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FutureStarrHow to Stop a Cough
A cold often proves to be a nuisance for a lot of people, but for many more it can present a significant health risk. So, how can you get rid of a cough?
If it's hard to get the mucus out, or if it’s thick, look for medicine that says “expectorant.” That loosens the gunk to help you get rid of it. If you're having post-nasal drip with lots of juicy mucous, you may do better with a medicine that dries you up like Sudafed (pseudoephedrine). If you have cough with fever or shortness of breath call your doctor. Also check with them before you use cough medicine for serious conditions like emphysema, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, or asthma. And don’t give cough and cold medicine to children under 4.
American Academy of Pediatricians: "Withdrawal of Cold Medicines: Addressing Parent Concerns." American College of Chest Physicians: "Information for Patients Complaining of Cough." Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Asthma Overview," "Flu/Cold or Allergies?" Aurora Health Care: "Cough." FamilyDoctor.org: "Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options." Healthychildren.org: "Caring for a Child with a Viral Infection," "Coughs and Colds: Medicines or Home Remedies?" Kaiser Permanente: "Coughs in Adults and Children." KidsHealth: "Infant Botulism," "Fever and Taking Your Child's Temperature." National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "How Is Cough Treated?" NHS: "Cough." Paul, I. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, December 2007. Shadkam, M. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, July 2010. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Expectorants vs. cough suppressants." (Source: www.webmd.com)
Sip a hot drink. Research shows that it can ease cold symptoms, including a cough. The liquids are hydrating, and the heat helps to lower congestion. Brew some calming chamomile tea. Ginger tea is another good choice. The spicy root may help relax the smooth muscles in your airways. Steep chopped ginger in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and discard before sipping.
Have some table salt at home? Go ahead and add some to warm water and gargle with it. In a small study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, simple water gargling tended to weaken the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (aka the common cold) and even prevent the infections from happening in the first place. In a pilot study published in January 2019 in Scientific Reports, gargling with warm salt water (along with nasal irrigation) was also been shown to have some benefits for improving cold symptoms and reducing the duration of symptoms like cough. (Source: www.everydayhealth.com)