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Explore Powerful Remedies for Cough Relief

Discover Effective Tips & Remedies for Cough Relief

What are the Best Relief: Tips & Remedies for Cough Relief?

In today’s fast-paced world, coughs can be a real brother, interrupting our daily lives and leaving us feeling tired. But fear not! Plenty of natural remedies and tips can help ease cough symptoms and get you feeling better quickly. Join us as we explore the top relief methods for coughs, from calming teas to steam inhalation.

Cough:

A cough occurs when something irritates your throat or airways, prompting a response from your body. An irritant triggers nerves that send a message to your brain. The brain then signals muscles in your chest and abdomen to push air out of your lungs to expel the irritant.

Different types of coughs can be categorized based on their duration:

  1. An acute cough starts suddenly and typically lasts for two to three weeks.
  2. A subacute cough persists after recovering from an infection and typically lasts three to eight weeks.
  3. A chronic cough lasts for more than eight weeks. Persistent coughs are another term for long-lasting coughs.
  4. Refractory cough is a chronic cough that hasn’t improved with treatment.

Dry Cough:

To expel foreign particles from the respiratory tract, the body automatically triggers the response to coughing. Coughing is a reflex activity that clears mucus and irritation from your airways. Coughs can be either productive or non-productive. During a vigorous cough, phlegm or mucus is produced, which removes it from the lungs. A dry cough, commonly referred to as an unproductive cough, does not produce phlegm or mucus. Various conditions, such as allergies or acid reflux, can trigger a dry cough, and sometimes there is no apparent cause. Regardless of the source, a persistent dry cough can significantly impact your daily life, especially if it only occurs at night.

Home remedies for dry cough:

  • Gargle with salt water.
  • Take honey and lemon in warm water.
  • Drink warm fluids like herbal tea (Thyme & Peppermint teas) or chicken soup.
  • Ginger, honey, and lemon juice mixture

Medicine: Cough suppressant

Wet/Productive Cough

A productive cough is often accompanied by a runny nose, fatigue, and post-nasal drip. You may feel as if there is something lodged in or dripping down the back of your throat or in your chest.

Medicine: Expectorant

Acute cough:

Duration: Less than 3 weeks

History to include:

  • Smoking
  • Occupation, travel & pollution
  • Atopy
  • Red flags: Chest pain, weight loss, hemoptysis
  • If present – Urgent escalation

Common causes:

  • Respiratory infections – viral
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Exacerbations of asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Pertussis.

Pertussis (Whooping cough)

  • Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection. It typically results in prolonged and recurring episodes of coughing. These coughing fits can persist for weeks or even months after the onset of symptoms.
  • In infants with pertussis, instead of coughing spells, they may experience breathing difficulties. This can include conditions like apnea, characterized by pauses in their breathing. Whooping cough can lead to severe, life-threatening complications in babies. Approximately one-third of all infants (those under 1 year old) who contract whooping cough require hospital treatment.
  • The whooping cough vaccine can help prevent the infection.

Symptoms of Whooping cough:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • “Whoop” when inhaling after coughing.
  • Coughing fits
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Vomiting or broken ribs.

Treatment (Acute cough):

  • Antibiotics if indicated.
  • Empirical asthma/ COPD management

Subacute and chronic cough often called “prolonged cough” the approach to these two groups of coughs are similar.

Sub-acute cough:

Duration: 3-8 weeks.

Common causes:

  • Post-infectious cough.
  • Exacerbation of underlying diseases e.g. Asthma, COPD, UACS (Upper airway cough syndrome also called PNDS – Postnasal Drip Syndrome)

Home remedies for PNDS: Nasal irrigation

  • Add 1/4 tsp salt & a pinch of baking soda to 1 cup of warm distilled water.
  • Fill a neti pot with this solution.
  • Stand over a sink, tilt your head to one side, and gently squirt the solution into one of your nostrils.
  • Tilt your head back, forward, and side-to-side to assist the solution in reaching your nasal cavities.
  • Blow your nose to clear out any excess mucus and solution.

Investigations:

  • Chest X-Ray
  • Blood count
  • Spirometry

Treatment:

  • Antibiotics if indicated.
  • ICS – Trial inhaled corticosteroids

Chronic Cough (Persistent cough):

Coughing can be extremely uncomfortable, especially when it persists for an extended period. Typically, it lasts for a few days or weeks, after which the person begins to feel relief. However, in rare cases, a cough can persist for several weeks, months, or even years without any apparent cause.

Duration: More than 8 weeks.

Common causes:

  • Cough variant asthma.
  • GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • UACS secondary to rhino-sinus conditions
  • ACE inhibitor use
  • Eosinophilic bronchitis

Investigations:

  • Refer to a specialist.
  • ENT Assessment – nasal endoscopy
  • CT thorax and sinuses
  • Bronchoscopy

Treatment:

  • Trial ICS +/- oral steroids
  • Macrolide antibiotics (3months)
  • Non-pharmacological measures
  • Empirical GERD treatment
  • Neuromodulatory therapies (Specialist)

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