A Cough After a Common Cold: Causes and Remedies

Coughing is your body’s normal response to the presence of microorganisms, small particles or mucus in your airways, or any object that might have accidentally gone down your windpipe. But often, a cough follows a flu infection or a common cold.

Why? Experts agree that there is no definitive answer why you may experience a cough after suffering from a common cold. But here are two possible causes.

The Release of Pro-Inflammatory Molecules

When your body senses that there are viruses attacking your nasal lining and airway, it automatically releases pro-inflammatory molecules, which may also cause you to experience a sore throat. These include leukotrienes, tachykinins, and bradykinins. Coughing occurs as a side effect when these molecules fight off infection.

Production of Mucus

Did you know that mucus is constantly produced by your mucus membranes in minimal amounts around your body? Your throat, mouth, nose, lungs and sinuses have these membranes to protect your airways. Mucus traps viruses, allergens, and dust.

The mucus is less noticeable when you are healthy. But when you are sick, it becomes thick because your body produces mucus in huge amounts to trap the flu viruses. As a result, it stimulates the nerve receptors and endings in your airways, causing you to cough.

Cough can negatively affect your productivity and mood. The good news is that you do not have to tolerate frequent coughing until it subsides on its own. There are a couple of ways to expel the phlegm that causes you to cough, aside from boosting your immune system with essential vitamins and minerals.

Cough Remedies

1. Drinking warm liquids

Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, especially water, because this helps ease the flow of mucus. In return, the fluids loosen your chest congestion.

Adding lemon and honey to warm water or tea is also a good option because these substances can soothe a cough. Drink it as often as you want.

2. Gargling with salt water

Mucus hanging on the back of your throat can be eliminated by gargling with salt water. In fact, this may even soothe a sore throat and kill viruses causing your cough and colds.

All you have to do is to mix a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Gargle this solution for several seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this as necessary.

3. Using eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus can effectively loosen the mucus in your airways so you can easily cough it out. You may choose to spread a eucalyptus balm over your back and chest area or inhale it by using a diffuser.  

4. Placing onions at your bedside

The minute you start chopping onions, you cry, right? The strong vapor it produces when you slice onions can actually help stop your cough.

Cut an onion into four pieces, place them on a plate, and leave this at your bedside. This might appear funny, but this practice is popular in France and Spain. People who did this claimed this helps relieve coughs at night, allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.  

5. Humidifying the air

Humidity plays a crucial role in easing cough because humid air breaks up chest congestion and reduces irritation. Thus, you may have noticed that you don’t cough during a steamy bath or hot shower.

But this does not mean that you must always stay at the bathroom with the hot shower on. Instead, use a humidifier. And always make sure that it is free of molds before using it; otherwise, a new round of coughing will be triggered.

6. Taking cough syrup

Cough syrup is considered an expectorant, meaning that it will help you cough out the mucus by making it thin and loose. Mucosolvan cough syrup, for instance, works in three ways: It loosens your mucus, clears your airways, and prevents new mucus production. Expectorants like this are usually the best solution since they are effective for up to 12 hours.

As with any medication, exercise proper caution in using over-the-counter cough medicines like decongestants and expectorants. Make sure that you are taking the right dosage by checking its instructions either on its label or its package leaflet. If unsure, you have to consult a pharmacist or your doctor.

Seeing your doctor is also highly recommended when coughing does not stop after two weeks, despite doing all the above-mentioned remedies. Bear in mind as well that you should make an appointment with your doctor if your coughing is accompanied by wheezing, difficulty or shortness of breath, chest pain, and blood.

A Guide to What Parents Should Do With a Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

Most parents do not worry much about their children’s milk teeth. After all, they will lose them all in a few years. Baby teeth are, however, an important part of the correct growth and development of the jaws and face. It is always a big concern when a little one’s tooth gets knocked out because it’s usually due to an accident.

To take control of the situation, below is a step-by-step guide below that parents can follow in the case of a knocked-out baby tooth, as they prepare to take the child to an emergency dental clinic.

1. Stop the bleeding.

To reduce bleeding:

  1. Apply a cold compress on the affected site to control the bleeding swelling.
  2. Alternatively, get a piece of sterile gauze. Ask your child to bite down hard on it for a minute or so. The pressure will reduce the blood flow and eventually also cause blood to clot.

Stopping the bleeding first is important because it will help to calm your child down and usually stops them crying!

