Is My Cough Chronic?
A cough is normally associated with a cold or flu and will go away by itself within a few weeks.
Although coughs can be annoying, they are not normally anything to worry about. However, you should see your physician if you have a cough for longer than three weeks or any of the following symptoms:
- A cough that is very bad or suddenly gets worse
- Chest pain
- Phlegm that is green in color
- Coughing up blood
- Swollen glands in your neck
- Difficulty breathing
- Unexpected weight loss
A cough that lasts for more than eight weeks is known as a chronic cough. A chronic cough can be caused by a number of different things including:
- Infections following a cold or flu
- Post-nasal drip (mucus dripping into the throat and causing irritation)
- A group of drugs known as ACE inhibitors
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
How to Relieve Chronic Cough Naturally
Once your physician has found the underlying reason for your cough, you can start thinking about your treatment. If you have an infection, you will need to take a course of antibiotics. Your doctor might also recommend drugs if your cough is caused by allergies, asthma or acid reflux. In addition to these, there are also a few simple steps you can take to relieve chronic cough naturally at home.
If you suffer from excess mucus and post-nasal drip, you can try changing your diet in order to improve your cough. There are many foods which are thought to contribute to the formation of mucus in the body and should be avoided. These include dairy products, wheat products, refined sugars, deep fried foods and fatty meats.
If your cough is worse at night, try sleeping with an extra pillow or propping up the head of your bed with a couple of books. This will reduce the amount of mucus dripping into your throat and can also help if your cough is caused by acid reflux.
You can also use a simple steam inhalation to clear your sinuses and relieve post-nasal drip. Just pour some freshly boiled water into a bowl or basin, add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil, place a towel over your head and inhale the steam for a few minutes. This might make you cough more in the short term as mucus is loosened from your lungs, but afterwards you will feel clearer and able to breathe more easily.
The most effective way to improve chronic cough naturally is by stopping smoking. Talk to your health care provider about the different options available to you and ask your friends and family for support. Quitting smoking may not be easy, but the potential benefits for your health make it truly worth the effort.
Acupuncture for Chronic Cough
Another way to relieve the symptoms of chronic cough naturally is acupuncture. This ancient therapy uses fine needles to stimulate certain points on the body to improve your health and treat disease. Research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of conditions including chronic cough.
This study on acupuncture for chronic cough found that patients responded better to acupuncture than conventional medication. There was a 90% total treatment effective rate in the acupuncture group compared with just 80% in the medication group. Points were chosen to improve circulation, support lung function and clear excess phlegm.
Acupuncture can also help you to stop or reduce smoking. This study on acupuncture and smoking cessation found that participants in the acupuncture group were more able to reduce their smoking than those in the control group. The participants reported that cigarettes tasted worse than before treatment and their desire to smoke fell.
Of course, if you want to stop smoking, you will still need some willpower, but acupuncture can help to reduce cravings and the stress associated with quitting.
So acupuncture can help chronic cough both by relieving the symptoms and making quitting smoking easier. This makes it an ideal treatment for improving your general health and well-being as well as dealing with the irritating symptoms of chronic cough.