How To Calm That Cough Down
Fortunately, there are things you can do to treat a cough while you recover from COVID-19 at home. It can help to elevate yourself when sleeping by slipping a wedge under your pillow, says Klitzman.
She adds, Over-the-counter cough suppressants antitussives taken before bed can be very helpful. So can cough suppressants with codeine. They make you sleepy, so are good to use at night, but you dont want to become reliant on that.
For Searight, who is off prescription cough medicine, drinking lots of herbal tea and taking lozenges help, she says.
Be sure to let your physician know if you have a cough that wont quit or another stubborn COVID-19 issue. This can affect your quality of life, says Klitzman.
Klitzman also points out that the best way to ease a symptom of any illness is to treat the underlying disease. If you have mild or moderate COVID-19 and are at high risk for becoming severely ill, antiviral pills and certain monoclonal antibody infusions may help you heal and that means less coughing.
Atypical Signs And Symptoms In Adults
For older adults and people with underlying health conditions, a cough may not be the primary symptom of pneumonia. These people may instead experience atypical signs and symptoms, such as:
- lower-than-normal body temperature
someone develops pneumonia, such as at the hospital, on dialysis, or in long term nursing care, helps doctors differentiate the cause of the infection and devise appropriate treatments.
S To Prevent Walking Pneumonia
Since walking pneumonia is often spread by coughing and sneezing, you can help prevent the transmission of germs by covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, whether with a tissue or your upper sleeve.
In order to stay healthy, you should also:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke .
- Take steps to help boost your immune system by getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
- Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
In particular, people who have underlying lung disease should be careful and have a heightened awareness of what steps to take to prevent walking pneumonia, notes McClune.
This article originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
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What Health Complications Can Pneumonia Lead To
If you have flu-like symptoms that persist or worsen despite treatment, talk to your doctor.
Your doctor can monitor your lungs while you inhale, listening for crackling sounds that are audible only with a stethoscope.
In order to confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific germ causing the illness, you may get a chest X-ray as well as a blood test, depending on your medical history and physical exam, if your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia.
If left untreated, pneumonia can become severe.
People with severe pneumonia experience higher fevers along with GI symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as:
- Difficulty breathing
What Is A Cough
Coughing is a protective reflex. It can remove substances that may have been inhaled, such as dust, and excess secretions that have built up in the airways. Coughing is how the body cleans the lungs and airways.
Coughs may be dry coughs or chesty coughs. A dry cough does not produce any mucus or phlegm. A chesty cough is one that produces mucus and may cause feelings of congestion in the chest.
Unexplained coughing that lasts for more than 3 weeks may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition. You should always see your doctor if this is the case.
Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 even if your cough is mild you should get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
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How Is Walking Pneumonia Treated
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for walking pneumonia. A 5- to 10-day course of oral antibiotics is usually recommended. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, make sure your child takes them on schedule for as long as directed to recover more quickly.
Once on antibiotics, your child has a minimal risk of passing the illness on to other family members. But encourage everyone in your household to wash their hands well and often.
Don’t let your child share drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes. Wash your hands after touching any used tissues. Also make sure that your kids are up to date on their immunizations to help protect them from other infections.
Whats The Difference Between A Dry Cough And A Wet Cough
A cough is your bodys way of clearing the lungs and airways of irritants so you can breathe better.
When you have an illness that affects your respiratory system, you may cough up mucus. This is a wet cough. Healthcare providers consider a wet cough to be productive because it clears phlegm from the lungs and airways. If too much phlegm builds up in the lungs, you may become short of breath and develop other problems.
When you have a dry cough, nothing comes up. This unproductive cough doesnt open up the lungs or air passages.
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Pneumonia Symptoms And Causes
There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, airborne irritants, and fungi. When these germs enter the lungs, they can overpower the immune system and invade nearby lung tissues, which are very delicate.
Once infected, the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid and pus, which causes coughing, fever, chills, and breathing problems.
How Can I Treat A Dry Cough And Tight Chest
Most dry coughs clear up when you treat the underlying cause. Over-the-counter cough medicines arent usually that helpful. And children younger than 4 years of age shouldnt take any cough medicine because of the risk for serious side effects.
These at-home remedies can help:
- Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Try hot tea or water with honey and lemon to soothe irritated airways.
- Suck on cough drops or hard candies. Sucking on a hard lozenge promotes saliva production that soothes the throat. But dont give cough drops or hard candies to children under 4. They can choke.
