If you’ve ever experienced a respiratory infection, you know what it’s like to lay down in bed, anxious to obtain some much-needed shut-eye, only to find yourself snoring, tossing, and turning.
Viral infections aren’t the sole cause of nocturnal coughing. Coughing keeps you up at night, including upper respiratory tract discomfort, postnasal drip, acid reflux, and other frequent health issues.
Fortunately, there are several simple methods to combat nocturnal coughing, like home remedies and the cough syrups available. You may get relief with the help of over-the-counter drugs and environmental modifications.
Coughing: Identifying the Various Symptoms
Cough can be acute and chronic. Acute coughs can last for weeks or months. In most acute fevers continue for fewer than three weeks before going away on their own. You’re more likely to catch a cold, flu, or acute bronchitis if you have a cough like this.
An eight-week cough is considered chronic (or longer than four weeks in children). Chronic coughing might keep you up at night and cause exhaustion. Other indications and symptoms of chronic coughing include:
- Nose congestion and runny nose
- The sensation of water streaming down your neck (postnasal drip)
- Itching and coughing in the throat
- Breathing difficulties and wheezing
- A sour feeling in your mouth or heartburn
Cough Treatments and Medication
There are various ways by which you can treat a cough, depending on the underlying reason. You’ll find several antibiotics and medications on the market for coughs.
Antibiotics cannot be used to treat a virus-induced cough. Moreover, there are a few home remedies that help you alleviate the symptoms:
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Warm drinks, such as broth, tea, or lemon juice, are calming and help thin mucus in the throat.
- If you have a dry cough (one that doesn’t generate phlegm or mucus), try sucking on some cough drops or hard candies to relieve the irritation in your throat.
- Take some honey with you. A spoonful of honey may help ease up the cough.
- Add moisture to the air, turn on a cool-mist humidifier or take a hot shower.
Among the many other options, you can:
- Elevate your head with more pillows as you sleep.
- Consider warm salt water gargling to eliminate mucus and soothe your throat.
Acute coughs that result in discomfort, sleeplessness and other signs not coupled with potentially serious symptoms are often treated with medications.
The Cough syrups and suppressant medications, which may be purchased over the counter, may help alleviate the symptoms of a cough. If the source of the cough is an infection, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics or antiviral medicine.
Is Cough Medicine Safe?
Unless the cough keeps you up at night or interferes with your regular activities, your doctor may advise against treating a cold cough. Most of the time, mucus is cleared from the lungs by coughing.
Medication from the drugstore
The following drugs may be recommended to treat a chronic cough:
- Dry, scratchy coughs without phlegm can be treated with Dextromethorphan (DXM). This can be taken every four to eight hours, depending on your needs. It is prescribed to treat a dry, scratchy cough with no phlegm. At least once every 12 hours, this should be taken.
- Allergic coughs can be relieved with Cetirizine, an antihistamine taken orally. When prescribed by your doctor, it should be taken as prescribed.
- One of the most commonly prescribed decongestants, menthol rub, helps alleviate coughs. It can be used as many as three times a day or breathed as a topical application.
- For dry cough and sore throat, stodal (a homeopathic medicine) can also be used. The recommended dosage is one capsule taken twice or thrice a day.
It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions when using medication for dry coughs. Before taking any treatment, a more serious illness (such as pneumonia or TB) must be checked out. Ideally, you should first treat your cough with home remedies before taking medicine.
You can inhale steam or vapor to alleviate coughs and bronchial discomfort. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil or propolis extract to a saucepan of simmering water and inhale deeply. Vitamin C-rich juice can also treat respiratory issues (e.g., which helps strengthen the immune system). Even hard sweets like licorice help coat the throat, encourage saliva production and aid in treating dry coughs.
A cough is a body’s response when something irritates your throat. It can be acute and chronic and can affect your life. In most cases, it goes away on its own. But sometimes, you need to take medicines, which can also leave side effects. Above are some common symptoms and signs that will help you know that you have a cough. Consult with your healthcare expert to know the reason for the cough and ask for a prescription. It’s recommended to choose the best cough syrups that can relieve wet and dry cough and symptoms of bronchitis.