How To Get Rid Of A Chronic Cough

A persistent cough can be annoying and it can also be quite dangerous as well. Excess mucous can potentially cause a lung infection while chronic breathing difficulties can put added pressure on the heart. 

You generally want to take care of a cough whenever one develops and especially if it becomes chronic or is a recurring health issue. This page will give you a few strategies for getting rid of a persistent cough and also a few natural remedies for when the cold or flu has you wheezing and sneezing. Now let's see if we can't shake that awful cough that you have got.

The first step to getting rid of cough is knowing why you have it. Once you know why you are having breathing issues then you can work to remove the irritants that cause it and put a few preventative measures in place to keep that nasty cough from returning. Finding the reason why you have a cough is the true key to getting over it and keeping it from coming back. There are a number of ways to get rid of or relieve the symptoms of a persistent or recurring cough. If your cough is chronic ask yourself why.

Excess mucous is a defence mechanism initiated by your body to remove foreign matter or germs from the lungs, throat, and sinus cavities. It is generally your lungs trying to remove small particulate or mucous from within them that is the reason for a persistent cough.

If you have too much mucous or cannot remove the mucous from your lungs or sinus cavities quickly enough, then you develop a persistent cough. Generally a bad cold or flu will give you these symptoms but it can also occur when you suffer from allergies, are experiencing swallowing difficulty, or who are exposed to pollutants or other small particulates in the air (such as wood dust). An air purifier in the room you spend the most time in can help tremendously to remove these irritants.

A persistent cough can develop if you smoke, are exposed to smoke or other pollutants, have allergies or sinus problems, a cold or flu, low lung capacity, pooling of mucous in the lung, a secondary health condition, or a more serious lung condition.

1. If you are having difficulty breathing and need immediate relief get some steam flowing into your lung and nasal passages. Get into a warm shower and take slow deep breaths to inhale the steam. This will ease congestion and enable you to better expel the mucous buildup.

2. Sip a hot honey and lemon drink. Honey is a natural antibacterial and studies show it is just as effective as over the counter syrups for relieving a cough. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and also a diuretic so will help to more quickly flush your system.

3. Gargle 2 to 3 times a day with salt water. The salt will help to dry mucous membrane to help stop that drowning feeling. It will also help to kill germs and bacteria in your mouth and throat.

4. Use a humidifier to get moisture in the air.

Lung Exercise to Expel Mucous Buildup and Make Breathing Easier

1. Sit on the side of the bed or stand erect.

2. Slowly expel as much air as possible from your lungs. Breath deeply and slowly in to refill your lungs.

3. Repeat step 2 three to four times. On the last deep breath in and rather than slowly exhaling the air initiate a quick hard cough. (The cough will become more natural the more often that you practice this lung exercise.)

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as often as necessary to expel the excess mucous.This is one of the best methods I have found for removing excess mucous from the lung. Performing this exercise in a warm shower also helps to increase the amount of mucous expelled.

What is Causing Your Breathing Issue?

An allergy or sensitivity to indoor toxins is a main cause of recurring cough issues. Your home can contain a number of pollutants within it and in the winter when windows are closed these elements can reach very high and dangerous levels.

Pollutants in the home can commonly be found at up to 5 times higher than outdoor pollution levels. Nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde, mold, mildew, radon gas, asbestos, second hand smoke, dust mites, pet dander, bacteria, and lead dust are common indoor allergens and there are many others that can be of issue as well. 

These indoor toxins enter your household air from products that were used in the construction of your home, from items that are stored in the home, and from products that you use in your home. Common household products such as varnish, paint, glue, air fresheners, manufactured wood products, carpets, even computer ink and household cleaning products can release invisible yet toxic gas into your household air. They can cause allergy symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, coughing, running eyes, and runny nose. One of the most obvious causes of indoor air pollution is of course cigarette smoke. If you smoke then you know that you should quit as it is the most likely cause of your persistent cough.

Dust Mites are a Common Cause of Indoor Allergy

Has your persistent cough been hanging around for awhile? All beds that have been slept in contain dust mites and it is the feces from dust mites that many people are sensitivity to. People are sensitive to the protein in dust mite droppings and these can cause skin rash, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and a persistent cough. Individuals with autoimmune illness may be even more so.

Dust mites munch out on our discarded flecks of skin so tend to congregate in areas where we spend a large portion of our time. Our bed, the couch, or a favourite chair are the most likely places for large numbers of dust mites to exist.

The best way to protect yourself from the droppings of dust mites is to remove all dust from your bedroom area, and encase your pillow and mattress with dust mite covers. These are resistant to these tiny creatures. Wash all hard surfaces, dust wood surfaces, vacuum your bed with and surrounding area thoroughly alongside each sheet change.

Controlling dust mites is a never ending battle and one that you must be vigilant in. It involves a lot of cleaning. Keeping a window open about an inch all year round can also help.

1. Have your indoor air tested for pollutants.

2. Change the furnace filter yearly.

3. Store paint, varnish, chemicals, glues, insecticides, and other possible pollutants outside of the home.

4. Remove rugs from your home.

5. Keep a window open.

6. Reduce the number of commercial cleaning products you use and instead clean surfaces with vinegar, green tea, lemon, or baking soda solutions.

7. Dust all surfaces, vacuum rugs, and mop floors often.

8. Do not smoke indoors. Swallowing difficulties can also cause a persistent cough.If you suffer from Dysphagia and are swallowing small amounts of liquid or food into your lung area while eating or drinking then this may be the cause of your persistent cough.

9. Use an air purifier to help clean fine particulates and other pollutants from the air in your home.

Your body will produce excess mucous in an attempt to make it easier to remove the particulate or liquid from the lung area. Instead you may find yourself persistently coughing and more open to lung infections. Swallowing difficulties can lead to very serious health consequences and you should talk with your doctor if you believe that you are having problems in this area.

You Can Increase Your Lung Capacity Through Exercise

Age, chronic illness, or a lack of exercise can cause poor lung health. This can increase the likelihood of shallow breathing or mucous buildup which may be the cause of your chronic cough. The obvious solution is to exercise the muscles in the lung area without harming them. The stronger the muscles surrounding your lungs are then the more able you will be to remove mucous from your lungs. Increasing your lung capacity can help you more easily expel mucous from the lung, reduce your incidence of coughing, and odds are that it will also increase your life expectancy.

1) Yoga breathing exercises are great for reaching the deeper areas of the lung, and these routines can be easily adjusted to accommodate virtually any level of fitness, so are generally acceptable for most senior and disabled individuals.

2) Walking is an excellent fitness activity for increasing lung strength. Start off at a slow pace and gradually increase your endurance level. If you live in a polluted or snowy area then you may want to invest in a treadmill rather than walk indoors.

3. Laugh, dance, and sing. Each of these activities can help to remove excess mucous from the lung and help to improve your lung function. These are fun ways to improve your health.

4) Purchase an apparatus to help exercise and improve your lung function. Always discuss any health concerns you may have with a licensed health professional.

Related Articles by Lorelei Cohen