2. Do not replace the baby tooth

Baby teeth that are knocked out are never replaced. They will not rejoin to the jaw correctly and can affect and damage the adult tooth that is growing underneath.

If the tooth is an adult tooth, re-implant the tooth in the socket as quickly as possible and avoid stopping the bleeding as detailed above first or re-implantation will be more difficult. Do not rinse the tooth in water. If it is dirty, rinse gently in milk or saliva and do not remove the gum tags that are on the root of the tooth. These are important for healing.

3. Find the knocked out tooth.

You do not do this so your child can get a visit from the tooth fairy although this is often a good way to help your child make good of a bad situation!

It’s to find the tooth so the dentist can examine it to ensure there are no broken fragments still in place.

Keep the tooth in a container until you get to the dentist.

4. Head to the dentist for an examination and reassurance.

Everything will be completely under control once you get to a children’s dentistry clinic where the dentist can take over. The dentist will be able to assess the true condition of your child’s mouth to ensure that no other trauma has occurred.

Prompt professional dental treatment is always required in this emergency, for at times, the damage may go beyond the knocked-out tooth. The gums may have sustained an injury as well, and the injury may actually compromise the condition of the permanent tooth that will come out in the same location one day.

It’s crucial to have a good assessment of what happened, so the most appropriate treatment can be carried out. The assessment also helps parents prepare for potential complications to keep an eye on.

Knowing the right things to do in this type of dental emergency can prevent further problems. So, arm yourself with the guide provided here. With this, you can be sure to do the smart thing when you find yourself dealing with such dental emergencies in the future.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual’s requirements, Mike’s focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.

Top 5 Common House Pests to Look Out For

Bees Hi res

Despite what many non-Australians may think, Australia is not the haven for deadly animals that it’s often made out to be. Unlike other countries, we don’t have many large, natural predators. What we do have, however, are several other types of pests that can put your comfort and safety at risk.

They may not have claws, vicious teeth or a venomous bite, but these five pests can cause major destruction to your property and wellbeing when given the chance. Luckily, if you know what sort of common household pests to look out for and how to combat them, you can reduce the overall level of threat to your property.

The following five pests are by no means the only creatures capable of causing a nuisance, but they are the ones most likely to affect Australian homeowners. Keep an eye out for them so that you can minimise potential problems before they escalate.

  • Termites: Did you know that termites don’t sleep? Given their 24-hour schedule, it’s no wonder they can so easily cause thousands of dollars of domestic damage if left untreated. Australia has several varieties of wood and subterranean termites that can affect the health of your home and surrounding property. It’s important to know the warning signs of termites (such as sighting wings, droppings or mud tubes) so that you can exterminate them before structural problems occur.
  • Rats and Mice: Despite popular opinion, not all household pests are insects, as anyone who has dealt with mouse or rat infestations can attest. While quite different in size, both rats and mice are similar vermin that can cause quite a disturbance in your property. Not only will they give you a scare, but they can also chew through electrical wires, ravage your dry goods, leave droppings, transport disease and damage other belongings.  
  • Cockroaches: These insects are durable enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions and even certain pest control methods that would deter intruders. They are attracted to warmth and moisture as well as crumbs and spills, and they typically come out in the dark. Make sure that your food is properly sealed and your rubbish bin lids are on tight to detract these crawly insects from being drawn to your home.
  • Ants: Ants may be small, but they can have a large impact, from carrying disease and eating your food to potentially nesting on your property. Where there is one ant, there is usually a whole colony (but if there’s not, there may be soon). Ants are quite prolific, meaning they may breed within the confines of your home and lead to a much larger problem than you ever anticipated.
  • Bees and Wasps: In Australia, adorning one’s yard with lush gardens and bountiful fruit trees is quite common. What you may not realise is that, despite being beautiful, flowers and fruit plants can be a beckoning call for bees and wasps. If you see swarms of either of these stingers around your property, you should seek help immediately, as it probably means there’s a hive nearby. That being said, bees and wasps can still pose a threat even if they are not in a group. They tend to be quite aggressive; which can pose danger to you and your family.

Knowing which pests pose a threat to you and your home is the first step in combating infestation; The next step is taking appropriate steps to exterminate these creatures if they’re around. If you spot any of these five pests within your property or nearby, seek the help of a local pest control technician to help you get them out and keep them out for good.

