Coughing is how the body removes foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages or from an irritated airway. Coughing is only a symptom, not a disease and the importance of the cough is determined only when other symptoms are evaluated. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can readily manage this symptom.
A productive cough will produce phlegm or mucus and it is drained down at the back of the throat coming from the nose or sinuses or goes up from the lungs. There are several causes of productive cough which includes the following:
- Common cold that is caused by a virus and coughing that is caused by mucus that drains down at the back of the throat.
- Infection involving the lungs or upper passages such as pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis or tuberculosis.
- Productive cough can also be caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that is getting severe.
- Coughing which causes the stomach acid to back up into the esophagus which can be a symptom of GERD.
- Nasal discharge or postnasal drip that drains down at the back of the throat.
- Smoking and using other tobacco products.
A non-productive cough is dry and does not produce any sputum along with dry, hacking cough that develops when a cold stops or after being exposed to an irritant such as dust or smoke and it can be caused by the following:
- After having common cold, a dry cough can last for several weeks or longer than other symptoms and becomes severe at night.
- Bronchospasm caused by irritation.
- Frequent sneezing which is an indication of allergic rhinitis.
- Medications such as ACE inhibitors which are used in controlling hypertension such as captopril and Lisinopril.
- Exposure to dust, fumes and chemicals in the workplace
- Symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath and feeling of tightness in the chest can be a sign of mild asthma.
- An inhaled object such as food or a pill which causes blockage of the airways.
Treatment and home remedies
- Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey in ¼ cup water and drink it twice a day.
- Cut a lemon into four squares and season it with salt and pepper and allow the individual to suck on it when needed.
- Create a brew of peppermint tea by filling a teaspoon of peppermint leaves in a cup of hot water. Allow the brew to ferment for 5 minutes and drink it as often as needed.
- Prepare a saline solution by dissolving a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda in a pint of water. Take a small amount of the solution and gargle in order to relieve inflammation in the throat and flush out dry mucus secretions that causes the coughing.
- Place 1 ounce of thyme leaves and 1 quart of water into a saucepan and let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to ferment for 10 minutes and drink the solution at least 3-4 cups daily.
- Drink plenty of fresh cold water. Take small sips in order to help minimize irritation and inflammation of the throat as well as providing a relaxing effect.