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Home - Self Help > Coughs


Most coughs, like most colds, will get better without any help from the doctor if you have previously been fit and well with no chest problems. Cough mixes from the chemist may be soothing. Make your own by adding a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Steam inhalation (as used for a blocked nose) may ease the coughing by loosening the phlegm and opening the airways.

When to see your doctor...
Asthmatics should increase their use of their inhalers whenever they develop a cough. They should make sure they know the difference between the preventer and the reliever inhalers if they have the two types. The asthma nurse may be able to advise them. If they are short of breath and the inhalers are not helping they must see their doctor urgently. The elderly or those with previous chest problems should also see their doctor within a few days of developing a cough or shortness of breath.

Other people should contact their doctor if they:
- Cough up blood
- Cough up a lot of thick green phlegm
- Develop pain in the chest
- Are very short of breath


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Please bear in mind that the information contained within this section of the website is NOT in any way implied as advice from any of the GPs here at the practice. The information given is NO substitute to consulting with your GP.

If at any time, you feel that you require the opinion of a Health Professional, please ring the health centre to make an appointment, or alternatively, ring NHS Direct as detailed below.


NHS Direct offers free expert health information and advice 24 hours a day on 0845 4647 or on their website which also offers an enquiry service.

For deaf people and those hard of hearing, a telephone service is available on 0845 606 4647


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