The first step to taking the fight to a cough, is working out what opponent you’re facing.
Dr Sarah Jarvis does not endorse any medical brands or products.
A cough is a reflex action to clear your airways of irritants . A chesty, or ‘productive cough’ is specifically caused by congestion in your lungs. Your body fights this and tries to get it out of your chest through the act of coughing.
To take the fight to your cough, first you need the cause. Chesty coughs and colds are often triggered by a virus . Which means antibiotics are not suitable. A chesty cough can also be a sign of other problems like asthma, heart failure, chronic bronchitis or a respiratory infection . If it persists, visit a GP.
Watch Dr. Sarah Jarvis answer your questions .
A cough will usually clear up on its own within 3 to 4 weeks . This seems like a long time. But using a suitable treatment can ease your symptoms during this period.
There’s lots of little things you can do to help banish your cough : turn your central heating down low, open a window, do some gentle exercise and get a suitable treatment. However, the most important factor with a cough, is time. Watch Dr Sarah Jarvis answer what is an effective way to treat a cough .
Medicines for chesty coughs  are specially formulated with decongestants (Chesty Cough Mixture Mentholated) or expectorants (Chesty Cough Sugar Free, Mucus Cough Oral Solution) to loosen or break down mucus in your airways making it easier to cough up. Cough medicines formulated to suppress coughs are not recommended for chesty coughs as this can lead to further infections . To take the fight to your cough and get a suitable treatment, visit our product page.