- Take a spoonful of honey. Studies show that honey stops coughs as well as most OTC cough medicines. Your healthcare provider can recommend the right amount of honey based on the ill persons age. Never give honey to a child under 1 year of age. In babies, honey can cause botulism.
- Use a humidifier. A cool-mist humidifier puts moisture into the air. This extra moisture soothes nasal passages and sore throats and eases dry coughs. You can also get more moisture by taking a steamy shower or hot bath.
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Remedies For A Croup Cough
Croup usually passes on its own without treatment. Home remedies include:
- placing a cool-mist humidifier in their bedroom
- bringing the child into a steam-filled bathroom for up to 10 minutes
- taking the child outside to breathe cool air
- taking the child for a ride in the car with the windows partially open to the cooler air
- giving childrens acetaminophen for fever as directed by your pediatrician
- making sure your child drinks plenty of fluids and gets lots of rest
- for severe cases, children may need a nebulizer breathing treatment or prescription steroid to reduce inflammation
Crowded Indoor Conditions Increase Your Risk
Generally speaking, young children and teens are at greatest risk for walking pneumonia but anyone could be affected, particularly if they live or work in crowded settings, such as schools, college dorms, military barracks and nursing homes.
Walking pneumonia is spread by droplet particles usually within a few feet of an individual when they cough, McClune says. In most cases, people become sick after having prolonged close contact with an infected person.
Those recovering from a recent respiratory illness, or those who have a weakened immune system, may also have an increased risk for walking pneumonia.
Specifically, any patient that has an underlying lung disease, like asthma, emphysema or COPDand the elderlyare at a higher risk for any type of infection, especially pneumonia, adds McClune.
These higher-risk patients are also more likely to have a more severe case of walking pneumonia, which can lead to complications, such as serious pneumonia, asthma attacks, swelling of the brain, kidney problems and certain skin conditions.
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Is Your Cold Causing A Wet Or Dry Cough
Jason DelCollo, DO, is board-certified in family medicine and on the faculty of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
A cough is a common cold symptom, and it can be wet or dry. A dry cough is nonproductive and doesn’t bring up phlegm, while a wet, productive cough is associated with phlegm or mucus.
A cough from a cold is typically treated with over-the-counter medications, but there are many varieties to choose from with different active ingredientsand the best choice depends on whether your cough is wet or dry.
This article explains the common causes of a wet or dry cough and describes the most common treatments for a cough.
Ellen Lindner / Verywell
What Does A Wet Cough Feel And Sound Like
That mucus plays a major role in how your cough feels. Wet coughs generally occur when there’s inflammation within the lungs, causing an increase in mucus production, says Dr. Han. In some cases, you may even have trouble breathing due to the extra phlegm, she adds.
With a dry cough, however, you might notice a tickling sensation in your throat before you start coughing, and it may feel dry or irritated afterward.
The sound of your cough also can tell you if it’s wet or dry. A wet cough typically sounds like something’s rattling in your chest. If your doctor listened to your lungs with a stethoscope, they might hear crackles, wheezing, or ralesas well as small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds when you inhale, says Dr. Nesheiwat. A dry cough, meanwhile, can come with a hoarse or “hacking” sound.
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How To Treat A Lingering Cough
If you have a lingering cough, the following self-care measures may help ease it:
- Drink fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids may help clear potential irritants from your throat. In addition to water, focus on warm liquids like teas and broths.
- Breathe in moisture. Adding extra moisture to your environment may help to soothe irritation in your airways and throat. Try using a humidifier or standing in a steamy shower.
- Drink warm beverages with honey. Mixing 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey in warm water or in an herbal tea may help ease a cough. However, dont give honey to children under 1 year old, due to the risk of infant botulism.
- Suck on cough drops. Sucking on cough drops, throat lozenges, or even hard candies may help soothe an irritated throat.
- Avoid irritants. Try to stay away from common irritants like cigarette smoke, dust, and other environmental irritants that may make your cough worse.
- Take over-the-counter medications. For a cough thats caused by allergies or postnasal drip, OTC or antihistamines may help. However, use caution with OTC cough medications. Although they can treat an acute cough, they wont treat an underlying condition that causes a persistent cough.
Viral And Bacterial Infections
Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus. Less often, it’s caused by a bacteria.
In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
The virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes.
These droplets typically spread about 1m. They hang suspended in the air for a while, then land on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who touches these surfaces can spread the virus further by touching something else.
