Treatment and possible reasons for persistent chronic cough
Posted Dec 01 2012 7:02pm
A cough is considered to have become chronic once it hasn’t stopped for more than 8 weeks. A persistent cough is a symptom of some sort of underlying illness, such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus problems, gastroesophageal reflux disease , allergic rhinitis, or by something like a foreign body trapped in the airways or tobacco smoking.
In any case, you should seek medical help for the underlying conditions and take up treatment for them, but to help reduce the coughing and sooth it, there are some home remedies and basic tips for chronic cough
- Drink a lot of water and tea. Stay hydrated, because water will help thin the cough secretions.
- Gargle your mouth with salty water to rinse off mucus and clean up throat
- Keep your head elevated when lying down or sleeping to help you breath and reduce the coughing.
- Take syrups and cough drops.
- It is common sense that you shouldn’t smoke, but it is also important to stay away from smoke as well.
- Try to avoid dust, fog, pollen and pollutants.
- Keep your home air humid with a humidifier or by placing bowls of water on the radiators for example.
- Mix a tablespoon of honey with powdered black pepper (3-4 pepper seeds) before going to bed to reduce coughing during the night.
- Boil a tablespoon of turmeric in milk, let it cool off until it is lukewarm, add sugar and drink it before sleep.
- A cup of warm milk with honey before sleep will also help reduce the coughing and let you sleep.
- Fresh lime juice mixed with honey and a pinch of cinnamon is a great cough remedy. Mix it well and drink it once or twice daily to relieve the cough.
- Boil 50g of ginger in 2 cups of water, with added several spoons of sugar. Drink it warm a couple of times a day.
- Garlic and onion soup with salt and pepper is another tested home cough remedy.
- Take two spoons of mixed honey with aloe vera.
- Make your own inhalations with a pot of hot water and a towel to cover your head and trap the steam. Add mind and eucalyptus leaves to the boiling water for a better effect on resolving the problem with chronic coughing.
- Soak several almonds in water, then crush them and make a paste from them with butter and sugar. Take the paste several times a day.
- Make a paste out of 10 spoons of coconut milk plus 1 spoon of powdered poppy seeds and a spoon of honey. Again take it at night time.
- Another great paste you can make at home to treat chronic cough is made from: honey, apple cider vinegar, water and a pinch of ginger and red pepper.
- Drink a lot of tea of your preference, add lemon and honey for a better effect on the cough.
- Rub eucalyptus and mint ointment on your chest and back before going to sleep. This will warm the lungs, and reduce coughing.
- Eat a lot of fruits, which contain fiber which is good for preventing chronic cough.
- Keep your legs warm, and periodically soak them in hot water with sea salt.
If your chronic cough is a result of acid reflux, apart from the abovementioned tips, you should
- Stay away from foods and beverages, which increase the reflux, such as fatty foods, sodas, chocolate, red wine and alcohol.
- Don’t eat two to three hours before going to bed.
- Lose any extra weight you may have.
Coughing is quite annoying and can cause embarrassment, it can prevent you and those around you from sleeping, and it can actually be tiring. The diagnosis of chronic cough is done by a Doctor, through physical examination, listening to the breathing and lungs with a stethoscope, and if necessary one or a series of medical tests, which usually are
Lung x-ray or ct scan of the lungs
A lung function test to check the capacity of the lung in a series of breathing tests
An acid reflux test, which is a pH test or an endoscopy of the esophagus.
In all cases, if the cough becomes worse or starts to bother you, it is a good idea to visit your doctor – there may be a simple underlying cause, such as an allergy to a family pet, to some more complicated conditions, which in all cases will require treatment and medical attention