A cough is a reflex produced by your body to expel foreign particles or phlegm that cause irritation and discomfort. It is part of the body’s defence system and protects the body against foreign particles. Coughing can last for weeks to months and depending on the duration it can be acute or chronic. It can also be occasional and occur when exposed to pollution, allergens or other irritants.
Coughing can be a symptom of several diseases such as tuberculosis, flu, bronchitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis and so on. There are several cough treatment methods that provide relief from mild to incessant coughing. However, if coughing constantly starts interfering with your functional abilities then it is advisable to visit a doctor immediately.
You can try any of the following treatment methods to get rid of coughing:
Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is one of the most popular methods to treat a cough. Post nasal drip secreted down the throat can cause irritation and make a person cough. Drinking fluids can help thin out the phlegm and keep the throat moist during a cold or dry season.
Use steam treatment
Inhale steam if you’re coughing due to a dry throat. Steam loosens the mucus and provides moisture to the nose and throat. You can also add humidifiers in your room to breathe in more moisture. This is a widely practised cough treatment method and is highly effective in soothing the throat and easing the cough.
Use lozenges and cough drops
Suck on menthol or herbal cough drops that can help lubricate the throat and reduce coughing.
Dust, smoke and other irritants can cause throat itchiness and cough. Maintain hygiene by keeping the house clean and avoid irritants such as room fresheners and deodorants. Quit smoking and stay away from passive smoke. Exposure to polluted air can also cause a cough, so wear a face mask before you go outside.
There are two types of cough medication that are easily available and help cough treatment. Your doctor will prescribe one of the following depending on the type of cough and the symptoms you are experiencing.
If phlegm is making you cough, you can use an expectorant to thin out the mucus so you can cough it out easily.
If you can’t sleep due to persistent coughing, consider getting a cough suppressant to reduce your urge to cough.
If you still don’t see any significant improvement in your condition, it is advisable to bring that to your doctor’s attention immediately.
Also, seek urgent medical care if along with coughing, you also suffer from any of the following:
- Breathing problems
Coughing up blood