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How Is Pneumonia Treated
The goals of pneumonia treatment include minimizing the risk of serious complications and controlling symptoms to allow you to rest and recover. Mild to moderate cases of pneumonia that occur in generally healthy adults may be treated at home. More severe cases of pneumonia or cases in infants, older adults, or people with chronic diseases often require hospitalization.
Treatment of bacterial pneumonia includes medications. Antibiotics are not effective for treating viral pneumonia. A serious type of bacterial pneumonia called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia can be very difficult to treat because the bacteria that cause are resistant to the effects of antibiotics.
Treatment of pneumonia generally includes:
How Can I Help My Child Feel Better
Your child should drink fluids throughout the day, especially if he or she has a fever. Ask the doctor before you use a medicine to treat a cough. Cough suppressants stop the lungs from clearing mucus, which might not be helpful for lung infections like walking pneumonia.
If your child has chest pain, try placing a heating pad or warm compress on the area. Take your child’s temperature at least once each morning and each evening. Call the doctor if it goes above 102°F in an older infant or child, or above 100.4°F in an infant under 6 months of age.
With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Coughing can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to stop.
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What Symptoms Are Related To A Cough
The symptoms accompanying a cough will vary depending on what is causing it.
Cough is a common symptom for colds and the flu. In general symptoms are more intense with the flu.
These upper respiratory tract viral infections usually cause a dry cough, sore throat and runny nose, although the nose may be blocked to start with. The cough may be tickly and irritating. You may have watery eyes and headache. The common cold may also cause sneezing. Flu may cause fever and chills, if severe, and muscle pains.
A cough due to COVID-19 may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, fever or chills, breathlessness or sore throat. If you experience any of these symptoms you should get tested immediately.
Some people with asthma may have an ongoing cough. Their airways are inflamed and become oversensitive to asthma triggers. The cough is usually a dry cough, and there may also be wheezing. Asthma cough can be worse at night.
A chesty cough produces thick mucus known as phlegm. This is also known as a productive cough or wet cough. The phlegm comes up from the lungs and lower airways. This type of cough may be worse in the morning. There may be wheezing when you breathe in. A chesty cough may follow a common cold infection or can be due to long-term conditions, such as bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis or asthma.
Treatments To Improve Cough Efficiency And Clear Phlegm
Some of the treatments below help improve cough efficiency. Others decrease mucus in the back of the throat, thereby reducing the need to cough.
Expectorants and mucolytics
Expectorants and mucolytics are medications that thin the mucus and make it less sticky. This makes it easier for people to cough it up.
These medications work best for people who have a wet cough but are having difficulty getting the phlegm up.
Airway clearance devices
Airway clearance devices, such as the oscillating positive expiratory pressure device, use pressure and vibration to help shift phlegm from the airways during exhalation. This helps improve cough efficiency.
A 2014 review investigated the efficacy of PEP therapy in the treatment of stable bronchiectasis. The review included seven studies involving a total of 146 participants. The researchers found that PEP therapy improved cough effectiveness and sputum expectoration compared with no treatment.
Gargling with salt water
Gargling with salt water is an easy home remedy that may help alleviate a wet cough. The salt water may decrease mucus in the back of the throat, thereby reducing the need to cough.
A range of different salt water recipes are available. Most, including that of the American Dental Association, recommend mixing half a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. People should consider gargling this a few times per day to reduce phlegm.
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How Is A Wet Cough Treated
The best course of action for your wet cough all depends on the cause. Phlegmy coughs brought on by acute viral infections should improve on their own in a few weeks. Taking over-the-counter medications containing expectorants, such as the ingredient guaifenesin, can help thin out the mucus and make it easier to cough up.
Some home remedies might help ease the cough, too. “I like to recommend to my patients hot tea with honey, a hot mist humidifier, and cough drops,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. The antioxidant-rich tea can reduce inflammation, the honey may help ease the cough, and the humidifier may thin out your mucus, she explains.
To ease wet coughs caused by chronic bronchitis, your physician may suggest taking cough suppressants before bedtime so you can snooze peacefully throughout the night. If you also have allergies, asthma, or COPD, they might recommend you use an inhaler to curb inflammation and open the narrow passages in your lungs.
What About Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is caused by bacterial infection that affects cells in the airways and causes irritation and secretion.
Symptoms include coughing fits that end in a loud, breathing in noise that often sounds like a long whoop and leaves you gasping for air. Mucus is often expelled.
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Prolonged, forceful coughing can damage your airways, or cause rib fractures or muscle tears so its important to know when medical help is required.
So whatever your cough sounds like, keep an eye on it and see a doctor if it doesnt go away or gets worse.
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