Coughing is the body’s way of cleaning the airways naturally. While rarely serious coughing must never be overlooked, especially when it lasts for a long time. The problem with coughs is that even the benign ones often last for a very long time. That said; coughs can be extremely annoying especially at nighttime. If you are looking for some easy ways to stop cough attacks, read the tips given below.
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1. Distract the cough away!
The desire to cough is actually dictated by our brains. Although it might sound easier said than done, you can actually control your cough. Distract yourself and your cough might actually vanish.
2. Honey and lemon
Home remedies like honey and lemon can help stop coughing without medicine. Mix a teaspoon of honey with juice of half a lemon. Lick the mixture. Do not eat or drink anything for a few minutes so that the honey and lemon coat the throat. This remedy is great for dry, unproductive coughs. Honey is soothing and anti-bacterial whereas lemon juice is packed with vitamin C that can improve the body’s resistance to viruses and bacteria.
3. Quit smoking
The easiest way to stop coughing at night (or day) is to avoid nicotine. Cigarette smoke dries the airways leading to a raspy, dry cough. Quitting smoking can also protect you against cancer.
4. OTC cough medicines
Use the over-the-counter cough medicines as a last resort as some of them could cause severe drowsiness. However, many of these medications do work. Take them if your coughing is keeping everyone awake at night. Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist for the right medicine.
5. Drink more fluids
Drink plenty of water to keep the throat moist. Warm and clear fluids are best as they thin down the mucus and relax the airways. Go for soups, stews, broths and fresh fruit juices such as apple juice. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water. Here is a great remedy for sore throat: to a glass of hot water, add a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of rock salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Sip the mixture several times a day to relieve phlegm and stop cough quickly.
6. Steam inhalation
For severe coughing at night, inhale steam from the shower or place your head over a bowl of steaming water covering yourself up with a sheet. Inhale the vapors for up to 10 minutes. You can add some essential oils to the steamer (eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree etc) to enhance the decongestant action. The steam relieves dry airways and congestion to stop severe coughing at night.
7. Suck on a lozenge
If you are wondering what to do when you have a bad cough, the solution is to suck on some candy or lozenges. Over the counter lozenges contain medicines that relax the airways and push down the mucus.
8. Use a humidifier
If the air is cold and dry, run a humidifier to stop cough at night. Dry air makes the cough worse and aggravates congestion.
9. Use nasal suction
For young kids, stuffy, runny noses can cause severe coughing due to congestion. Blowing the nose can help. You could also use gentle nasal suction to throw out the mucus. If the skin around the nose becomes irritated, apply some petroleum jelly.
10. Avoid cough medicines (for kids)
Many cough and cold medicines are ineffective for coughs so do not administer them to young children without speaking to your doctor first. Also do not give any antibiotics unless prescribed. Do not use allergy medicines unless the cough is allergic in nature. Benadryl might sometimes be effective if the coughing is keeping the child up at night during allergy season. Nasal sprays are beneficial in some cases as they relieve post nasal drip.
11. Use a nasal rinse
To stop coughing fast, use a nasal spray. You can also make a nasal rinse at home by using warm water with salt in a neti pot. Place the spout of the neti pot in one nostril and cover the other nostril. Pour the water in the nostril and let it come out from the mouth. Repeat with the other nostril. Saline drops and sprays are readily available at most drug stores without prescription.
See a doctor if the coughing does not ease up in 2-3 weeks, or if you have earache, rashes or if there is blood in the phlegm.