It is possible to treat severe coughing by dealing with its underlying cause, according to Health Hype. Coughs caused by viral infections, such as the flu or a cold, may be calmed by employing various home remedies and taking over-the-counter medicine, says WebMD. Coughs resulting from a bacterial illness, such as pneumonia or a sinus infection, may require treatment with an antibiotic.
Home remedies for calming coughs include drinking much fluid, using a cool air vaporizer or humidifier, sleeping propped up, and consuming a small amount of honey before retiring at night, states WebMD. Over-the-counter cough medicines labeled "expectorant" may help to relieve a "wet" cough, which is one that brings up mucus. Medicine labelled "suppressant" helps stop the urge to cough, and is taken for a "dry" cough.
When a lot of mucus is produced, it is important to consult a doctor about what kind of medicine to use. In the presence of serious conditions, such as emphysema, asthma or chronic bronchitis, patients should consult a doctor before taking any cough medicine, notes WebMD. Cold and cough medicine should not be given to children under four years of age.
If left untreated, some causes of chronic cough may be fatal, says Health Hype.