how to stop coughing? A cough is one of the top diseases for which people got a doctor. Winter is the season that brings coughs causing you a lot of pain. Most of the cases of acough are temporary, but it can be a sign of a serious and bigger health condition. People consider cold and flu as the topreason for acough. However, they are not the only reasons. In this article, we have discussed how to stop coughing.
Coughing is a natural mechanism via which the human body gets rid of unwanted particles in the airway and lungs. It is a defense mechanism, but can also become a big problem if it persists for long. Other conditions that can turn a cough into a problem are:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Common cold
- Chronic bronchitis
- Flu and cold
- Sinusitis or sinus infection
- Congestive heart failure
- GERD and Acid Reflux
- Pulmonary edema
- Hookworm infection
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Staphylococcal infection, especially MRSA
- Swine flu
- A whooping cough
- And so on
The list is endless. Since any of the above highlighted conditions can lead to abnormal coughing, you can treat such a cough by applying the specific treatment method for each of the causes. This means you need to know the cause before you can think of how to stop coughing.
A cough is an act that helps clears the throat and, breathing passage of foreign particles like; microbes, mucus, fluids, and irritants. Coughing can be an involuntary and voluntary action; it happens in three actions;
- An increase of pressure in the throat and lungs.
- A forceful expulsion of air. Typically, the vocal cords are closed while pressure is released, it is then opened during this process which gives it its characteristic sound.
Coughing can be caused by the following reasons;
The most common cases are as a result of a patient having the flu, common cold and laryngitis. This is the case if the upper respiratory tract is infected.
Patients with Lower respiratory tract infection are most likely to have a cough as a result of bronchitis and pneumonia.
Chronic coughing can be as a result of smoking, asthma, post nasal drip, GERD and tuberculosis.
A cough is considered chronic if it is persistent for at least 3 weeks, after which visiting the doctor’s office is advisable. There are several ways to effectively reduce or stop a cough; some may include home remedies or over the counter drugs.
Let’s have a look at the methods to control your cough.
- What is Coughing?
- Coughing Up Mucus
- How To Stop Coughing?
- Reasons for Coughing Up Phlegm of Different Colors
- How To Stop Coughing Attacks?
- Coughing At Night
- What Causes Coughing?
- How To Stop Coughing At Night
- Coughing Fits
- A Dry Cough
- How To Stop Coughing At Night Without Medicine
- How To Stop Coughing From A Cold
- A Chronic Cough
- Cold Remedies
- How To Stop A Persistent Cough/How To Stop Coughing So Much
- How To Stop Coughing At Night Naturally
What is Coughing?
A cough is a common reflex that clears the throat of microbes, irritants, mucus, foreign particles, and fluids. Coughing is either a part of reflex or is done deliberately. Coughing can be a sign of an illness, but mostly it will clear on its own. A cough that will last for more than 3 weeks is known as anacute cough. When a cough lasts for 3 to 8 weeks but improves by the end period, it asubacute cough. If a cough remains persistent for over 8 weeks, it is achronic cough. So, you should see a doctor if the coughing doesn’t clear up on its own and is persistent for more than 8 weeks.
Coughing Up Mucus
A productive cough is when you cough up mucus or phlegm. It indicates that you have an infection in your lungs. There are many reasons why you cough up mucus. Some of them include:
- Common cold
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Gastro-esophageal reflux
The mucus differs in color and consistency; sometimes you cough up blood with mucus. In case your cough mucus persistently, you must see a doctor. The doctor will examine your cough and perform relevant diagnostic tests.
How To Stop Coughing?
There are many ways to treat a cough. Here are few ways that will help you in managing your cough at home.
One of the easiest ways to treat yourcough is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help to break the mucus in the postnasal drip. It will also keep the membranes moist that will reduce coughing as your throat will not be dry.
Take Hot Showers
Another great way to get rid of acough is by taking a hot shower. It will help in relaxing the secretion in the nose. According to experts, it is a good way to stop coughing. You can even use ahumidifier to help you relieve asore throat. This helps in bringing moisture in the air that will help in stopping cough, you have to keep in mind that you should not overdo it as it makes your cough worse.
Get Rid of Irritants
For some people, perfumes and air fresheners are dangerous as they can trigger chronic sinus irritation. It will increase the production of mucus that will lead to achronic cough. This is why you should avoid using scented products.
Reasons for Coughing Up Phlegm of Different Colors
Coughing up phlegm is a sign of an infection and it varies in color. Phlegm of any color indicates infection except white. To get more information about it, you should consult a doctor.
A green phlegm indicates pneumonia.
Yellow colored mucus is an indication of lower respiratory tract infection, sinus infection, cold, flu, bronchitis, allergy or bacterial infection.
Mucus of brown color might be a sign of dust or smog. It can even be a sign of blood or infection.
Red or Pink
A phlegm of red or pink color is an indication of blood.
A grey colored mucus indicates inhaling air pollution.
How To Stop Coughing Attacks?
Cough attacks can be triggered at anytime and anywhere that will leave you gasping for breath. This is usually caused by the mucus that is irritating your throat. Here are some steps that will help you control the coughing attacks.
