Coughing is a common reflex action that clears your throat of mucus or foreign irritants. While everyone coughs to clear their throat from time to time, a number of conditions can cause more frequent coughing. A cough that lasts for less than three weeks is an acute cough.
Use cough drops or hard candy
Menthol and certain herbal cough drops can slightly numb and soothe your sore throat. But sucking on plain hard candy may work just as well.
Try a teaspoon of honey
This traditional remedy for sore throat may help soothe coughs, too. Try adding a spoonful to your tea, but don’t give honey to kids under 1 year old.
Sipping on drinks will keep your throat moist and comfortable. When your throat doesn’t hurt, you may not cough. Just about any drink is OK except alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Those can dry you out. Also avoid orange juice and other citrus drinks if they bother your throat.
Heat up that drink
Sip some warm tea or chicken soup to heat up your airways. Not only will it hydrate you, but the warmth helps break up mucus and makes it easier to cough up.
Use cough medicine
Sometimes you need to cough to get out nasty mucus. But other times you need to calm your cough, like when you want to sleep. Over-the-counter cough medicine can help. Expectorants help you cough up mucus. Cough suppressants reduce your urge to cough. If you’re not sure which kind you need, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use a decongestant
over-the-counter meds can help clear your stuffy nose. If postnasal drip is irritating your throat and making you cough, decongestants may help both your throat and cough. Be careful: While cold and cough medicines are fine for adults and older kids, they are not safe for children under age 4.
Breathe in steam
If a raw, dry throat is making you cough, moisture may help. Try breathing in steam from a hot shower. Or use a humidifier or vaporizer in your room while you sleep. The steam can keep your nose and throat from being too dry and get rid of that back-of-the-throat tickle. The moisture can also ease your breathing and loosen mucus, helping you cough it up.
Avoid dirty air
You know smoke isn’t good for you, but it’s especially bad when you’re sick. It can really irritate your cough. Don’t smoke, and stay away from others who are smoking.
If you want to get rid of your cold and cough, you need to take it easy. Your body needs energy to fight off the virus. Push yourself too hard, and it will just exhaust you and stress you out. That can make your cold, cough, and sore throat hang around longer.