Treating Those Irritating Coughs

Jeremy Mailman By Jeremy Mailman, 6th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Home Remedies

Dust, mucus, cigarette smoke, phlegm, and toxic fumes – these things irritates or blocks the air passages. Our body’s defense immediately tries to cast out the substance by a reflex action called coughing. It can also be triggered when the upper respiratory tract is inflamed usually due to a viral infection. Here are ways to treat these irritating coughs.

Productive and unproductive cough

A cough can be productive or unproductive. Productive for it brings up phlegm and unproductive for it is dry with no phlegm. If the irritant is removed or the sickness is gone, the cough subsides.

The signs of cough

Symptoms may include itchy or sore throat. There is a sudden discharge of air from the lungs with an explosive nose, sometimes with phlegm. When the cough is persistent, you feel pain in your abdominal muscles.

The cause of cough

Irritants like dust, smoke, food particle, nasal secretions and toxic fumes causes one to cough. Allergy like asthma sets off a spasm in the air passages. Too much phlegm due to respiratory infection or disease like flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, tuberculosis and lung cancer also causes one to cough. Include the taking of certain medicines and the presence of a foreign body.

What we can do

1. If the cough is triggered off by the sudden presence of a foreign substance, there is nothing we can do. If the cough is expelled, the cough clears up soon. Stop smoking if you are a smoker until the cough is gone.

2. Drink plenty of water particularly hot water to keep the air passages moist. Hot liquids like chicken soup can serve as decongestants.

3. Either from a hot bath or a small basin of boiling water, inhaling steam can loosen nasal congestion and easily expulse mucus.

4. Frequently blowing your nose can ease up coughing. Block only one nostril at a time to avoid the nasal secretions from being forced into the middle ear and the sinuses to avoid infecting them too.

5. You can take lozenges to soothe your sore throat.

6. If you have productive cough, take an expectorant.

7. For dry or unproductive cough, you can take cough suppressants. Take them for only 3 days at most.

8. If the cough is severe or persists for more than one week, it is time to consult your doctor. The cough now is accompanied by chest pain, greenish-yellow or blood-stained phlegm, or difficulty in breathing.

What the doctor will do

The doctor may examine thoroughly and may instruct you to take x-rays of your chest and sinuses. He will find the cause and how it should be treated. Then he will review all the medicines you are presently taking and prescribe you medicines at the end of the session.


Allergy, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Common Cold, Coughs, Flu, Irritating Coughs, Laryngitis

Meet the author

author avatar Jeremy Mailman
Freelance writer. Researcher. Creative Artist. Coffee lover. Friend. Family man.


Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar R. Person
6th Mar 2011 (#)

This is good advice!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Rathnashikamani
7th Mar 2011 (#)

Very well done. Prevention is better than cure. Better to avoid smoke and fumes. It's very difficult to know what food triggers the allergy.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
7th Mar 2011 (#)

Excellent information and good timing as my husband and I are just getting over a cold. Thanks for sharing.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Denise O
17th Mar 2011 (#)

Good advice. If I am getting a cold I drink half honey, half vinegar. 3 tablespoons, three times a day. I am usually fine within a few days. Taste awful but, it does the trick. Thank you for sharing.:)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Maureen Nakawungu
3rd Jan 2012 (#)

Am just getting started. Comments later.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?