What is a cough?
Coughing is your body’s way of responding when something irritates your throat or airway. The irritant stimulates the nerves that send a message to your brain. Then the brain tells your chest and abdomen muscles to push air out of your lungs to expel the irritant.
An occasional cough is normal and healthy. A cough that lasts for several weeks or that produces mucus that is discolored or bloody may indicate a condition that needs medical attention.
Sometimes, the cough can be very strong. A severe, prolonged cough can irritate the lungs and cause more coughing. It is also stressful and can cause (insomnia, dizziness or fainting, headache, incontinence, vomiting, and even rib fractures).
While an occasional cough is normal, a persistent cough may be a sign of a medical problem.
A cough is considered “acute” if it lasts less than three weeks.
It is considered “chronic” if it persists for more than eight weeks (four weeks in children).
Some causes of coughing include:
Thick greenish-yellow phlegm.
Have a fever.
Suffer from shortness of breath.
Suffer from fainting.
Suffering from weight loss.
_ Seek emergency care if you have:
▪️ Choking or vomiting.
▪️ You experience difficulty breathing or swallowing.
▪️ Cough up bloody or pinkish phlegm.
▪️ Suffering from chest pain.
Cough medicines are usually used only when the cough is severe, causes a lot of discomfort, interferes with sleep and is not associated with any of the worrisome symptoms mentioned above. If you are using cough medicine, be sure to follow dosing instructions.
Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are intended to treat the symptoms of coughs and colds, not the underlying disease. Research indicates that these drugs have not proven to be more effective than ineffective drugs (placebo). Most importantly, these drugs have potentially dangerous side effects, including fatal overdoses for children younger than 2 years old.
To ease a cough, try these tips:
1. Take cough drops or hard candy tablets.
It may relieve a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat. However, do not give it to a child under 6 years old, due to the risk of choking.
2. Eat honey.
A teaspoon of honey may help relieve a cough. Do not give honey to children under the age of one year because honey can contain bacteria harmful to infants.
3. Moisturise the air.
Use a cool air humidifier or take a sauna.
4. Drinking fluids.
The liquid helps thin the mucus in your throat. Warm liquids, such as tea or lemon juice, can soothe your throat.
5. Avoid smoking.
Smoking can worsen your cough.
The best treatment for a cough depends on the underlying cause. There are many possible causes of a cough, including allergies, infections, and acid reflux.
Treating cough naturally.
People use a combination of natural remedies to try to treat a persistent cough.
Here, we look at some of these treatments in more detail.
1. Honey tea.
According to some research, honey may ease a cough.
A study presented treatments for nocturnal cough in children compared to molasses with dextromethorphan cough suppression medicine and without treatment.
Researchers report that honey provided the most important treatment for coughing, followed by dextromethorphan.
Although the benefits of honey over dextromethorphan were few, parents rated honey as the best of all three interventions.
▪️ To use honey to treat a cough.
▪️ Mix 2 teaspoons (1 teaspoon) with warm water or herbal tea.
▪️ Drink this mixture once or twice a day.
▪️ Do not give honey to children under one year old.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger may relieve dry cough or asthma. It may also relieve nausea and pain.
One study suggests that certain anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can relax the membranes in the airways, which may reduce coughing.
Staying hydrated is vital for cough or cold sufferers. Research suggests that drinking fluids at room temperature can relieve coughing, runny nose, and sneezing.
However, people with additional cold or flu symptoms may benefit from heating the beverage.
Drink the broth.
Decaffeinated black tea.
Warm fruit juices.
A wet cough, which produces mucus or phlegm, may improve with steam.
🔸Make a steam bowl.
To do this, fill a large bowl with hot water. Add herbs or essential oils, such as eucalyptus or rosemary, which may also relieve congestion. Lean over the bowl and place a towel on the head. This traps the steam. Inhale the vapors for 5 minutes.
5. Gargle with salt water.
This simple remedy is one of the most effective for treating sore throats and a wet cough. The salt water reduces phlegm and mucus at the back of the throat, which reduces the need for coughing.
🔸Stir half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Allow the solution to cool slightly before using it for gargling. Let the mixture sit at the back of the throat for a few moments before spitting it out. Gargle with the salt water several times each day until the cough improves.
It is an enzyme that comes from pineapple. It is more abundant in the pulp of the fruit. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties and may also have mucolytic properties, which means it can break down mucus and remove it from the body. Some people drink pineapple juice daily to reduce mucus in the throat and suppress coughing.
Thyme has both medicinal and culinary uses and is a common treatment for coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, and digestive problems.
One study found that cough syrup consisting of thyme and ivy leaves relieved coughs more effectively and quickly than placebo syrups in people with acute bronchitis. The antioxidants in the plant may be responsible for its benefits.
8. Dietary changes for acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a common cause of coughs. Avoiding foods that can trigger acid reflux is one of the best ways to manage this condition and reduce the cough that accompanies it.
The most common foods and drinks that cause acid reflux include:
Fried and fatty foods.
Garlic and onions.
MintSpices and spicy foods.
Tomatoes and tomato-based products.
What can I do to make my cough go away?”, www.medicalnewstoday.com