10 Misconceptions You Don’t Know About The Common Cough
Posted on October 11, 2013 | Author and Reviewed by: Rose Ann C. Galera, RPh
It’s amazing how a simple malaise such as a cough can cause so many assumptions on how to deal with them. Is it classified as a life-long disease or is it simply a childhood affliction? For your convenience, we’ll look at 10 false beliefs about the common cough in this article.
10. Vaccination completely cures cough.
While immunization does prevent cough, such pertussis (whooping cough), it by no means can totally cure it. As the effects of the vaccine wear off, your susceptibility to cough returns, according to a study done by the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry Of Health. In the same research, it ascertained that modern cellular vaccines are 85% effective in preventing whooping cough, and between 71% and 78% effective against mild pertussis.
9. A simple cough is always pertussis.
Pertussis, or a whooping cough, which can be described as a cough where one gasps for air after a series of fits, is not always connected to a simple cough, said Dr. Anne Shuchat, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director in the United States. It would be best to get your doctor’s opinion for proper treatment instead of self-prescribing yourself the wrong medication. As a precaution, parents should consider getting their kids vaccinated at their local pediatrician as early as 2, 4, and 6 months old according to a video done by the Mayo Clinic.
8. A whooping cough is related to post-tussive emesis
This is not true. Not all pertussis leads to vomiting. In research conducted by the NSW Ministry Of Health, it is revealed that older children and adults only have persistent cough. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, post-tussive emesis is simply vomiting after a bout severe coughing,
7. Vitamins cure cough
That is only a marketing ploy. Vitamins can only boost your immune system’s defenses to ailments that cause cough, according to Dr. Lauren Streicher on the Doctor Oz online blog. Research done by Hemilä, Chalken, and Douglas for the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group show that vitamin C only minimizes duration of and alleviates colds, of which coughing is a symptom of.
6. Coughing is a sickness
This is false. As mentioned above, coughing is merely a symptom of the cold, fever, lung, and asthma problems based on an article on WedMD. A cough could be classified as productive – either to release mucus or phlegm from throat, or clear throat from foreign bodies that prevent speech communication with others – or unproductive – meaning it could be a hacking cough caused by viral or bacterial infection.
5. You can’t get infected with a cough when around coughers and sneezers.
Remember when your parents would tell you to move away from people who had colds? They did that because coughing and sneezing is the easiest way for a cough to propagate. You can avoid this by washing your hands when you come from the outside, as the virus can also be transmitted by physical contact with another person or an item that was held by an person who’s sick. Surgical masks are also advisable protection when outdoors, just in case.
4. The palm on forehead technique.
Parents often use this to check the temperature of their kids. If warm, they therefore conclude their child is sick. This is an imprecise method. The best way to check temperature is to use a thermometer, such as an electronic one so the results are fast and accurate.
3. Phlegm discharge color connected to sickness
The color of your phlegm, whether transparent, yellow green, or even a sickly green, doesn’t mean you’re coming down with the flu. Ergo you shouldn’t buy meds just yet. Like #9 above, get checked by a doctor just to make sure. Or you could pop medicine for cough for quick relief.
2. Antibiotics cure cough
Just like vitamins, this isn’t true. They only prevent the spread of the symptom according to the NSW Ministry Of Health.
1. You can get a cough from the rain
This is perhaps the best saying heard from elders to children. “Don’t play in the rain. You might get sick.” While this is highly debatable, science does prove that this IS false. You won’t get sick because of the water particles falling from the sky, but you can catch a sickness IF the weather is cold. Professor Ron Eccles of the Common Cold Center in Cardiff University says in an article that:
“…If they [people] become chilled this causes a pronounced constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and shuts off the warm blood that supplies the white cells that fight infection.”
It goes without saying: persons in colder climates are more susceptible to viruses that lead to sniffles and coughing. Parents, equip your kid with a jacket and umbrella during the rainy season. It’s for their own good.