It’s been a couple of weeks, but you’re still coughing.
Your Cold/Flu Has Irritated Your Airways
Unfortunately, the effects of viruses or bacteria can last long after the actual infection is gone. A chronic cough can be the most predictable aftermath of a cold or other viral infection, says Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. While most cold symptoms may go away after a few days, your cough can hang around for weeks, even months, because viruses can cause your airways to become swollen and oversensitive.
Lung issues after COVID-19
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing or a lingering cough after COVID-19 are signs that you may have post-COVID complications that are affecting your lungs. Whether you’ll get coronavirus lung damage depends on a few things, including the severity of your original symptoms, other health conditions, treatment and recovery.
For example, if you had severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome during COVID-19, it could take a while to get better and you may need a doctor to help manage your symptoms.
One thing that can help with your recovery is exercising your lungs. Start with gentle physical exercise like walking or biking – gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the activity. Breathing exercises can help too.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Your Cough
Probiotics are microorganisms that can provide a host of health benefits. While they don’t relieve a cough directly, they do help to balance your gastrointestinal flora. Gastrointestinal flora are the bacteria that live in your intestines.
This balance can support immune system function throughout the body. A 2015 showed a decrease in the number of people contracting upper respiratory infections after being given various strains of probiotics, though the evidence is still inconclusive.
Each supplement manufacturer may have different daily recommended intakes. Probiotics are also added to some yogurt types and are present in miso soup and sourdough breads.
Given the variations of probiotics available, you should talk with your doctor about which probiotic is right for you and your condition. The most natural way to get probiotics is through fermented foods, including:
You don’t usually think of pineapple as a cough remedy, but that might be because you’ve never heard of bromelain.
There’s slight evidence to suggest that bromelain — an enzyme found only in the stem and fruit of pineapples — can help suppress coughs as well as loosen the mucus in your throat.
To enjoy the most benefits of pineapple and bromelain, eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3.5 ounces of fresh pineapple juice three times a day.
There are also claims that it can help relieve sinusitis and allergy-based sinus issues, which can contribute to coughs and mucus. However, there’s insufficient to support this.
It’s also sometimes used to treat inflammation and swelling.
Children or adults who take blood thinners should not take bromelain supplements. Also, if you’re taking antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, be careful using bromelain as it can increase the absorption of the antibiotic.
Always speak with your doctor before taking new or unfamiliar supplements.
Get bromelain supplements.
Marshmallow root is made from Althaea officinalis, a perennial that flowers in summer. It’s not the same as the squishy marshmallow that you roast over a fire.
The leaves and roots of the marshmallow plant have been used since ancient times to treat sore throats and suppress coughs.
A 2020 study, that was done in a lab, found that the marshmallow plant was effective at reducing a cough due to its soothing effect on the irritated tissues of the throat and sinuses. This could be due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.
The marshmallow root also contains mucilage, which coats the throat and soothes irritation.
Today, you can get marshmallow root as a tea or in capsule form. The warm tea can be soothing to a cough that’s accompanied by a sore throat.
Although the herb is generally considered safe, both marshmallow root and leaves are not recommended for children.
You Have Asthma or Allergies
Allergies and asthma are common causes of prolonged coughing. A cold can even cause an asthma attack. In fact, some people learn they have asthma after suffering from a cold.
In addition, acid reflux and obstructive sleep apnea can also cause a chronic cough. Notify a doctor if you experience the below acid reflux symptoms:
• Ongoing cough
Also, see your doctor if you have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, such as:
• Loud snoring
• Nighttime choking or gasping
• Recurrent awakenings
• Sleepiness during the day
Stress, especially when it’s chronic, can make colds last longer. To better control a lingering cough, slow down and reduce stress while you’re sick. Pushing yourself too hard may just make you sicker. One way to relax is to rest more – always aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
You’re Not Drinking Enough Fluids
When you have a cold or the flu, you need to drink a lot of fluids. Water, juice and soup can help loosen mucus in your airways so you can cough it up and out. Alcohol and drinks with caffeine in them are not helpful choices, since they can dehydrate you (which is the opposite of what you need when you’re sick).
Another way to add moisture to your airways is by using a saline nasal spray.
Overusing OTC Nasal Decongestant Spray
Speaking of nasal sprays, there is such a thing as overdoing it. Over-the-counter (OTC) nasal decongestant sprays may