#PigilHiningaMoments and how to fight them

    Dr. Gwen Agra

    Like any other day since the pandemic began, Sol, a real estate executive, is about to attend a virtual meeting. As he patiently awaits the other participants, he suddenly felt a tickle in his throat. He tried clearing it but it just won’t go away so he let out a little cough.

    When he tilted his monitor back up, all 12 of his colleagues were in the gallery wearing facial masks and shields.

    Was that embarrassing?

    Wait till you hear the story of Ace, a tech guy who has a major crush on the account executive named Suzie, but couldn’t make her notice him. One day, an opportunity presented itself as Suzie was having technical problems with her desktop computer. Ace goes to the rescue but accidentally choked on his own saliva causing him to cough incessantly. Suzie immediately ran out of the room.

    Sol and Ace are only two of countless individuals with #PigilHiningaMoments, the latest tagline of UNILAB’s campaign for Solmux Advance. It aims to educate people that not all coughs are COVID-related.

    Healthy function

    “Contrary to what most people think, coughing is not a disease but rather the defense mechanism of the lungs and airways from irritants like cold air, cigarette smoke, or strong perfumes,” initiates pulmonologist, Dr. Gwen Agra.

    “A cough is a reflex that starts when the respiratory system sensory nerves are stimulated.

    An impulse is sent to the brain which then sends a message to the muscles in the respiratory system to contract to produce a cough,” she says.

    There are three parts to a cough, according to Dr. Agra. First, you take a breath in. Next, pressure increases in your throat and lungs when the vocal cords close. And then there’s the explosive release of air as your vocal cords open, creating that characteristic sound.

    Dr. Agra reiterates, “Coughing is supposed to protect you by getting out stuff that doesn’t belong in your lungs and windpipe. But if a cough persists for three weeks with no sign of improvement, go see a doctor.”


    There are myriad triggers for cough apart from irritants. Some of these are allergies and asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), even acid reflux and postnasal drip. But the most common of all triggers are viruses that cause respiratory tract infections (RTI).

    “Colds and the flu are the most common causes. Wet or productive coughs get the germy mucus out of your lungs when you’re sick. Most will go away in a few days. After a cold, though, some “dry” coughs last weeks or months, the good doctor shares.

    Dr. Agra also warns that “A cough that is a symptom of a more serious condition is unlikely to go away on its own. If left untreated, the condition could worsen and cause other symptoms.”

    UNILAB offers Solmux Advance, an over-the-counter medicine that provides complementary action against Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI) addressing both sticky, hard to expel phlegm and lowered immunity when one is sick. It contains Carbocisteine and Zinc, a unique formulation that aids return to health in no time.

    Unique combination

    Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. It is found in cells throughout the body and helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells.”

    Carbocisteine, on the other hand, has been recognized as an effective treatment for the management of COPD. Several studies also show that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

    Solmux Advance is the only Carbocisteine with Zinc in the market that is proven to give relief to patients by helping speed up their recovery from cough.

    “I usually co-prescribe minerals like Zinc with mucolytic like Carbocisteine. Together, this is an ideal combination that effectively relieves cough by aiding in the expulsion of phlegm with decreased bacterial adhesion to cells and helping in faster recovery by boosting immunity” ends Dr. Agra.