Fight Coughs and Colds this Season - Southstar Drug

Fight Coughs and Colds this Season

Southstar Drug

Disclaimer: This article features medical and health topics for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or serve as medical or professional advice for self-diagnosis, self-treatment, self-medication, or the like for any health-related condition or medical emergency. Make sure to consult a health care or medical professional for proper medical care, diagnosis, or treatment related to your situation.

Life in the new normal has arguably pushed us to take our health more seriously. Many of us are not only wary of COVID-19, we even go to great lengths just to make sure our families are safe. Thankfully, with the various symptoms that  health organizations like the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) advised us about, we are aware of how we can try to be more prepared. That said, it is not only the pandemic that we should be careful of. Aside from the COVID-19 virus, it is just as important to understand and deal with other illnesses such as coughs and colds seriously.

Though the symptoms may somewhat be similar between getting sick from COVID-19 and having coughs and colds, do not panic just yet. Let us elaborate further, and help you understand the specifics about the two.

Understanding Coughs and Cold | Southstar Drug

Understanding Coughs and Colds

First, a cough is just a symptom.

Experts describe that a cough has three phases.

  1. The Inspiratory Phase or Inhalation. Literally, it means breathing in where air is taken up into the lungs.
  2. The Compressive Phase. This is characterized by an increased pressure in the throat (intrathoracic) and lungs with the vocal cords closed because of the contraction of muscles used for exhaling.
  3. The Expiratory Phase on the other hand, is the abrupt or explosive release of air at a high velocity when the vocal cords open, that gives a cough its distinct sound.

It is crucial to identify that it is not a disease or an infection but rather, the sign for one, whether infectious or not. It can be voluntary or not as it is an act to help the throat or breathing get cleared from irritants such as foreign particles, microbes, fluids, or mucus. Often enough, a normal cough clears on its own without medical intervention.

There are a wide number of reasons for a cough to occur and sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose. However, a check up with a doctor and a chest x-ray always helps. In most people, it can be due to an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI or URI) that includes flu, common cold, or laryngitis. Other potential causes for cough are lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Unfortunately, people may suffer from chronic coughs that can be very forceful because of allergies, asthma, smoking, and other severe conditions. This may last for quite a while and can lead to other health problems such as exhaustion, sleeplessness, dizziness, vomiting and more if not treated right away.

Second, let’s move on to common colds. This is typically a harmless viral infection of the nose and upper respiratory tract or the throat. There are many types of viruses that can cause it and it is expected for a person to have several cases of cold in a year. Because of this, infants and children are more susceptible to colds than adults.

The symptoms of a cold are not the same for everyone but will generally include feeling unwell. Other symptoms include experiencing:

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

Although experiences vary, and the duration of stages may be different, there is a usual pattern to most colds. The four stages to learn are the following.

  1. Incubation (at 10 hours -12 hours). You can start to develop symptoms once you are exposed to a type of cold virus.
  2. Peak (at 1-3 days). This is the stage where the patient will experience the height of the symptoms such as fevers and watery discharge from the nose.
  3. Level to Fade (at 3-10 days).  The most apparent is the color of mucus from your nose. It may change from white to yellow or green, along with your sore throat becoming less painful than when your symptoms peaked. Despite these changes, it can be normal and would not require a series of antibiotics.
  4. Lingering (at 2 weeks). Once the symptoms already fade, for some people the runny or stuffy nose and coughing may linger. Medications will help it clear as well as good nutrition, enough intake of fluids, and ample amount of rest.

Fortunately, it is easy to recover from a cold. Normally, a person suffering from it can wait for the virus to run its course and overcome it naturally without medication. But if symptoms don’t clear, more importantly, if they get worse you must consult a doctor right away.

How to Differentiate Common Cold and Cough from COVID-19

Experiencing a cough or cold or both does not automatically mean you are infected with the COVID-19 virus. There are around 7-9 common and serious symptoms that must be present at once before you start to worry that you are afflicted by the pandemic. If you are worried whether you or someone you know is suffering from COVID-19, please check if the following symptoms are present.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Aside from watching out for these symptoms, the best way to find out is through a viral test that pertains to a swab test and an antigen test. Still, if any of these symptoms are present individually, do not dismiss it casually and consult your doctor or take prescribed medication.

How to Prevent Coughs and Colds

As they say, “prevention is better than cure”. Before the onset of any cough or cold symptoms, it is much better to be mindful about your health. Do not wait to get sick before you consider at least these three things. 

  1. Exercise regularly. It is better to be active at least three times each week to keep yourself healthy. More importantly, this improves  the circulation of your white blood cells (WBC) that helps keep the likes of coughs and colds away.
  2. Sleep! Some people may be greatly immersed in a pile of assignments since the work/study at home set-up was implemented. Others are still challenged with the daily commute. Despite these, it is important to let yourself have enough rest to recover your strength and immunity to help fight the viruses and disease-causing bacterias. Ideally, 8 hours of sleep is needed to maintain good resistance to the effects of harmful elements that surround us.
  3. Eat and drink healthy. Take flavorful, well-balanced meals and drink lots of water to wash down that good food. Remember taking treats or courses with sugar, salt, or cholesterol is not directly harmful. Just have them in moderation and consume enough lean meat, leafy greens, and fruits in all colors to nourish your body with natural vitamins and minerals.

With these simple tips, you can be more prepared and hopely be more resistant to coughs and colds. Moreover, be updated and empowered to deal with illnesses such as coughs and colds better.

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Focus on Coughs and Colds

Hopefully, after reading this article you now have a general idea about coughs and common colds and how it varies from the COVID-19 virus. We understand it can be more stressful and challenging to be sick these days but with the right information, we can work on things we must watch out for. 

Still, do not forget that a proper check up and prescription may be necessary. Fortunately, there are also services such as consultations over phone or online that allow us to consult with a doctor.

In summary, know the symptoms, monitor it, and consult your doctor. It also won’t hurt if you observe the guidelines shared above to prevent coughs and colds in general. 

Now more than ever,  it is better to be careful than to be sorry.

Go to Southstar Drug

Be ready all the time. With the new normal setting in for a while, we must always be prepared, and have our medicine cabinet stocked with the essential medications and supplies.  Go to Southstar Drug and visit us anytime. Get what you need wherever you are by visiting us online or the Southstar Drugstore nearest you.