Are you dealing with a cough that has been lingering for a long time? That’s definitely a cause for worry. Not only is it uncomfortable and annoying, or perhaps even downright painful and debilitating, but the biggest concern about a cough that doesn’t seem to heal is its true implication on your health.
Things can’t be good if you have what is turning out to be chronic cough. Coughing shouldn’t be part of your daily life. A bout here and there is understandable, but longer than a month, and it has turned into a scary proposition. Besides concern about its true cause, chronic cough side effects can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
Straight to the Source
At the end of the day, the best way to treat a cough is to go to the root. A cough may stem from a wide variety of causes. The following are the most common culprits.
For acute cases:
- Common cold
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Presence of an irritant
For chronic cases:
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Postnasal drip
There are other causes as well, with some of them being very serious conditions. For this reason, it’s important to consult a doctor when you have no idea what could be causing your cough.
Addressing the Cough
While you’re taking care of the source, you don’t need to continuously suffer from its cough symptom. You can also work on suppressing your cough at the same time. You have to start with choosing the right cough medicine. There are different options for the two main types of cough.
Your cough could either be dry or wet. It depends on whether it produces mucus or not. A dry cough is mainly a tickle in your throat. A wet cough, however, produces phlegm when you cough. It’s easy to tell what kind you have just from the sound and feel of it.
A dry cough is typically dealt with by taking a suppressant, while a wet cough is treated with an expectorant. Both types of medicine come in various forms. They can be taken as syrup, capsule, tablet, pastille, etc.
Other Useful Remedies
Coughing can be very disruptive. It can hamper your productivity during the day as well as disrupt your nighttime rest. Besides taking medicine, what can you do to get a break from a stubborn cough?
The following options aren’t necessarily backed by scientific proof, but based on personal experiences throughout the ages, the following have been generally pronounced effective and helpful.
To tame daytime coughing:
1. Drink lots of water.
Staying hydrated is ideal for your health, but it’s especially beneficial when you’re suffering from a cough. Water is the best option as it brings forth pure hydration. It doesn’t have anything that would irritate your throat or thicken your mucus. What it does, however, is to thin your phlegm and help fight infection.
2. Take hot tea or soup.
Other good possibilities for fluids are herbal tea and soup. You usually take them warm, which has the benefit of clearing your air passages and soothing your throat. Make your hot liquid extra healthy by drizzling honey into your herbal tea or using nutritious ingredients in your soup.
3. Suck on lozenges.
This is helpful in suppressing the urge to cough. It soothes a scratchy throat and provides moisture to relieve the dryness that may be causing the tickle. This is a more subtle way to curb your coughing as you perform tasks throughout the day.
To quell nighttime coughing:
4. Use a humidifier.
By adding some moisture to the air in your bedroom, you reduce the dryness in your airway passages, which can contribute to your coughing.
5. Elevate your head during sleep.
If the cause of your cough is postnasal drip or GERD, sleeping with your head elevated will reduce mucus or acid that ends up pooling in your throat and causing you to cough.
6. Apply vapor rub.
This is an age-old remedy that many people grew up with. The menthol balm helps clear your nasal passages and soothe your senses, relaxing your body and quieting your cough.
Take note as well that restful sleep may be induced by specifically taking a nighttime cough formula at bedtime when you can afford to get drowsy.
Your Personal Solution
It’s up to you to try these remedies and find out which one will work especially well for you. The trick is to determine your own go-to cough solution that you can personally swear by.