- The first thing you should do is take a deep breaththrough your nose then close your mouth and nose. You should hold your breath for as long as you can and then exhale. Do it on repeat until a cough calms down.
- If you are at home, you should quickly take a spoonful of honey.
- Take a sip of hot liquid for decreasing irritation of thethroat.
- Drink water and breathe through your nose, it is helpful if you don’t have access to other things.
Coughing At Night
Coughing at night is a serious problem that wrecks your sleep. The annoying sensation in your throat starts with a tickle and turns into a hacking cough. There are different remedies for stopping coughing at night.
Herbal Tea With Honey
Before going to bed, drink a herbal tea that doesn’t contain caffeine. This is because thewarm liquid will break the mucus that is present in your airways. You can even add honey as it is a natural cough suppressant that will also soothe your throat. It is popular for reduction of allergy-related causes of acough.
Another way to treat coughing at night is by using ahumidifier. A warm and dry air can irritate your throat and air passage. There are some people who start to cough when the heater is turned on; this is because of the pollutant built in the heating ducts. When you use a humidifier, it releases a cool mist that will help in keeping the air of your bedroom moist.
Incline the Head Of Your Bed
When you lie down, it’s easy for the irritants to get inside to your throat that causes coughing. It is crucial for you to sleep by having a couple of pillows to raise your head to prevent coughing at night.
What Causes Coughing?
There are several reasons that can lead to coughing, we have highlighted few of the causes of coughing.
- Viruses and bacteria
- Postnasal drip
- Bacterial infections
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart failure
- Damage to the vocal cords
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Therefore, this is acomplete guide for you on how to stop coughing. If a cough is not clearing on its own, you should visit the doctor.
Bronchitis is one of the principal causes of coughing, and this refers to the chronic form of this infection. As its name implies, bronchitis refers to the inflammation of the bronchus. The diameter of the bronchus decreases consequent of this wall inflammation. The walls then produce mucus to counter the microorganisms and irritants involved which will further block the throat and make breathing difficult. The body will automatically stimulate the cough center in the brain to clear the blocked throat. A cough is persistent due to the continuous production of the mucus and inflammation of the bronchial walls, which will not be relieved until the causative organism is removed via antibacterial agents especially.
How To Stop Coughing At Night
A persistent cough can occur either during the day or night. A night cough can be a spontaneous and natural happening, and you may not have to bother if it is not persistent. However, you should start considering finding a solution if the night time cough becomes persistent. At times, it may wake you up and prevent you from sleeping again. Check the tips below on how to stop coughing at night:
- Herbal tea can help. However, make sure you add honey to it. You can drink the tea just before sleeping each night.
- Sleeping on an incline can also help. It prevents the mucus, and postnasal drainage swallowed during the day from causing you to cough at night. You can prevent this by defying gravity, which can be done by sleeping on an incline
- You can also humidify your airways before you sleep at night and during the day to put an end to coughing at night. Dry airways can lead a night-time cough. You can equally reduce the airway dryness by bathing before bed
Coughing fits can be so serious that it can make you vomit. This can occur naturally at times, especially when certain foreign objects invade your respiratory tract. At times, the problem can also be due to respiratory infections. It can be due to allergic reactions or environmental hazards. It can be caused by the conditions highlighted below:
- Cigarette smoking
- Postnasal drip
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Acid reflux
- Acute bronchitis
- Taking blood pressure medication
Coughing first can be caused in children by a respiratory syncytial virus or whooping cough, which is caused by Bordetella pertussis.
Coughing fit can be a result of dehydration or dry throat. It can make your tongue, face or lips to change color to dusky-color or blue. It can also cause rapid breathing or give you difficulty in breathing. Things may even get worse, and the affected individual starts vomiting or coughing blood. When any of these happens, it is time to call the doctor.
A Dry Cough
Different health conditions can lead to a dry cough. A dry cough should normally leave after cold symptoms, but you should consider calling a doctor if it fails to subside after the cold symptoms have disappeared. It can happen when you breathe in heated, dry air. It can also happen due to allergies or environmental irritants. When you first turn on the furnace in the fall, you can also end up with a dry cough; this may be temporary anyway, and it is due to irritants and dust that might have accumulated over the summer being blown into the air.
Asthma, postnasal drip, allergies, environmental irritants and cigarette smoke can lead to chronic dry cough. A dry cough can equally be caused by many chronic lung diseases.
How To Stop Coughing At Night Without Medicine
No need to use the medicine at all times to stop coughing at night; this is because not all night-coughs are due to serious infections. Even if they are caused by infection, they can still be stopped naturally. Some of the tips on how to stop coughing at night without medicine will be given below:
- Keep your bedding clean
- Keep a glass cup of water close by while sleeping at night
- Use humidifier
- Sleep on incline
- Drink herbal tea with honey
- You can lick honey each time the cough begins.
Honey has an antibacterial effect and will help inhibit a night cough if it is caused by bacteria.
