Coughs come in different shapes and sizes. There are ‘chesty coughs’ where your chest feels heavy and your cough is productive, and dry coughs which don’t produce anything (and can make your throat feel raspy and sore). I’ve got a cough medicine with clout for each type of cough – and some useful suggestions too.
- Rest in a room which has good ventilation.
- Drink plenty of fluids – water and juices can dilute mucus for easy expulsion.
- Drink hot drinks (these help to soothe a tickly cough).
- Eat frequent light and small meals in order to reduce the risk of vomiting through prolonged coughing.
- Use steam inhalation to loosen the phlegm.
- Smoke or expose yourself to excessively dusty areas as these can trigger coughing bouts.
- Work in areas of noxious fumes or polluted air.
- Eat cold food items (surprisingly, these can trigger your cough).
- Close your windows (fresh air is good for your immune system).
See your GP if:
- There are signs of infection – green, yellow or “rusty” phlegm.
- Blood is present in the mucus.
- You are wheezing.
- Coughing is associated with chest pain.
- You have whooping cough or croup.
- You have recurrent night time coughing.
- The cough has lasted more than 3 weeks.
- There is any shortness of breath or severe pain when inhaling.
- You have any recent, unexplained weight loss which accompanies a cough.