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How to Treat a Cough at Home: Chronic Cough Management Tips

How to Treat a Cough at Home: Chronic Cough Management Tips

Coughing is a reflex of the body when something unusual enters your respiratory system. It may also occur when something is irritating the respiratory tract, which causes a buildup of mucus or phlegm. A common symptom of respiratory illnesses such as the cold, a cough can often be treated at home. Learning how to treat a cough at home can be invaluable in managing the discomforot brought about by the illness.

There are two kinds of cough based on how long a person experiences it: acute and chronic. A cough is chronic when it still does not stop until eight weeks. Even with medication prescribed by your doctor, a choronic cough can be difficult to manage. Aside from how to treat a cough at home, we’ll also take a closer look at some tips on how to relieve a chronic cough.

The Four Types of Cough

To learn how to treat a cough at home, we must first learn about the different types of cough. There are four types:

1. Wet Cough

A cough is said to be a wet cough when the production of mucus or phlegm is involved.

2. Dry Cough

A dry cough, on the other hand, is experienced because a part of the respiratory system is irritated. In a dry cough, there is no phlegm produced.

3. Paroxysmal Cough

Next is the paroxysmal cough: It is identified as the type of cough that hurts the most because it is persistent, often involving frequent and violent coughing fits. It also makes breathing difficult.

4. Croup Cough

Lastly, the croup cough happens mostly to kids under the age of five.

How to Treat a Cough at Home: Management Tips

Unfortunately, no one can entirely prevent coughing because a wide variety of irritants, bacteria, and viruses surround humans on a daily basis. And these enter the respiratory tract, leading to infections and coughing. But while the cough can be unavoidable, there are many ways how to calm a cough. Listed below are different home treatments on how to manage a chronic cough.

1. Hydrate Yourself

It is best to drink water when experiencing chronic cough especially if it is a wet cough. Warm water in particular helps break down phlegm produced in the respiratory tract.

Also, water contains trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc that are potentially beneficial for your health.

2. Gargle with a Water and Salt Solution

One of the most common ingredients that is found in any kitchen is salt. For this reason, the ingredients of a salt solution are almost always on hand, plus tap water can also be used. To create a salt solution, simply mix salt and warm water together, and gargle with it.

It has been proven that saltwater causes the phlegm produced in the respiratory tract to become thinner by destroying the irritants and germs contained in it. This is one of the best and easiest ways of how to treat a cough at home.

3. Use Throat Lozenges

Candy made specifically to alleviate throat discomfort also helps in treating cough, especially dry cough. These lozenges relieve discomfort in the upper respiratory system that are caused by various irritants and allergens.

4. Use Ginger as a Treatment

In the Philippines, it is common to treat a cough or throat discomfort by mixing ginger with warm water. This drink is commonly known as “salabat.” The ginger in salabat helps in soothing the upper respiratory system.

There are also other extracts that you could add to the ginger and water solution, such as lemon extract. Lemon contains vitamin C that works on the depletion of phlegm in the infected tract. Honey can also help — it is effective for dry coughs and relieves the pain experienced after coughing.

5. Stay Away from Smoke

If you are a smoker, you should quit. If you do not smoke cigarettes, you should do your best to avoid secondhand smoke — inhaling the smoke coming from other people who are smoking cigarettes.

Avoiding exposure to smoke is an important tip in treating chronic cough because smoke has chemicals that may irritate your respiratory tract and worsen your situation.

6. Disinfect Your Home

It is best to disinfect the air that surrounds you — and increasing the moisture of the air around you. This is essential to prevent various irritants, bacteria, and viruses from entering your body and worsening your chronic cough. To do this you could buy an air purifier and/or an air humidifier and fill it with a pleasing liquid extract to purify the air in your home.

Key Takeaways

These six tips on how to treat a cough at home are easy to do. With a minimum amount of effort, you can give yourself an effective treatment to relieve your chronic cough.

Aside from following these tips, it is also a good idea to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Day by day, you can try to change unhealthy habits into healthy ones. Start by eating healthier meals and gradually lead a more active lifestyle with regular exercise.

Of course, even with all these ways on how to treat a cough, you should still determine what infection or illness ails you. It is always best to consult a doctor — especially for any chronic cough — and listen to what he or she advises you to do. The home treatments mentioned are not meant to be used as a replacement for any medication your doctor prescribes.

Learn more about Infectious Diseases here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Do I Have a Chronic Cough? Symptoms, Treatment, and More, https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-cough, Accessed May 2, 2020

What Does My Type of Cough Mean? https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-coughs#croup-cough, Accessed May 2, 2020

Chronic Cough: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Remedies, https://www.medicinenet.com/chronic_cough/article.htm, Accessed May 2, 2020

Chronic Cough, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-cough/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351580, Accessed May 2, 2020

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Written by Ruby Fernandez Updated Sep 09, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel