How can you treat a persistent cough?


Quick Answer

To treat a persistent cough, a doctor may recommend antihistamines, decongestants, antibiotics or cough suppressants, according to Mayo Clinic. Inhaled asthma drugs or acid blockers may also be useful. The appropriate treatment for a persistent cough often depends on the underlying condition causing it.

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How can you treat a persistent cough?
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Full Answer

If the persistent cough is caused by allergies, it may help to avoid any trigger substances, recommends Mayo Clinic. Quitting smoking is often an effective way to stop a persistent cough, as smoking exacerbates underlying cough conditions and also irritates the lungs.

If the chronic cough is caused by acid reflux, it may help to eat smaller portions more frequently, suggests Mayo Clinic. Coughing associated with acid reflux may also be reduced by eating dinner three to four hours before bed and by keeping the head elevated during sleep.

A persistent cough is most commonly caused by a viral infection, such as a cold, that has not fully cleared yet, notes WebMD. The residual symptoms of a viral infection may last for weeks. Other common causes of a persistent cough include allergies, asthma and obstructive sleep apnea.

Taking steps to reduce stress and drinking more water may help to alleviate a chronic cough, according to WebMD. Soup and juice may also help to loosen mucus that can cause a persistent cough. To prevent dehydration, it is important to avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Using a humidifier or saline nasal spray may also prevent dehydration.

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