead of treating your next serious cough, you might prevent it by getting vaccinated against pertussis, or as it’s commonly known, whooping cough.
Health officials estimate that over half a million American adults get whooping cough every year — far more than the reported number, which hovers around 10, One reason for the gap is that numerous people don’t realize they own the disease because pertussis produces its signature «whoop» of sudden inhalation only in a minority of cases.
Often the symptoms are simple to error for just another freezing, although it may go on to cause a distressing, lingering cough. Pertussis is a bacterial disease, so it’s treatable with antibiotics, but only during the first few weeks of an infection.
Most children are vaccinated against pertussis, but the immunity wears off. Childhood immunization involves five shots over several years, with diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines combined. Fortunately, adults need vaccination for these three diseases only once every 10 years.
In , the FDA approved two new diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis combinations, one for adolescents, called Boostrix, and another for adolescents and adults, called Adacel.
They resemble the pediatric formulations but contain less pertussis antigen (antigens trigger the immune response that protects you against the disease). An expert committee has recommended that teenagers get a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot, but as we went to press the recommendation hadn’t been extended to adults.
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A cough will generally clear up on its own within 3 to 4 weeks.
There are key differences in the symptoms of a cough associated with the common freezing and allergic cough.
A cough caused by an allergy tends to:
- May happen any time of the year, unlike common freezing, which happen most often in colder seasons
- Lasts for days to months, as endless as the allergens are present
- Cause sudden symptoms that start as soon as the patient becomes exposed to the allergen
While allergic cough can also be accompanied by a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and sore throat, it is never accompanied by fever and body aches.
If you own a cough and you are running a fever, it is likely that the cough is caused by the common freezing. The common freezing also extremely rarely lasts longer than 14 days, so if a cough does not seem to go away after two weeks and does not seem to be responding to freezing treatments and remedies, then it is time to glance into the possibility of having allergies.
Allergic cough can also be accompanied by sinus and middle ear infections. These are not considered as symptoms, but as indirect effects of the allergic reaction. Due to the swelling in the nasal passageways, the sinuses become highly sensitive, thus raising the risk of sinus infection, also known as sinusitis.
The symptoms of sinus infections include pain around the sinuses (which affects the forehead, upper part and either sides of the nose, upper jaw and upper teeth, cheekbones, and between the eyes), sinus discharge, headache, sore throat, and severe congestion.
However, allergic cough, as well as other symptoms of allergies, can also be outgrown. Most people discover that when they enter middle age, their symptoms become less common even when they become exposed to allergens. This is mainly due to the weakening of the immune system and its inability to react as strongly as it used to. However, this does not mean that the allergy itself is gone.
Allergies to certain types of food, bee stings, and latex are the ones that are hardest to outgrow.
A multitude of cough causes
While coughing exists to protect us from infections of the respiratory tract, it is commonly found with other conditions, too. We associate asthma with wheezing and difficulty breathing, but for numerous, its main symptom is a cough. Heartburn is the cardinal symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but the stomach acid irritating the esophagus and the back of the throat can also produce a nasty cough.
Coughing is also a side effect of several drugs, most notably ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril and enalapril, which are mainstays in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure.
The ACE inhibitor cough sometimes begins months after you start taking the drug. Fortunately, there are excellent alternatives for those who own this problem.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bacterial sinusitis, lung cancer — every may announce their presence with a cough.
And, of course, there’s the infamous smoker’s hack.
But among nonsmokers, the most common cause of a cough is that humdrum malady, the common freezing. At least viruses are capable of causing a freezing, which is one reason why it’s so common. When the viruses take up residence in the moist, dark recesses of the nose and upper respiratory tract, the tissue lining those cavities doesn’t take kindly to the intrusion and responds by producing mucus above and beyond the normal output of 1–2 quarts a day.
One result is postnasal drip, a trickle of mucus and other secretions that stimulates nerves at the back of the throat and triggers coughing. This ticklish situation becomes even more so because some infections seem to make upper airways more sensitive than normal.
Several other conditions can also cause postnasal drip and its resulting cough, including sinusitis, exposure to air pollution, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and other allergies that cause nasal congestion.
The trickle-down effect
Postnasal drip triggers a cough because mucus and other secretions from nasal membranes flow below the back of the throat and irritate the upper airways.
Definition & Overview
Allergic cough is a term used to distinguish cough caused by allergies from cough caused by the common freezing.
Cough is generally accompanied by a runny nose and nasal congestion, and these symptoms happen simultaneously when a person is suffering from a common freezing or allergic reaction. It is sometimes hard to diagnose and treat a cough because patients are uncertain as to what exactly causes it.
As a result, they may take incorrect medications and fail to seek proper medical attention.
Cause of Condition
Allergic cough is primarily caused by an overactive immune system responding excessively to certain substances that the body becomes exposed to. This occurs when the body mistakes harmless substances for harmful ones, and thus initiates a defense system to ward them off. This causes the release of the chemical called histamine, which the body releases when a patient is suffering from a freezing.
Histamine is responsible for runny noses, coughing, sneezing, and swelling of the nasal passages, so the patient starts experiencing cold-like symptoms even in the absence of the common freezing. This is when allergic cough comes in.
There is no one cause behind every allergic reactions, but some people seem more prone to them than others.
It generally runs in families, so people with a family history of allergies own a greater chance of developing allergic cough. Studies show that children with one allergic parent own a 33% chance of developing allergies; this number increases to 70% if both parents are allergic.
Allergic cough is also heavily influenced by external factors.
It may take an extreme pollen season or moving into a new moldy environment to cause flare-ups to become even worse than normal.
The body also reacts to diverse allergens; it may be capable to flag below some allergens and defend itself, but it may also drop prey to other allergens. The body generally reacts to the allergens by activating mast cells; it is at this point that the symptoms such as allergic cough start. Once the mast cells burst, the body will be overflowing with histamine. The exposure to the allergen will affect how endless the symptoms will be present, and the quantity of exposure will also affect the types and severity of symptoms. This is why some people are capable to tolerate consuming something or getting exposed to something they are allergic from, but the body reacts when the exposure is continuous, extended, or in excess of what it can handle.
This means that there is a specific threshold for triggering allergic cough.