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When nothing is working, try these
Welcome to the colder months. Like you know, the season is now nigh for you to start to experience endless dry, tickly or mucus-filled coughs that, seemingly, just won’t quit.
A new, continuous cough is a key sign of Covid-19. If you have this symptom, take a PCR test and stay at home until you have the result
Annoying as they are, in some ways, a cough is actually a good thing. While irritating, they are your body’s way of clearing your airways in response to an irritant, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, like you know, constant coughing can take a toll. It may interrupt your sleep, work, and activities, hurt your chest, and tire you out.
To help you move through your latest attack, WH spoke to GP Dr. Hannah Davies to get her advice on how to tackle those annoying coughs and the best home remedies to try.
There isn’t just one simple answer to this question, unfortunately. A cough is a common symptom of many different diseases and may reflect a problem in the throat, lungs, heart, digestive tract or it may be a result of allergy or infection.
So the most important thing is to speak to your GP if it hasn’t cleared up in two weeks, to work out the underlying cause and so to address that.
When it comes to treating a cough, the NHS advise: ‘You should rest and drink plenty of fluids,’ as well as taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain.
Most coughs are caused by a cold or flu.
Other causes include:
Depending on what’s causing it, there’s a whole host of medications you can. Dr Davies suggests:
This has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Gaviscon, Rennie will help treat persistent cough resulting from reflux
You can get these over the counter – try Piriton. These will help with any cough resulting from hay-fever or allergies.
Dry, warm air can irritate your throat and airways. Some people also cough when they turn their heater on in the winter. This is due to the release of pollutants that built up in the heating ducts. A humidifier that produces a cool mist can help keep the air in your bedroom moist. This can keep your throat feeling better.
As well as the above, there’s an array of home remedies that you can try to help soothe your cough explains Dr Davies.
From the classic honey and lemon to the more obscure pineapple juice, these might offer you some respite from your cough symptoms.
These have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of coughs. You can boil thyme leaves into a tea, and take primrose or ivy in extract or supplement form.
Squeeze half a lemon into some hoy water, before stirring in a little honey. This clears mucus and honey has also been shown to promote wound healing and helps to reduce pain.
The fiery root has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Grate a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger into a mug and cover with hot water, before drinking.
Liquorice, an extract from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, can treat coughs by reducing spasms and by it’s pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Take this in extract form, rather than via confectionary.
Nutrients in pineapple juice may help soothe symptoms of a cough or cold. One 2010 study found that pineapple juice was part of an effective treatment for tuberculosis, thanks to its ability to soothe the throat and dissolve mucus.
According to this study, a mixture of pineapple juice, honey, salt, and pepper reduced cough symptoms up to five times faster than over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrup.
These are well known for their healing properties. The menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. Steep peppermint leaves in hot water and drink as a tea.