What Causes Coughing? & How to Stop Coughing
Coughing, which is due to a certain irritant that tickles your throat or larynx, is usually a warning sign for a forthcoming cold or flu. Other times, it’s a symptom of an allergy, or bronchitis, or even an acid reflux. Either way, coughing can get as bothersome as it can especially during at night. Despite that, it is part of our body’s system of defending itself to guarantee a proper breathing and clear air passage. Symptoms that may go along with a cough include fever or a high temperature, chills, chest pain, cold, fatigue, headache, wheezing or difficulty in breathing, a congested or a runny nose, and an interrupted sleeping pattern. They usually go away for a few days. Otherwise, it can be a sign of a more serious medical issue.
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Coughing can be classified as acute if it occurs for not more than 3 weeks. It only becomes chronic when it continues for 8 weeks or more. This is a serious condition that gravely necessitates a consultation with your doctor. The type that lasts between 3 to 8 weeks is called subacute cough. Productive and Dry or a Non-productive cough meanwhile involves coughing up of sputum and none, respectively. Before discussing the common yet effective remedies on how to stop this annoying condition, let us first determine what causes coughing.
What Causes Coughing
There are many possible explanations behind coughing. Coughing that is usually accompanied by a tightening of the chest and shortness or wheezing of breath can be due to inflamed airways in the lungs. This chronic condition is asthma. An exposure to various irritants floating in the air can also trigger coughing and lung irritation. Even fumes, mold spores, and other forms of air pollution can worsen the symptoms of asthma. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, happens when the lungs generate too much mucus due to damaged airways — usually caused by smoking — to which the body tries to cough out.
The more common respiratory tract infection such as colds and flu has coughing as one of its most notable symptoms. Pneumonia is a serious respiratory infection that can be treated with antibiotics for less than a month. Acute bronchitis happens when the passageways in the lungs get infected, causing hacking fits to develop right when you’re recovering from a cold. Certain medications such as ACE inhibitors that are employed for hypertension and heart failure can cause a dry cough to some people. In this case, it is very important to consult with your doctor about what should be done. Lastly, even an ailment in the digestive system, such as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease where stomach acids go up into the esophagus can have coughing as a common symptom. Now let us discuss some remedies on how to stop coughing.
How to Stop Coughing
How to Stop Coughing – Staying Hydrated
As always, water is probably one of the best remedies out there. In fact, getting yourself hydrated due to a cough should be your first aid solution. For a start, it helps boost the ability of your immune system to ward off pathogens. Drinking lots of fluid will also help thin out the mucus, addressing postnasal drip caused by an upper respiratory infection. A simple hydration or consumption of soup could likewise easily do the trick for those springing from a dry throat. It keeps the mucous membranes moist as well and addresses the dry environment in your home brought by certain weathers. However, you should be careful with some beverages such as an acidic orange juice that can further worsen an already irritated throat.
How to Stop Coughing – Essential Oils
Essential oils are an effective remedy for nonstop hacking. Any essential oil of your preference, like tea tree oil, thieves oil, or eucalyptus oil, can be rubbed on your sinuses, neck, and on the chest. Do this two times a day particularly when you go to bed. This combination relieves coughing as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory expectorant. You can also benefit from a steam treatment with eucalyptus oil. Just add a few drops of the oil in a bowl of hot water. Put your head over the bowl and breathe deeply for at least 10 minutes. As the steam helps moisturize your dry throat, the essential oil helps break up the congestion. Applying one drop of oregano oil into your throat will likewise suppress coughing.
How to Stop Coughing – Steam and Humidifier
Taking a steamy shower may help relieve a cough since it can loosen secretions in the nose, pacify your breathing passage, lessen the overexcitement in the throat which can trigger hacking, and even alleviate allergies. In doing so, remember to take your time. Humidifiers, especially in a dry home, can also add moisture in the air to help soothe your airway. Putting a few drops of the aforementioned eucalyptus oil in the humidifier is also effective. Just keep in mind to regularly clean the unit as it can pump out molds and fungi into the air instead. On the other hand, try gargling salt water or using a saline nasal spray particularly for cold- or flu-related coughing. It can address the postnasal drip which intensifies hacking.
How to Stop Coughing – Keeping the Air Clean
Normally, microscopic particles in the air can either be the reason on what causes coughing or be a way to aggravate the condition by drying up or tickling your airway to stimulate coughing all the more or produce additional mucus causing sinus irritation. These pollutants can come from anything like strong fragrances from perfumes and scented household sprays to highly dangerous cigarette smoke. Speaking of which, smokers who have incorporated chronic cough, which could be a sign of lung cancer or emphysema, in their life due to the habit should stop smoking once and for all. Also, stay away from cough-causing irritants in the air as much as possible. How to Cleanse Your Lungs After You Quit Smoking
How to Stop Coughing – Taking the Best Sleep Position
There is a reason why coughing takes its toll mostly at night. When you lay supine or on your back on the bed, you are basically allowing the mucus to drain or deposit along with your throat or airway. Also, your lungs’ involuntary impulse to expel foreign materials kicks in even more as its expansion capacity lessens. The best sleep position to avoid this is to lie on your side. Try using more than one pillow to prop up your head to keep the airway open and prevent mucus from assembling in your throat. Above all else, having an adequate amount of quality sleep combined with a proper bed system is crucial for your overall health.
How to Stop Coughing – Sipping on a Broth or Soup
Brewing up and then sipping on a bone broth or stock, especially when mixed in with shiitake mushrooms that can boost your immunity, garlic and turmeric that are rich in antioxidants, thyme that is antiviral, and other cough-fighting and nutritious foods, is very helpful. The warmth alone brought by the soup will help decongest your respiratory tract and alleviate coughing. Try making one at home or buy high-quality and easy-to-make boxed brands.
How to Stop Coughing – Menthol Products and Tea
Lozenges, vapors, ointments, and other menthol products in any form can help alleviate intense and chronic coughing. A menthol cough drop, for instance, can numb the throat to help decrease cough reflex. It also increases the cough threshold or the severity of sensations needed to cause coughing. You can also try drinking warm tea to soothe your dry or irritated throat. Mix in some honey to taste. Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits
How to Stop Coughing – Soothing Your Throat and Performing Breathing Exercises
As aforesaid, preventing tickles on a dry, irritated, and scratchy throat, causing hacking fits in return, can be as simple as providing lubrication. Try mixing together raw honey, cinnamon, a few black pepper, some powdered ginger, and turmeric and consuming half a teaspoon of the mixture one at a time to coat your throat. While the spices mixed in boost your system, raw honey can work its magic as an antibacterial and antiviral agent. It can suppress coughing at night as well. Breathing exercises, on one hand, is used to relieve symptoms of chronic conditions, coughing included. Pursed-lip breathing is a great example.
How to Stop Coughing – Consulting a Doctor and Taking Medications
Take the necessary medications if the condition continues. Over-the-counter drugs can be bought easily but it’s much better to consult your doctor first for a prescription. This type of medicines generally has an expectorant ingredient to loosen up the mucus and a suppressant one to inhibit cough reflex. Following the dosage as per instruction is a must, especially since the codeine contained in cough-syrups can be abused. Decongestants also work by shrinking inflamed tissues and drying up the mucus in the lungs, unblocking the airway in the process. Finally, determine what is causing the symptoms. If coughing is due to a common cold, it should go away after several weeks. Persistent one, however, especially when coupled with other symptoms like fever, fatigue, or worse, coughing up blood, should be immediately checked as it can suggest an underlying serious medical issue.