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31 May 2006

Cough, cough. Pay attention please.

Having been bothered by a cough for the last few days and been singularly unimpressed with the variety of medicines on offer, I decided to try a different approach.

I have always wondered why when you have a chesty cough that you drink something that goes in your stomach. The logic seems perverse, like pouring something into your ear for a sore eye. Sure, your body might absorb the liquid and the ingredients might end up in the right place, but this also seems like a waste of time, like taking a pain tablet for a stiff ankle rather than just rubbing something onto the ankle itself. Why not have a directed cure rather than something that affects the whole body?

As someone who did singing fairly seriously for about 6 years (solo, small groups, choirs, Mod Gold Medal competition) as well as taking a keen interest in training singers (article on Gaelic singing technique), I've been aware of vocal sprays for a while.

So I looked for a cough spray, since something inhaled is likely to hit the spot quicker and go into the lungs, somewhere that would be difficult for cough syrup to end up. A search for "cough spray" in returns no pages at all.

The US seems to have got its act together on this one, with several products on the market. Given the advantages of:

1. You don't need to bring a spoon, or wash it afterwards
2. You get an exact metered dose
3. There's no chance of spilling it and making a great sticky mess.
4. The bottle is more compact
5. The container is a lot lighter than a bottle

One wonders why such a product has not caught on in the UK.

Meantime I'll borrow an inhaler, seems to do the job better than the cough mixture.

Sprays: the coffin of coughing (groan).


Anonymous said...

Intersesting. So following your thesis, the only part of your body for which swallowing a medicine is efficient, would be the stomach itself.

Craig Cockburn said...

It's effective to swallow something if your stomach needs it, or your whole body needs it. If the problem is in a specific place and it's possible to apply the medicine directly to that place, then this seems like a more sensible route. Particularly with coughs where its the surface exposed to the air which is the problem.

Unknown said...

Gaelic singing can be so beautiful.

I got the chance to work with Maire Brennan a few years back. What an emotive voice!

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