How To Stop Coughing From A Cold
Coughing is one of the symptoms of a cold. This is a common occurrence, especially during the winter months. When looking for how to stop coughing from a cold, you can visit your doctor or go natural. Make sure you avoid dirty air. Breathing in steam can also help you. You can equally use a decongestant for your cold. Many cough medicines have also proved effective over the years. Before you take a drink, do not forget to heat it up. A teaspoon of honey taken periodically can also help to relieve a cold-associated cough. Hard candy or cough drops have also been found to be helpful.
A Chronic Cough
A chronic cough can ensue due to certain factors, some of which are highlighted below:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Postnasal drip
- Treatment with ACE inhibitor
- Choric bronchitis
Smoking can equally lead to a chronic cough. Many of the cigarettes smokers around will end up with a chronic cough sooner or later. This does not mean non-smokers cannot also end up with a chronic cough. It can lead to exhaustion can also embarrass the individual. The best way to cure a chronic cough is to remove the underlying cause. You can take drugs for treatment and can also adopt certain natural treatment methods, like herbal tea, honey, and humidifier.
Coughing is deeply associated with getting the common cold. Although there isn’t a fast cure for a cold, there are different remedies that would have you feeling better in no time.
Always Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can make symptoms of cold relatively worse. Water, juice, lemon juice and honey are the best ways to prevent dehydration. Avoiding caffeinated sodas, alcohol, and coffee helps as well.
Rest as much as possible, this will give your body time to heal.
Take Warm Liquids
Congested mucus in the nasal cavity can be discomforting. Taking warm liquids like tea or chicken soup will release congestion and make you feel better.
Ease a Sore Throat
A salt water gargle is the best way to ease a sore throat. ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water can help relieve a sore throat.
You can also opt for lozenges, sore throat sprays and hard candy for younger kids who might not be able to gargle properly.
Add Moisture To The Air
A humidifier can help loosen congestion by adding more moisture to the air. The water should, however, be changed daily and the unit cleaned to avoid unclean air.
Over The Counter Drugs
For adults, decongestants and antihistamines can help in relieving symptoms associated with a cold. It is important to always follow a doctor’s prescription while taking drugs.
Remedies for the common cold can help in relieving a cough associated with it.
How To Stop A Persistent Cough/How To Stop Coughing So Much
A persistent cough also known as a chronic cough are treated based on the causes.
Asthma related cough can be treated with glucocorticoids and bronchodilators. These drugs work by opening up the airways and reducing inflammation.
Corticosteroids and inhaled Albuterol are usually given to asthma patients daily to help with coughing.
Coughs that are caused by a bacterial infection are treated using antibiotics.
Coughs caused by certain allergies are treated by avoiding triggers and using the following drugs;
Antihistamines; older antihistamines are used mostly by people with sinus problems.
Inhaled Steroids and Bronchodilators; This combination of medication is usually giving to patients with bronchitis infection. This helps relieve the pain and reduce coughing.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be treated first of all by making some lifestyle changes; this includes; avoiding fatty and sugary foods, eating at the right time and not right before bedtime.
It can also be treated using certain proton pumps like;
Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, and lansoprazole.
Coughs due to reflux might take a while before patients see the effects of reflux therapy.
There are different drugs that can help post nasal drip from cold and allergies.
For cold; Antihistamine like chlorpheniramine and Clemastine can help relieve nasal congestion and help relieve coughs associated with it.
A runny nose can also be helped by nasal sprays like ipratropium bromide, this is an over the counter spray and doesn’t require a prescription.
For Allergies; Nasal glucocorticoids can help reduce nasal inflammation.
Oral antihistamines like fexofenadine or loratadine are also prescribed by doctors.
Nasal antihistamine sprays like azelastine can help with post nasal drip caused by allergies as well.
How To Stop Coughing At Night Naturally
Night time coughs are the absolute worst. Not only are they discomforting, but they also alter a person’s sleeping. This could make you feel weak and drained the next day; the following are tips to help reduce nighttime coughs and ultimately help you sleep better.
Herbal Tea With Honey
It is already a proven fact that warm liquids can help in reducing the congestion of mucus. Get into the habit of taking noncaffeinated herbal tea and honey before bed. The warm tea will ease the flow of mucus while the honey will soothe a sore/itchy throat.
Sleeping flat on the bed with a nighttime cough can be annoying because all the nasal drainage and mucus swallowed during the day usually backs up and irritated the throat at night. The only way to combat this is by sleeping inclined; this can be achieved by propping yourself up with some pillows.
Make Use Of Steam and Humidifiers
Dry airways can make your cough worse. You can find relief by taking a warm or hot bath before going to bed at night. A humidifier can also add to the moisture in the air. However, too much moisture can increase a cough. You can purchase a hygrometer to measure the humidity and, make sure it is at 40%- 50%.
Prepare Your Bedside
Prepare your bedside with a glass of water, cough syrup or drops. Anything that can help ease you back into sleep when you wake up at night should be available to you.
If the exact cause of a cough cannot be pinpointed, then a doctor will usually prescribe a cough suppressant to help with it.
It is advisable to check with your doctor if you have a cough, this way you will be prescribed the most effective drug based on his/her diagnosis.