While coughing is a natural way of getting rid of foreign material from your lungs, throat and airway, too much of it can be pretty annoying and distressing. Trying to get through your day around family and colleagues feels terrible, and worsens at night when everybody in the house is trying to get some sleep in the midst of your bothersome coughs.
So, how do you get rid of a bad cough fast and get back to your cozy lifestyle? Below is an array of ways to choose from.
1) Take An Expectorant
There are numerous brands of over-the-counter (OTC) cough remedies with an expectorant that can really save you the struggle if taken early enough. One of the best known expectorant is guaifenesin and this has been shown to break the sticky or dry mucus stuffed up in your throat and nostrils so that you can seamlessly blow it out and breathe with ease. Keeping in mind that cough is partially a result of the itchiness caused by foreign particles in your airway, being able to blow these particles out with mucus will greatly alleviate the cough.
2) Try A Cough Suppressant
One known cough suppressant is dextromethorphan, which has been used for centuries as a temporary remedy for a dry, hacking cough. Most OTC cough medications contain this compound, and it would be excellent if you could find one with both dextromethorphan and guaifenesin. With a suppressant, you can stop a bad cough in as little as three days, although for only a short period thereafter.
3) Green Tea
Green tea contains polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins which sport antimicrobial, immune-stimulating and antioxidant properties, and can protect you from the viruses behind upper respiratory infections. The truth of the matter is, green tea is a good preventive measure for an imminent cough, but if you can take it as soon as the symptoms start to surface, you can ward off the infection in its early pathogenesis phase.
4) Take Some Honey
More than one study has shown that taking honey at least once a day can hugely reduce a bad cough at night. As a matter of fact, honey is believed to work as well as dextromethorphan-containing medications.
Take at least one teaspoonful of honey after every 12 hours and top it up with plenty of water. You can add it in tea, or coffee, in place of sugar, or take it separately, as you see fit,but make sure to include it in your dinner if you want to avoid coughing at night.
5) Use A Humidifier
A humidifier or vaporizer (also known as vaporizzatore in Italy!) adds moisture to the air, and using it will help moisten your airway and reduce the possibility of getting roused by a bad cough at night. It can also act as a daytime cough remedy if you set it up in your workspace, your family room or wherever you spend most of your time.
The menthol-scented balm rubbed on a kid’s chest to alleviate cough has also been shown to work on adults. It clears your nasal passages by thinning mucus, and this can help reduce nighttime coughing. It still works great on the children as well.
6) Try A Nighttime Cough Formula
These formulas contain antihistamine on top of cough suppressants and expectorants, and are designed to combat the causal virus while at the same time giving you the deep sleep you need. On the downside, they can make you quite drowsy at work and it’s advisable that you avoid taking them during the day, or deep into the night.
BONUS TIP: sleep with your head elevated!
Keeping your head elevated while sleeping is a magnificent way to stop a bad cough that results from post-nasal drip. It may be difficult to adapt to though, as most people will unconsciously adjust back to their usual sleeping positions as they slowly drift off. You can however try it while resting.
If these remedies fail to take away your cough, visit your doctor immediately. You see, cough can sometimes be a sign of a very serious disease such as asthma, reflux, pneumonia, bronchitis or chronic sinusitis. These diseases can be fatal and are better controlled while they are still in their early stages of development.
Also, refrain from using a medication if it happens to trigger strange reactions or if the symptoms tend to worsen. If your body has previously produced reactions to oral medications, seek medical advice before embarking on any of the above remedies.
Lastly, these solutions are meant for adults, not kids.