Coughing is a natural body response to expel respiratory secretions, pollutants, microbes and other foreign particles from the air passages. It gives off a distinctive sound due to forceful breathing out against a closed glottis. The automatic reflex occurs all of a sudden, i.e. voluntarily. However, it can also be induced involuntarily to clear away airways and breathe normally. In most cases, cough subsides with a week or two. But it may become persistent or chronic in some people.
Persistent Cough Causes
A persistent cough is diagnosed, if the discomfort condition lasts for more than eight weeks. Cough manifested as a sign of cold and flu hardly lasts for a few weeks. And the main reason for experiencing chronic cough is asthma, a respiratory condition triggered after exposure to allergens. Persistent coughing is manifested as an early symptom, and also for untreated asthmatic condition. Other probable causes of a chronic cough are infection in the respiratory tract, bronchitis, postnasal drip, rhinitis, acid reflux disease, smoking and medicinal side effects.
Tips on Curing a Persistent Cough
Whatever is the cause behind unrelenting cough, it is extremely annoying to deal with. Thus, chronic or persistent cough is a main reason for seeking medical attention. It is a warning sign for presence of a medical problem. However, there are some effectual ways to curb coughing in the natural way. One can try them before actually starting medication treatment. After all, natural methods are always better than decongestants and cough suppressants. Here's how to cure a persistent cough at home.
- First of all, avoid the habit of smoking (if applicable). The smoke acts as a trigger for constant cough. One may find it very difficult to stop smoking. But with a strong determination and self motivation, smoking abstinence is possible.
- A dry indoor environment, lack of water or dehydration all contribute to chronic coughing. So, try the solutions for these triggers to treat a persistent cough. Consider installing a room humidifier and drink lots of water everyday.
- One can get relief from chronic cough by taking steam inhalation therapy at regular intervals. To get prompt results, consider infusing thyme or eucalyptus oil in the hot water. Position face above the bowl containing hot water, cover head with a towel and take deep breaths.
- Cough being one of the frequently occurring medical condition, the purported remedial measures are many. Of these, drinking thyme tea and basil tea are some acceptable cures for coughing. One can add honey to these herbal teas for increased effectiveness and taste.
- An effectual way to cure a persistent dry cough is using eucalyptus oil. It possesses decongestant, expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Rub pure eucalyptus oil in the chest and throat area before sleep to manage cough symptoms.
- Talking more about a persistent cough, a mixture of honey and lime is used since a long time. Combine equal amounts of honey and lime, and consume it with water. Drinking this concoction 2 - 3 times daily will cure a stubborn cough.
- Sipping ginger tea for curing cough is not known to most of us. One can also brew garlic tea for getting the same effect by boiling 2 cloves garlic in 300 ml water. To the strained liquid, stir in 1 tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice. Drink it twice daily to alleviate constant cough.
- An age-old remedy for curing a cough is chewing mulethi herb and ingesting its juice. Two parts of honey mixed with one part of fresh onion juice also works wonders in alleviating cough.
- Make a homemade cough syrup by combining ground pepper, honey and ginger juice. Take this syrup 3 - 4 times a day, until cough subsides. Another way for dealing with chronic cough is having onion juice, prepared from baked onion and honey.
- For patients having asthma or bronchitis, treating a cough is all about minimizing the allergens. So, avoid getting exposed to environmental irritants (smoke, chemical fumes, dust, etc.) and follow self-care tips to manage cough and its accompanying symptoms.
- In case, the causal factor for constant cough is heartburn or acid reflux, eliminating foods that exacerbate these conditions is of prime importance. Along with medications, consider elevating the head while sleeping and do not eat foods before lying down, to cure a chronic cough.
- Boosting the immune system and keeping it strong are unavoidable for curing a persistent cough. So, don't skip meals and plan the meal menu properly with lots of healthy foods in them. At the same time, reduce processed foods and indulge in physical activities to strengthen the body's defense mechanism.
Follow these remedies, and most likely it will disappear gradually. However, seek medical attention, if cough is experienced for more than two months, or if the cough symptoms worsen with time. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests to rule out suspected medical problems. If a bacterial infection disease like whooping cough is confirmed, the doctor will prescribe a complete course of antibiotics to clear the causal pathogens. Likewise, according to the underlying causes appropriate therapeutic intervention for persistent cough is necessary.