The cold and cough remedies industry amounts to more than $8 billion and is expected to continue to rise. But is that money you spend on cough medicine a giant waste?
Coughs are annoying and always seem to come at the worst time.
They are most commonly caused by asthma, acid reflux and postnasal drip from a cold. If you’re suffering from a cold, you probably load up on pills and syrups to try to suppress your cough, but Dr. Seth Johnson, a doctor of osteopathy, has some news about those medications.
“Unfortunately, if you look into the literature and you look at studies done on all these cough medications, they're pretty poor," Johnson said.
So, what can you do? He said staying hydrated is essential, and steam from a warm shower can help. You can make a steam bowl and add eucalyptus or rosemary, which may aid in decongestion. But Johnson still recommends the tried-and-true remedies.
“Cough drops can help from the saliva from swallowing, can help soothe the cough reflux a little bit, and honey. Honey is a very good cough suppressant.” — Dr. Seth Johnson
A cough is considered chronic when it lasts longer than four weeks in children and eight weeks in adults. At that point, you should see your doctor to identify the cause.