The Many Dangers of Sleep Depravation

Lack of sleep at work

People are getting less and less sleep these days and is starting to become a health epidemic.

Work days are getting longer, commutes are getting longer, and the pile of family obligations never seems to stop growing.

People are more stressed today, despite having a better standard of living than a century ago.

Why is that?

People are pushing themselves more and more and sleeping less and less.  Late night television, mobile phones, and stress are the biggest factors in keeping people awake longer.  Couple that with a super early start because of a long commute, and you can see how people are becoming starved for sleep.

Lack of sleep over the long term can lead to a host of health problems.  From cardiovascular disease to high blood pressure to increased stress, not getting enough sleep can lead to life-threatening health problems if left unchecked.

Lack of sleep can also cause more accidents on the road and in the workplace.  Dave Leads of FIT Physiotherapy, a physiotherapy clinic in Newmarket Ontario, says that many of the accidents they treat are the result of sleep deprivation.  It is difficult to concentrate when you have a lack of sleep and it’s easy to lose focus and injure yourself when you aren’t getting enough sleep.

For your health’s sake, create a plan to get to bed early, and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  Your health depends on it.

The infographic below explains a host of health conditions that can arise from a lack of sleep.  The National Sleep Foundation also has a wealth of information when it comes to getting more rest.

Dangers o sleep depravation infographic

How To Avoid Common Sports Injuries

Sports Injuries and How To Treat Them

Have you ever been injured while playing sports?

Unless you only play ping pong, or don’t try very hard, the answer is yes.

Everyone gets injured at some point playing sports.  It doesn’t matter is it’s basketball, football, swimming, or tennis, every sport has common injuries attached to them.

Any kind of repetition is going to bring some sort of strain over time, same goes with sitting in front of a computer all day.

The key is knowing what the common injuries are and preparing your body and mind so that you can lessen your likelihood of getting injured.

When I hurt my shoulder last year playing hockey, I went to Spectrum Physio, a sports injury clinic in Newmarket Ontario for help.  They explained how common certain injuries are for each sport and they usually know exactly the problem as soon as they say what sport it was.  Jason, a physio at the clinic says that not warming up, stretching and preparing before playing can often lead to injuries as your muscles work too hard too fast and it usually causes strain to the body.

One of the sports with the most injuries is football.  I used to play football and still remember feeling bruised and batters after each game, and I was only 18 at the time.  It’s very important to make sure your body is up for the sport you are playing and that you train, stretch and prepare for the sport you will be playing.

Injuries are inevitable, but you can minimize them if you plan and prep instead of just trying to jump into the action without proper prep.

Below is an infographic that shows some common injuries related to football.

Common Sports Injury Infographic

HVAC Troubleshooting Tips

HVAC Tips For Winter Home

Nothing is worse than you HVAC system crapping out on your in the middle of winter.  Actually, crappy out in the middle of summer may be worse.

Your HVAC system is something you take for granted when it is working fine, but like your car, you regret taking better care of it when it stops working for you.

One of the best ways to save money and headaches is to do routine maintenance on your system to ensure it is working properly as you head into spring and fall each year.

While some things are better left to the pros, especially when it comes to gas and electrical, there are many things the novice homeowner can do on their own to ensure a properly working system.

One of the most common and easiest fixes is being sure to replace your filter each month.  Poor air circulation leads to your system having to work overtime to compensate for poor air flow which leads to an overworked system that can eventually fail.  It is also leads to higher energy costs as your system needs to work even harder to produce the same amount of heat or cooling in the home.

Another thing is to check your HVAC ductwork.  If you have metal ductwork, having it cleaned is simple and affordable.  If you have fiberglass or fiberboard ductwork installed, they can be more difficult to clean and may need replacing if they are very old or in bad overall shape.  We had our HVAC ductwork replaced in Toronto last year by Lloyd HVAC and will be saving a few hundred dollars a year on our energy bill as well as cleaner and healthier air in our home.

And if you system is more than 10 years old, you should call an HVAC company to come out and do a full inspection as there are probably numerous things that need to be checked, repaired and possibly replaced.  A few hundred dollars can save you a few thousand later on down the line.

If you’re not that handy around the house, you’ll save a lot of money down the road if you learn some basic home maintenance.  You can learn alot from sites like HGTV or the DIY Network.

Check out the infographic below for additional things to consider when troubleshooting your HVAC system.

 

HVAC Infographic