A chronic and persistent cough can cause a whole host of health issues. Here is how it affects your health:
1. Muscle Pain
Persistent coughing often leads to chronic muscular pain. This is because coughing fits generate a good deal of pressure, which can end up causing pain due to muscle strain.
2. Blood Vessel Damage
When you experience a severe coughing fit, certain fine blood vessels, such as the ones found in the nose or anus, can end up bursting, which may even lead to a hemorrhage.
3. Cracked Ribs
A chronic cough may cause the middle ribs along the side to become cracked or fractured.
4. Throat Damage
An unyielding cough can cause your throat to get infected, which may then move on to infect other parts of your body. Such coughs can also make the tissues of the throat inflamed, further escalating any existing issues.
5. Diaphragm Rupture
While you’re coughing, your diaphragm contracts and retracts. During forced respiratory movements, the ribs are pushed inward and downward while the diaphragm is pushed upward. When the force is too rapid or heavy, a diaphragm rupture may occur.
6. Abdominal Hernia
Although this is quite a rare occurrence, there is still a chance that a chronic cough can cause an abdominal hernia. You are at a higher risk of this happening if you already suffer from chronic bronchitis, and it will require surgical intervention to put right.
7. Coughing Up Blood
If a chronic cough goes on for long enough, there’s a chance that you could experience heamoptysis, which is the medical term for coughing up blood. Such blood would usually appear as bright red droplets of blood or as frothy blood-streaked phlegm or saliva. It’s very important to visit a doctor immediately if you ever start coughing up blood.
How to Reduce a Cough
• Start breathing from your nose only. This will keep both your lungs and the mucus in your throat from drying up and causing irritation.
• Drink plenty of fluids to thin out and moisten any mucus present in your throat.
• Use a humidifier to add some moisture to the air in your home, since dry air can worsen symptoms.
• Stop drinking cow’s milk and consuming other dairy products until your cough subsides, since these can make it worse.
• Take regular steamy showers, since they are able to help a cough by loosening nasal secretions.
• Enjoy more hot drinks, since they numb the back of your throat, easing the cough reflex.
Some Natural Remedies to try: These are some remedies used by our ancestors when having to fight off a cough.
1. Create your own cough syrup
Studies show that honey is an effective remedy in treating coughs and sore throats. A teaspoonful should suffice, or for a stronger remedy, combine some honey with coconut oil and lemon juice. Though not recommended nowadays, our grandmothers often combined a shot of bourbon with honey before bedtime, to soothe a cough.
2. Sip on Thyme tea
Thyme is an excellent treatment for coughs, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and whopping coughs, so much so that in Germany, it has officially been approved as an effective treatment. Thyme works to relax the trachea (the windpipe) and reduce inflammation. To make thyme tea, steep two teaspoons of crushed leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain. For a more potent fix, add honey and lemon.
3. Take a hot shower
Close the windows, turn off the fan and crank up the heat. Steam can be a cough’s worst enemy. It works to soothe the airways and loosen sinus congestion and phlegm in your throat and lungs. On the downside though, steam may worsen coughs that are caused by asthma – in which case, be sure to practice caution.
4. Sip on black pepper and honey tea
Black pepper and honey are said to work on ‘wet’ coughs. The pepper stimulates circulation and mucus flow, while the honey works as a natural cough reliever. To make the tea, combine one teaspoon of freshly ground pepper with two tablespoons of honey in a mug and fill with boiling water. Cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Then strain and sip.
5. Turmeric milk
Consuming a lot of liquids, whether teas or water, may help fight off a cough. This natural remedy tends to work because fluids help thin out the mucus in postnasal drip, keeping the membranes moist.
Another common remedy that works well is mixing turmeric, black pepper and honey in warm water and consuming it to coat the throat.
6. Suck on cough drops or lemon
Menthol cough drops work especially well, as they tend to numb the throat, which can help tame the cough reflex.
You could also sprinkle the lemon with a pinch of salt and pepper and suck on it to get the best effect.
7. Make a cup of licorice root tea
Licorice root has long been used to treat coughs. And one of the reasons why this natural remedy works so well is because it can help soothe an inflamed and irritated throat. Slice one ounce of licorice candy (opt for candy that contains real licorice – alternatively, you may opt for licorice root) and steep it in a quart of boiling water for 24 hours. Sip as much as you need.
8. Have some ginger
Ginger has a wealth of health benefits, and has long been used for its medicinal properties. In Eastern medicine, ginger is often prescribed to treat symptoms of colds and flu due to its antihistamine and decongestant properties. To get the most from its beneficial properties, make ginger tea by adding 12 slices of fresh ginger to a pot with three cups of water. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Strain and add one tablespoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon. If it tastes too spicy, add more water.
9. Ayurvedic Tulsi Tea
As per Ayurveda, Tulsi tea (holy basil tea) may be of great help in providing relief from dry cough. This is how you make Tulsi tea…
- 7-10 tulsi leaves (holy basil leaves)
- 2-3 cloves
- 2-3 pods of cardamom
- 300-500 ml of water
- Honey (optional)
Add water in a pan and put it on high flame. Now add the holy basil leaves, cloves and cardamom pods in it and let it boil for 5-7 minutes.
Now remove the pan from the flame and strain the tea in a cup. You may add honey to this tea for flavor.
If you’ve adopted the tips above and your cough is still showing no signs of going away, then make sure you speak to a medical professional to guide you further.
Source: Internet & Others
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.