Your COUGH and you: While coughing and congestion can be temporarily relieved using over-the-counter medications, symptoms that last longer than a week should be evaluated by a doctor.
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Your COUGH and you: While coughing and congestion can be temporarily relieved using over-the-counter medications, symptoms that last longer than a week should be evaluated by a doctor.

A cough is not always a medical problem, coughing occurs when the nerve endings in your airways become irritated. Although coughing can at times indicate the presence of some health condition or infection, coughing is known to be a process that helps in getting rid of the harmful substances from the respiratory tract.The air passages of the lungs are lined with cells secreting mucus, which normally traps particles of dust. When the membranes get infected and inflamed, the secretion of mucus increases and the lining of the air passages is irritated. Coughing is the action by which excess mucus is driven out.

A cough is not usually a threatening condition and will resolve naturally, but it can be troublesome, particularly when coughing at night keeps you up and prevents you from recuperating, a cough can easily be treated by making use of home remedies or over-the-counter medications, to sooth your throat and help you feel better, faster. However, a severe, persistent cough or one that is accompanied by other symptoms should be examined and investigated by a health care professional.


  • Use cough drops or hard candy. Menthol and certain herbal cough drops can slightly numb and soothe your sore throat. However, sucking on plain hard candy may work just as well.

  • Try a teaspoon of honey. This traditional remedy for sore throat may help soothe coughs, too. Try adding a spoonful to your tea, but don't give honey to kids under 1 year old.

  • Hydrate. Sipping on drinks will keep your throat moist and comfortable. When your throat doesn't hurt, you may not cough. Just about any drink is OK except alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Those can dry you out. Also avoid orange juice and other acidic citrus drinks if they bother your throat.

  • Heat up that drink. Sip some warm tea or chicken soup to heat up your airways. Not only will it hydrate you, but the warmth helps break up mucus and makes it easier to cough up.

  • Use cough medicine. Sometimes you need to cough to get out nasty mucus. But other times you need to calm your cough, like when you want to sleep. Over-the-counter cough medicine can help. Expectorants help you cough up mucus. Cough suppressants reduce your urge to cough. If you're not sure which kind you need, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Use a decongestant. These over-the-counter meds can help clear your stuffy nose. If post-nasal drip is irritating your throat and making you cough, decongestants may help both your throat and cough. Be careful: While cold and cough medicines are fine for adults and older kids, they are not safe for children under age $.

  • Breathe in steam. If a raw, dry throat is making you cough, moisture may help. Try breathing in steam from a hot shower. Or use a humidifier or vaporizer in your room while you sleep. The steam can keep your nose and throat from being too dry and get rid of that back-of-the-throat tickle. The moisture can also ease your breathing and loosen mucus, helping you cough it up.

  • Avoid dirty air. You know smoke isn't good for you, but it’s especially bad when you're sick. It can really irritate your cough. Don't smoke, and stay away from others who are smoking, too.

  • Rest. If you want to get rid of your cold and cough, you need to take it easy. Your body needs energy to fight off the virus. Push yourself too hard and it will just exhaust you and stress you out. That can make your cold, cough, and sore throat hang around longer.

  • Gargle with salt water. Does this traditional remedy

  •  really work? Studies haven't shown that it does, but lots of people swear by it. See if it helps you. Mix a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle. Do it several times aday.

Your cough may be a symptom of a medical condition.  Thus, it may occur with other signs and symptoms of that condition. For example:

  •  if you have a cold, you may have a runny or stuffy nose.

A chronic cough is one of the most common reasons prompting a visit to the doctor's office. It can be caused by an infection in the lungs or from outside irritants such as cigarette smoke or air pollution. 
A chronic cough can make you feel tired because you use a lot of energy to cough. It also can prevent you from sleeping well and interfere with work and socializing.A chronic cough also can cause headaches, chest pain, loss of bladder control, sweating, and, rarely, fractured ribs.

If your cough is very severe or persistent, it is recommended that you seek medical treatment from your doctor. 

2 Comments to Your COUGH and you: While coughing and congestion can be temporarily relieved using over-the-counter medications, symptoms that last longer than a week should be evaluated by a doctor. :

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