Even a little cough can be debilitating and at the very least, obnoxious. Coughs can be painful and tiring. Most of the time, you can manage your cough at home with over-the-counter medications or at-home remedies. There are many factors you may need to consider, however. Below, we’ve offered some great advice on obtaining some cough relief.
Why Are You Coughing?
The first thing you have to try to figure out is why you’re coughing in the first place. There can be many causes, so it’s best to figure out which applies to you or, at the very least, which causes don’t apply to you. Ask yourself these questions to help eliminate some suspects:
• Is it cold and flu season?
• Do you have allergies?
• Do you have asthma or are you a smoker?
• Do you suffer from acid reflux?
• Are you taking medications that may list coughing as a side effect
Determining what has caused the cough will help determine the proper method in which you treat it. Most of these causes can be helped by easily bought medications or things you can do at home. If you suspect it is more serious, contact your physician immediately.
Things To Try At Home (Before Reaching For The Medicine)
• Drink lots of water: Respiratory infections caused by colds or the flu can cause irritation. Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin out mucus and keep membranes moist.
• Try lozenges: Menthol cough drops can help numb the throat, reducing pain and actually decreasing your cough reflex.
• Drink some hot drinks: Warm tea (especially with honey) can soothe your throat and again, may help reduce your cough reflex.
• Take a steamy shower: Hot showers can loosen mucus secretions in your nose, especially if you’re suffering from allergy or sinus problems.
• Use a humidifier: If the air in your home is dry, putting moisture into the air via a humidifier can help relieve nasty, dry coughs.
• Gargle: Gargling warm salt water won’t make your cough go away, but it can ease some discomfort caused by the cough by reducing swelling.
• Decongestants: These medicines reduce mucus production and help dry up the mucus in your lungs. This opens up the airway passages, helping you to cough less.
• Cough expectorants: These are normally only used at night and they thin out the mucus so you can more easily cough it up. If you’re coughing because you’re full of mucus, this may help reduce the amount you cough.
• Cough suppressants: If your cough is borderline awful and it is causing you pain, this may be the route to go. These help cut the number of times you cough, significantly. This can reduce the pain you feel from your cough.
For best results, try a couple of these remedies at one time. For example, trying an at-home remedy during the day will help alleviate discomfort, and using an expectorant at night could help you sleep better. If you are unsure on which medication may be best suited for your needs, consult a pharmacist, who can make you aware of the ingredients and what they do. Trying these tips will surely set you on the right path for quick and easy cough relief.