A cough that doesn't go away is irritating and uncomfortable. In addition to being distressing for you, it can also annoy other people around you. Because your brain forces you to cough whenever it detects an irritation or blockage in your throat, you need to treat that irritation or blockage to relieve the cough. Fortunately, this sounds simple, and it really is! So, here are some practical ways to calm a cough, but don't hesitate to see a doctor if it persists for more than three to four weeks or if you have other symptoms such as a fever or wheezing.
Method 1 of 3: Controlling Your Cough When In Public
Step 1. Suck on ice cubes, hard candies or lozenges to soothe an irritated throat
At home, keep a glass of ice cubes close at hand and suck on some whenever you need some relief. When you're out on the street, suck on a throat lozenge or hard candy to soothe the irritation in your throat and relieve your cough.
- Honey lozenges are especially beneficial as they contain additional soothing properties and are as good as many cough medicines.
- You can buy lozenges and throat lozenges at supermarkets and pharmacies.
- Never give lozenges to children under the age of four as they can choke and choke.
Step 2. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce irritation
The simple act of drinking a little water already helps to relieve a cough, especially in dry environments, because it soothes the throat. In addition, liquids also prevent the lining of the nostrils and throat from drying out and keep the mucus moist, making it easier to expel it.
- Water is always the best choice, but unsweetened fruit juices, decaffeinated herbal teas, and sports drinks are also good if consumed in moderation.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea and sodas, in addition to alcoholic beverages.
Step 3. Drink warm, calming drinks, such as tea, to control your cough
Again, give preference to decaffeinated teas and non-caffeinated herbal teas. Just prepare your favorite tea and enjoy a mug of it as often as you like throughout the day. If you don't drink tea, try an herbal tea, such as peppermint, ginger or chamomile, which are milder.
- Warm broths also help relieve sore throat.
- Caffeine is not indicated because it causes dehydration, which makes coughing worse.
- Mix a little honey or fresh lemon juice to make the tea even richer in calming properties, as well as much more delicious!
Step 4. Stop smoking and also avoid other throat irritants to reduce coughing
Exposure to smoke and dust, among other pollutants, can irritate your throat and lungs. Therefore, avoid smoking, as well as staying in smoking areas and other environments where you are likely to be exposed to pollutants.
Chemical cleaning products can also irritate your throat and make your cough worse
Method 2 of 3: Controlling Cough at Home
Step 1. Elevate your head while sleeping to prevent post-nasal drip
Place an extra pillow or two under your head so that it stays high at night. This upright position prevents mucus from dripping down your throat, which is often the main reason for coughing and waking up in the middle of the night.
Step 2. Take a warm bath to moisten your airway
The steam from a hot bath helps to lubricate your throat and thus relieve your cough. Then, get into a hot bath and breathe slowly and deeply in the steam for about 20 minutes to see if it improves.
If you don't want to go into the water, simply close the bathroom door and breathe in the steam from the room
Step 3. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to increase the humidity in the air
Fill the device with distilled water and place it at least three feet from your bed so that you can use the device several times a day or overnight while you sleep. However, avoid constant use of it and don't forget to empty and clean your humidifier or vaporizer every day so that bacteria don't grow inside it.
- Leaving such a device on 24 hours a day encourages the growth of mold and mildew in the environment as well as inside it.
- Avoid using tap water in the humidifier as the device will turn the minerals in this water into white powder and release it into the air. Breathing in this powder, in turn, can make your cough worse and cause breathing problems.
Step 4. Gargle with warm salt water to relieve sore throat.
Mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 120 to 240 ml of warm water, tilt your head back and gargle with this solution for a minute or so. Then spit the salt water into the sink.
- Avoid swallowing this mixture as it can irritate your stomach.
- This gargle is only suitable for people over six years of age.
Step 5. Wash the sinuses and reduce the amount of mucus in the nostrils using a saline nasal solution
Tilt your head down over the bathroom sink, place the tip of the saline nasal solution bottle in one nostril and squeeze it. Then return your head to the normal position and let the solution run out of the nose naturally. Then just do the same in the other nostril.
- Removing the mucus will prevent it from going down your throat, which would force you to cough.
- When finished, blow your nose gently to get any remaining saline solution out of it.
- You can buy a non-prescription saline solution at almost any pharmacy.
Step 6. Irrigate nostrils and sinuses using a neti pot to prevent post-nasal drip
Fill the neti pot with distilled water and dissolve some salt in it. Then tilt your head to the side, place the nozzle in the nostril that is on top, and slowly pour the solution into the nostril. Breathe through your mouth in the meantime and watch the liquid come out of your lower nostril in a matter of seconds. Then just do the same with the other nostril.
- When finished, blow your nose gently to remove any remaining saline solution.
- Clean the neti pot carefully between uses to prevent germs and bacteria from getting into your nasal passages the next time you use it.
- If you need to use tap water, boil it first to kill bacteria and micro-organisms and let the water cool down before using it.
Method 3 of 3: Seeking a Doctor
Step 1. See an otolaryngologist if your cough does not improve in three to four weeks
A chronic cough can be caused by many common problems, such as allergies, asthma, reflux, or some other underlying illness, so it's best that an otolaryngologist evaluates it to diagnose it properly. To help with this diagnosis, your doctor may order a chest X-ray or a pulmonary function test.
One of the reasons your cough doesn't get better may be a bacterial infection, which can be treated with a prescribed antibiotic
Step 2. Go to a pulmonologist immediately if you develop more severe symptoms
Wheezing, fever, and a cough with thick, greenish-yellow phlegm usually indicate chest or lung infection. In this case, it is best to see a pulmonologist as soon as possible so as not to prolong your recovery, which will involve the use of antibiotics or other prescribed medication. Therefore, see a doctor if you have the following symptoms considered severe:
- Fever above 38°C;
- Cough with greenish or yellowish phlegm;
- Wheezing in the chest;
- Shortness of breathe.
Step 3. Go to a 24-hour emergency care unit (UPA) if you are having difficulty breathing or swallowing
See a doctor urgently if you are having trouble breathing and tell him how long you have had a cough and any other symptoms you are having. You should seek emergency medical attention if you have:
- Suffocation or vomiting;
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing;
- Phlegm (thick mucus) bloody or pink in color;
- Chest pain.
Step 4. See a pulmonologist immediately if you have a cough or wheezing
These symptoms can indicate a more serious condition, such as whooping cough, or whooping cough. If you can, make an appointment with a pulmonologist on the same day or go to an UPA to make sure you're okay and find out what's causing your cough.