A persistent cough can be very annoying and can make your throat feel raw and your chest sore. There are a plethora of things that cause us to cough, so it can be difficult to know exactly what to do to find relief from the cough. Our bodies use coughing as a way to expel foreign particles, bacteria, viruses, and mucus from our respiratory tract before these things can cause blockage or infection. If your cough is not going away, try the following tips.
If your cough is caused by dry air, drinking more water may help to keep your throat moist, which can help to reduce the irritation. Water will also thin the mucous causing post nasal drip, which may help to stop the coughing fits and make it easier to clear your throat. Gargling water, especially with a little sea salt in it, may also help to dislodge some mucus, which will be expelled when you spit it out.
If you are a smoker, your persistent cough may be caused by chemical irritations to your throat and lungs. If you are a non-smoker, but are often exposed to second hand smoke, it may also be causing your persistent cough. Giving up the smoking and staying away from smoke may help you to find relief from your cough.
If something new has been added to your home or lifestyle, such as a new air freshener or perfume, it may be the cause of your cough. Some people are more sensitive to scents and perfumes. If nothing new has been added, but your cough is persistent when you are in the home and not outside, you may have dust mites or mold that are causing the irritation. It may take some cleaning and rearranging to figure out what is causing your cough.
Dry air is a major cause of persistent coughs, so if you know that the humidity levels are low, it may help to humidify the air. A humidifier can help to introduce moisture back into the air, but these must be frequently cleaned so that they do not also put mold and bacteria into the air. If you don’t have a humidifier or you desire instant relief, taking a hot shower can help to ease a cough. This often works to relieve a cough no matter what the cause, though the cough may come back after the shower.
If nothing seems to be helping your cough and it has persisted for a while, you should see a doctor. Health insurance will generally cover most, if not all, costs of seeing a doctor for a persistent cough. The doctor may be able to identify allergens or infections causing your cough, or may alert you to more serious medical conditions like C.O.P.D. that may be causing your cough.