To determine whether your cough is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, it is advisable to consult your general practitioner (GP). Dr. Sara Kayat offers guidance on distinguishing between the two.
As temperatures drop and individuals gather indoors, viruses and various infections thrive and circulate among the population. Whether you’re on a bus or perusing the aisles of your local supermarket, the sounds of coughing have become increasingly prevalent in public spaces.
Many individuals experience chest infections during this season, which can be of either viral or bacterial origin. Typically, these infections are viral, allowing you to employ home remedies and over-the-counter medications for relief, as advised by Dr. Sara Kayat. However, the doctor also cautions about three signs that may indicate the need to consult a general practitioner for your cough.
The television physician clarified that viral coughs typically resolve within a span of three weeks and usually do not necessitate a doctor’s appointment.
During an appearance on ITV’s program “This Morning,” she pointed out, “You can identify it as a viral infection when you experience symptoms like a runny nose, a possible headache, and elevated temperatures. Additionally, with an infection, you may frequently experience discomfort when coughing and in some cases, even shortness of breath.”
“In general, despite the discomfort associated with these symptoms, they tend to improve within a three-week period.”
Regarding when to consult a general practitioner (GP) about your cough, there are three warning signs that might suggest a bacterial infection and require further examination by a GP.
The doctor further explained, “If your symptoms persist beyond three weeks, if they are deteriorating, or if you are experiencing a pronounced decline in your overall well-being, it could indicate a bacterial infection. In such cases, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your GP.”
A highly effective home remedy for cough, as recommended by the doctor, consists of three key ingredients – honey, lemon, and ginger.
Dr. Sara explained, “Honey serves as an antiseptic and helps soothe the throat, eliminating the tickle sensation. Lemon provides vitamin C to enhance the immune system’s performance. Ginger, being a natural anti-inflammatory, further contributes to the remedy.”
She also pointed out that even the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests the use of this home remedy as an alternative to cough syrups and suppressants available in pharmacies, as they are equally effective.
(By Diana Buntajova)