How to Stop Coughing, Nighttime Coughing, and Other Coughing Issues
It's easy to recognize a cough when you have one, but putting your finger on exactly what it is can be a challenge.
Coughing, however, is the body's natural defense mechanism, says Liana Casusi, MD, consultant for Oh So Spotless. When irritants like dust, smoke, pollution, or mucus enter the body, "it's a reflux reaction," she explains.Wet hack versus dry cough
According to Casusi's medical expertise, a cough's dryness or wetness alone cannot be used to diagnose its origin.
"A wet cough, also called a productive cough, elicits mucus, whereas a dry cough, also called a nonproductive cough, does not," she explains. Infections, structural lung disease, and airway inflammation from irritants are all potential causes of both dry and productive coughing. ”
Respiratory infections like pneumonia, whooping cough, and croup can also trigger a cough.
She explains that inflammation brought on by these infections can increase and thicken the body's natural mucus. Coughing occurs because of the accumulation of mucus.
She explains that inflammation is also the underlying cause of coughing in asthma and allergies.
Some other frequent reasons are:
Coughing, caused by the deterioration of lung tissue, is a symptom of two common smoking-related diseases: chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Obviously, if you have a cough, the last thing you want to do is keep coughing. Coughing is annoying because it causes noise, discomfort, and pain.
However, as Casusi points out, "it is not advisable to stop it per se" because coughing is "a natural mechanism by which our body can get rid of foreign substances in the airways." Instead, the best approach is to focus on the root of the problem. Justifies itself
Here are 19 ways to get to the bottom of your persistent coughing.
Avoid allergens by:
Not to be too obvious, but try to stay away from whatever it is that triggers your allergies.
Dust and pollen, says Casusi, are "common allergens that cause coughing."
Check with an allergist or conduct a home allergy test if you suspect you may be allergic to something but aren't sure what it is.
Get rid of the dust in your house
Concerning allergens, it's recommended that you eliminate as much dust, mites, pollen, and the like from your home as possible.
Casusi recommends "frequently changing your curtains and linens to avoid the collection of those irritants throughout the home."
She also emphasizes the importance of regularly vacuuming the carpets, rugs, and stuffed toys in your home.
Third, install air filters to make the bedroom allergy-free.
Unfortunately, a cough that only occurs at night can't be cured by routinely washing the sheets and baby blanket.
You should also use a HEPA air filter to keep your bedroom mite-free.
Additional methods to make your bedroom mite-proof:
- Dust mites can be reduced and prevented with the use of allergy covers on bedding items like pillow cases, duvets, mattresses, and box springs.
- Bedding should be washed once a week in hot water.
- Do not permit pets in the bedroom.
Asthma leads to a narrowing and inflammation of the airways. Among the many symptoms of asthma is a dry cough.
Seek medical attention if you have a dry cough and find it difficult to breathe on occasion. If you suffer from asthma, your doctor may recommend inhalers.
5. Close the windows
When it's allergy season, Casusi says, "you want to keep your windows closed at night."
By doing so, you'll prevent (further) infiltration of pollen, dust, and mites.
6. If at all possible, stay out of polluted areas
The body clearing the airways after or during exposure to pollution is the most common reason people cough," says Casusi. ”
It will be difficult to completely avoid polluted areas given that more than 90% of the world's population breathes in polluted air on a yearly basis.
If you suffer from chronic cough, you may want to visit AirNow.gov to check the Air Quality Index before you leave.
Having GERD? Tackle it
Nighttime coughing is often caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Consult a doctor if you regularly experience chest burning that is exacerbated after eating or lying down. That's the hallmark sign of acid reflux disease.
People with GERD have options for relieving their symptoms.
Take your medication as prescribed and stay away from anything that brings on your symptoms, advises Casusi. If you are unsure as to what these foods are, keeping a food diary may help.
Eight, lean back in your bed
Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus is facilitated by lying down. For this reason, two more Time to get flat after eating: 5 hours Additionally, you could try elevating the top of your mattress by 6-8 inches.
Nearly all chronic coughers, not just those with GERD, can benefit from sleeping on their stomachs or backs.
Lying down makes it more likely that irritating substances will reach your throat and cause you to cough.
Raise your head with a few pillows and see if that helps. Or, if you're feeling extravagant (or need an excuse to buy a new mattress), treat yourself to an adjustable one.
Kill all the cockroaches
Cockroaches aren't just scary; they're also a leading cause of respiratory illnesses. Ugh
Cockroach saliva, feces, and other body parts can trigger allergic reactions, including coughing.
Cockroach control can be achieved by:
- avoiding attracting cockroaches by sealing food containers
- eliminating dust-attracting newspaper and magazine stacks that provide breeding grounds for pests
- Getting rid of a swarm of cockroaches by hiring an exterminator
Tenth, utilize a humidifier
Hot, dry air can irritate the lining of your airway, causing you to cough more frequently. Because of this, many people experience a worsening of their coughs when they turn on their heaters for the winter.
