Generally, coughing is considered a normal and healthy reflex that helps clear your airways or throat from various irritants. These irritants stimulate the nerves in the airways, resulting in forceful expulsion of air from the lungs.
Unfortunately, a cough can sometimes become persistent due to a certain medical condition. It can be very annoying and interrupt your daily life, hurt your chest and tire you out.
There are numerous causes for coughing with allergies, viral and bacterial infections being the most prominent ones. But, sometimes a cough isn’t due to anything related to your lungs, but it is a symptom of another medical condition such as GERD.
No matter what the underlying cause is, the good news is there are several ways you can soothe your cough.
From consuming over-the-counter medication to trying some home remedies, here are five helpful ways to get rid of persistent coughing.
Opt for OTC medications
OTC medications are one of the most common ways to treat a nagging cough. These medications come in various forms such as syrups, sprays, capsules and lozenges, all of which are designed to control coughing. They contain some helpful ingredients which suppress the cough reflex and promote patient comfort.
For example, benzonatate is a popular cough suppressant that is used to treat coughs associated with certain medical conditions such as the common cold and asthma. You can find it in the form of a capsule which you take by mouth to reduce the cough reflex in your lungs and air passages.
Try some natural cough suppressants
If you want to avoid taking over-the-counter medicine, there are many natural remedies that can provide you with immediate cough relief. These are usually herbs, plants, honey and probiotics which have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce cough symptoms.
For example, ginger is a popular herb which may ease a dry or asthmatic cough. The best way to consume it is in the form of tea which you can combine with honey or lemon juice to improve its taste and further soothe a cough.
Other natural remedies you should try include peppermint, thyme, marshmallow root, turmeric and bromelain.
Drinks lots of fluids
Another effective way to quiet your cough is to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids can help thin out mucus which usually trickles down the back of your nose when you are sick. Although coughing can make it easier for your lungs to clear out the discharge, it can cause a burning irritation in your throat.
To ease these symptoms, soothe your throat and reduce your cough reflex you should drink warm liquids. Some hot beverages that may be comforting include broths, herbal teas, warm water and warm fruit juices.
If you prefer a cold drink, then opt for non-carbonated beverages or suck on ice cubes.
Moisturize the air
It is well known that dry air isn’t good for coughing as it can also cause or worsen a cough. Therefore, it is advised that you add moisture to your home’s air with a humidifier to relieve dry coughing symptoms. This is usually the recommended approach for people suffering from an upper respiratory infection which can make coughing worse and cause difficulty breathing and nasal congestion, especially at night.
But, in order to use a humidifier effectively, you should always use distilled water, clean your humidifier regularly and monitor your home’s humidity levels to avoid mold and condensation problems.
Photo by Healthline
If you have a sore throat and mucus when you cough, then a saltwater gargle may be just the trick. Saltwater will help reduce the amount of mucus and phlegm at the back of the throat, lessening your need to cough. It can also help clear away allergens and bacteria that may also cause coughing.
To try it, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water, then gargle and spit it out. If you end up swallowing some accidentally, don’t worry, because that can also help you with dehydration, which is another underlying cause of coughing.
Although an occasional cough is normal and healthy, constant coughing can be very annoying. It can easily interrupt your work, sleep and daily activities as well as cause unpleasant chest pain.
Depending on the cause of coughing, there are plenty of remedies that can help quiet and soothe the symptoms. These include cough suppressant medications, natural herbs, saltwater and humidifiers, all of which can provide immediate cough relief.
For more detailed information on this matter, refer back to our post and learn about the many ways to get rid of persistent coughing.
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