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Coughing is crap. Whether it is a repetitive and dry cough or a deep and wet hack, the cough is one of the worst symptoms of being sick.
Unfortunately, antibiotics do not treat a cough by themselves, but there is still much that you can do to cough less and make the cough less painful. "Many coughs simply take time to go away," says Cindy Uypitching, MD, a family medicine doctor at the medical offices of Kaiser Permanente Canyon Country in Santa Clarita, California. "There are several who can help you feel more comfortable when you are sick."
But before you can deal with your cough, it is important to understand what is causing it and how serious it is:
What really causes cough?
Cough can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common culprits are bacterial and viral diseases (such as pneumonia, influenza or cold), allergies, runny nose, heartburn and asthma, says Dr. Uypitching. Often, the cough gets worse at night, usually due to the position it is in, since lying down can cause more congestion and worsen heartburn. Sleeping with your head raised by pillows can help, as well as trying one of the natural remedies before bedtime.
What is the difference between a dry cough and a wet cough?
A dry cough is exactly what it looks like, and it can be a reaction to a dry, itchy throat, or other irritation. A wet cough, that is, one that produces mucus or other fluids, is usually caused by a virus such as a cold or the flu. Viruses can last up to a month, much longer than many people think, says Dr. Uypitching.
What should I do if my cough does not go away?
If your cough does not go away after three to four weeks, it becomes chronic or recurs under certain circumstances, then it is time to go in and have it checked, says Dr. Uypitching. You may have progressed to a more serious infection or it may indicate that you have reflux, allergies or asthma, all of which can and should be treated by a doctor. Contact your doctor immediately if you have other symptoms that get worse, such as fever, chest pain or shortness of breath, he adds.
Let's look at the solutions at home for which you die. But before using any natural cough remedy that involves herbs, check with your doctor about how they can interact with any medications you are taking, says Dr. Uypitching. And remember, natural remedies are meant to supplement any medication that your doctor has given you and should not be used instead of any traditional treatment that your doctor recommends when you are sick.
Hopefully, these 12 natural cough remedies make your cough less bothersome and make it easier for you to rest and feel better.