Humidifying the air in your bedroom (and in your throat) with a blast from a humidifier that creates a cool mist can be very helpful.
11 - Get your sinus infection treated.
The Booger Monster blues The sinuses could be infected.
Postnasal drip (especially when lying down) is a common symptom of a sinus infection. ), which causes a tickling sensation in the throat and a subsequent cough
Clearing up your sinus infection with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor will help put an end to the drip and cough that come along with it.
Try a Neti Pot
A neti pot may be useful whether you have a severe sinus infection or just a stuffy nose.
These compact tools are specifically designed to flush mucus from the nasal cavity and sinuses. The result Reduced nasal drip
13 Honey Dew It
Casusi suggests taking 2–3 teaspoons of honey before bed to help break up mucus in the throat.
Caffeine-free teas, like herbal tea, can also be sweetened with 2 teaspoons of honey.
As a friendly reminder, infants and toddlers should never be given honey.
14 - Drink some lemonade
Those who do not suffer from gastroesophageal reflux may benefit from drinking water spiked with lemon juice, as suggested by Casusi. That's because studies have shown that lemons can reduce inflammation.
Like Julia Child, you could make a hot drink that serves multiple purposes by combining lemon juice, ginger, hot water, and honey.
15 - Munch on some pineapple.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples, and some research has shown that it can thin mucus and suppress coughing, as Casusi explains.
So, eat up
(No, pineapple cake right before bedtime does not qualify.)
Use salt water to gargle
For congested airways, Casusi recommends gargling with a saltwater solution. Those who suffer from asthma, allergies, or infections will experience less coughing as a result.
One-half teaspoon in eight ounces of hot water, then swish and spit.
17. If you have a cold, try decongestants.
The common cold could be the root of your coughing fits.
The common cold is easily beaten with time, rest, chicken soup, and fluids.
However, if your cough is particularly severe, you may benefit from a medication designed for use by those aged 6 and up. Postnasal drip can also be alleviated with the use of decongestant nasal sprays in people aged 6 and up.
To alleviate symptoms quickly, try an OTC drug.
Several different types of coughs can be treated with OTC medications, according to Casusi. Cough suppressants dull the need to hack, while expectorants dilute mucus and make it more manageable. ”
You may want to try one of these over-the-counter cough suppressants, depending on the severity of your cough and your level of comfort with taking such drugs.
19 Reasons to Get a Flu Shot
Coughing is a common side effect of the flu.
Casusi recommends getting your yearly flu shot if you're dead set on avoiding a hack-a-thon.
In addition, she advises, "You'll also want to update any other vaccines you might need."
Twenty: Quit Smoking
One of the many negative health effects of smoking is a persistent cough.
Quitting smoking is not a quick fix, but it will improve your cough and overall health.
Consult a medical professional about available services to assist you in quitting smoking.
A nighttime cough can be brought on by many of the same factors that bring on a daytime cough.
However, a PM coughing fit is common because of factors such as sleeping position, air stagnancy and quality, and exposure to lint, dust, pollen, and mites from bedding.
There are a variety of treatments and lifestyle changes that can help adults and children alike stop coughing at night, regardless of the underlying cause. Including:
- lying back on cushions
- Putting your bed at an angle
- the act of activating a humidifier
- cleaning bed linens
- holding closed the windows
- using over-the-counter or prescribed drugs
The good news is that coughs tend to clear up by themselves. Internal medicine expert Dr. Eliana Rose says, "Most coughs will go away on their own within a few days."
However, severe coughing that *persists* at night can be an indicator of a more serious condition.
Nighttime coughing is a common symptom of heart failure and other respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Less common causes of severe coughing include lung cancer and pulmonary embolisms.
If your cough persists for more than three weeks, you notice an increase in the amount of phlegm you cough up, or you cough up blood, you should see a doctor, as advised by Casusi. ”
If you have a cough and any of the following are present:
- temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius or higher
- difficulty breathing
- pain and swelling in the feet, ankles, or stomach
- I'm having pain in my chest
If your cough becomes bothersome or if it keeps you from sleeping soundly, as Rose suggests, it's time to see a doctor.
Please remember to follow your doctor's orders if you've been diagnosed with a condition and given medication.
Infected people may be given antibiotics or supportive therapy, according to Casusi. To prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in the future, it is important to finish the full course of antibiotic treatment, even if you are feeling better.
She also emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated while taking medication: And if you think one of your medications is to blame for the coughing fits, talk to your doctor (because some drugs do exacerbate coughing). )
Check out our FindCare tool if you need assistance locating a primary care physician.
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