Cold and flu season bring coughs along with it leaving you with chest pain, a sore throat, rasp voice and disrupted sleep. Not to mention your partner may become angry with you for keeping them up all night. Coughs are not only the result of a cold but can be brought on by allergies, acid reflux, dry air, smoking and a number of other factors.
Most of the time you can manage your cough at home and in this class you will learn how to get rid of a cough fast. If your cough has already been persistent for a couple of weeks you should consult with your doctor or physician.
What causes a cough?
A cough is the action your body takes to clear irritants from your air passages that carry air from your nose and mouth to your lungs. A cough occurs when special cells along your air passage get irritated and trigger the involuntary action of air being pushed out of your lungs under high pressure. Sometimes we may cough voluntarily to clear something from our throat, but if you’re still reading this article I will assume your not coughing by choice.
Tips to Get Rid of a Cough
Take a hot shower and use a humidifier in your home. A hot shower can help loosen mucus helping clear your nasal passages. Steam can help ease coughs from not only a cold but allergies and asthma as well. Using a humidifier in your home during the dry months can also help relieve coughs. If you use a humidifier, make sure to follow the instructions and properly maintain your machine as humidifiers can become a breeding ground for fungus and mold.
Avoid smoking cigarettes or smoky environments. Cigarette smoke can be one of the worst irritants and causes of a cough. Almost all smokers will eventually develop the so called “smokers cough”. Whether you smoke or not try to avoid cigarettes or smoky environments such as the local tavern. If you have had a persistent chronic cough and are a smoker you should consult a doctor as it may be a sign of emphysema or lung cancer.
Eliminate irritants in the air. Did you recently purchase a new perfume, candle or bathroom spray? These types of products can cause chronic sinus irritation to some people. If you recently developed your cough after using a new product in your house or personal care product, try eliminating it and see if your cough clears up.
Replace air filters in your home. Regular maintenance and replacement of air filters in your house can help reduce the amount of foreign objects and allergens floating around in your house. Follow the manufacturers replacement recommendations and also perform visual inspections as your filter may become dirtier faster due to pets, during certain seasons or based on your geographical location.
Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids can help loosen mucus in your throat that cause a dry cough. Avoid drinks with sugar in them as they can make your saliva thicker and lead to more mucus and coughing. Herbal teas such as ginger tea have been know to help relieve a cough.
Strengthen your immune system with vitamins and maintain a healthy diet. Taking a multivitamin containing vitamin C and maintaining a healthy diet will help you get over a cold faster which may be the underlying factor causing your cough.
Use aromatherapy oils like eucalyptus and lavender to help relieve a cough. Apply eucalyptus and lavender to your chest and throat area three or four times a day. Aromatherapy can not only help eliminate a cough but bring some soothing relieve.
We always suggest trying natural solutions for any health related issues before turning to over the counter drugs as discussed above. If you have tried all the above mentioned remedies and still have a cough you may want to try one of the following options.
Decongestants can help relieve a cough. Decongestions help relieve nasal congestion by reducing swollen tissue and the production of mucus. They will help reduce mucus in the lungs and open up your airway passages. Decongestants come in pills, nasal sprays and liquids. Make sure to read all warnings labels before taking any over the counter products.
Cough suppressants are a final measure before seeing a doctor. If your cough is giving you a sore chest or preventing you from sleeping you can try a cough suppressant. Expectorants found in most cough suppressants will help thin out mucus allowing it to pass easier helping to prevent further coughing.
Coughs caused by a common cold will generally go away within a week or so. If you continue to have a persistent cough that you aren’t able to get rid of make sure to consult a doctor as you may have an underlying condition such as asthma, allergies, acid reflux or a reaction to a medication your already taking. To help get rid of a cough when you have one of these conditions, the condition must be treated first.