People cough due to a lot of reasons. Some cough due to allergies, while others due to chronic diseases. But is there really a way to stop coughing?

Causes of Coughing

A cough is sometimes misunderstood by many. Basically, when you cough, it means that your body coughs out stuff that doesn’t belong to your windpipe and lungs. This could be inhaled food or dirt. But here are some common triggers why people cough.

  • Acid Reflux – Stomach acids back up into your throat when heartburn occurs.
  • Allergies and Asthma – If you have either of these, your lungs can overreact due to some triggers like mold. So they are trying to cough out what is bothering them.
  • Irritants – Did you know that even if you are not allergic, there are things like cigarette smoke, cold air, or strong perfumes that can set off a hacking spell?
  • Postnasal Drip – Another coughing trigger is when your nose is congested. Mucus can drip down from your nose into your throat to make you cough. This often occurs when you have allergies, colds, flu, and sinus infections.
  • Viruses – The most common causes of coughing are colds and flu. The common cold is a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract. The same goes for flu or influenza a viral infection attacking the respiratory system.

Productive coughs get mucus filled with germs out of the lungs of a sick person. Some dry coughs would last for weeks or months after a cold. Coughing irritates the lungs, which also leads to coughing for longer periods.

  • Other Factors – Other causes also include medicine side effects, lung inflammation, and sleep apnea. So it is very important to get persistent coughs checked by a physician or specialist to avoid separate problems.

How Long Does A Cough Last? 

The duration of the cough depends on the causes. For instance, if your cough is acute or one that is caused by the common cold or infection of the upper respiratory tract, then it would last in less than 3 weeks. If cough will last up to 7 days or more, occurs with fever or comes back, with headache or rashes that last, then it is advised that you call your physician right away.

Types Of Coughs

Dry Cough

Most dry coughs are caused by respiratory illnesses, such as flu or colds. Such coughs will develop when there is little or in the absence of mucus in the throat. A person will feel a tickling sensation in the throat and unable to stop coughing. 

A cough will go away on its own but people can investigate for other causes whenever it becomes chronic.

  • Asthma – Common symptoms include a tight sensation to the chest, shortness of breath, or wheezing.
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) – This commonly happens when stomach acids travel upwards the throat, which triggers coughing.
  • Lung Cancer – Sometimes, coughing can be related to lung cancer, coinciding with blood in the mucus. Although it is a rare circumstance that coughing is due to lung cancer, you need to see a doctor if your condition requires proper attention.

Treatment Of Dry Cough

You can ease the tickling sensation of dry cough by drinking water or taking cough medicine.

Wet Cough

Sometimes, wet cough can be described by people as a chesty cough. This occurs when you cough up mucus or phlegm. Wet cough is typically due to an infection, including common cold, flu, or chest infection.

If a person has a chest infection, he or she may cough up phlegm with small amounts of bright red blood. Such can be caused by blood that comes from the lungs, but typically not a cause for worry.

When you find yourself coughing up dark blood or one that contains food, or what resembles as coffee grounds, medical help is necessary.

Some wet coughs can be chronic in nature, which can be due to several factors.

  • Bronchiectasis – This is a condition that is caused by mucus pools in small pouches of the lungs in which your body is unable to clear out.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – This is a type of lung disease wherein common symptoms would include wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Non-tuberculous Mycobacterial Infection – This type of coughing is non-contagious and can be indicated by feeling unwell, tiredness and weight loss.
  • Pneumonia – This type of condition is caused by bacterial infection wherein the tissues of the lungs become inflamed.

Treatment of Wet Cough

You can help wet cough to stay productive by staying hydrated. Other cough medicines available over-the-counter are also used by some people for immediate relief, including chest rubs, cough drops, and pain relievers.

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is a better term used for pertussis, a highly contagious bacterial infection. This illness will likely develop in newborns or people who failed to get vaccinated.

People with whooping cough will likely manifest mild cold or flu-like symptoms, succeeded by aggressive or painful coughing. Those with weak immune systems, including babies, might find it hard to fight the infection or might have trouble breathing.

Treatment of Whooping Cough

Whooping cough can be treated with antibiotics if taken early. So if symptoms will develop in an unvaccinated person, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

Chronic Cough

A cough that lasts longer than a typical illness is already chronic. This takes around 8 weeks or longer. In some cases, this can signal an underlying disease. So a person must see a doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Cough in Children

Some children, 5 years or younger, can develop a cough that sounds like a barking seal. While some children can develop the same cough as adults do. He or she usually has croup, which is a barking, painful cough caused by a flu or cold virus.


Coughing can be scary and sometimes may trigger fears of choking. When you cough, you are passing at least some air through the respiratory tract.

Mostly, cough will clear on its own, but chronic coughs and coughs in young children and unwell seniors will require prompt treatment.

Therefore, if a cough sounds bad, if it is so painful, or doesn’t go away, you need to see a doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

How do you calm a cough?

Other home remedies to try
  1. Aromatherapy with eucalyptus. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to soothe and heal.
  2. Use a humidifier. Dry air can aggravate a dry cough.
  3. Use an air purifier.
  4. Gargle with salt water.
  5. Antitussive cough syrup.
  6. Cough drops.

Why am I coughing a lot but not sick?

Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lion’s share are caused by just five: postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic bronchitis, and treatment with ACE inhibitors, used for high blood pressure.

What is the best medicine for cough?

Dextromethorphan is used to treat a cough and is available over the counter in syrup, capsule, spray, tablet, and lozenge form. It is also present in many over-the-counter and prescription combination medications. The most common brand names include Robafen Cough (Robitussin) and Vicks Dayquil Cough.

Is there a pill to stop coughing?

Benzonatate is used to relieve coughing. Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough medicine that numbs the throat and lungs, making the cough reflex less active. Benzonatate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How do you get rid of a dry cough in 5 minutes?

10 Ways to Stop Coughing Day and Night
  1. Try an expectorant. Over-the-counter (OTC) cough medications with an expectorant such as guaifenesin work by clearing the mucus and other secretions of a productive cough so that you can breathe easier.
  2. Take a cough suppressant.
  3. Sip green tea.
  4. Stay hydrated.
  5. Suck on lozenges.

What are the pressure points to stop coughing?

The base of the thumb pressure point

It is the sore fleshy area below your thumb. Place the thumb of your other hand at the center of the sore area and press it gently. Hold this point for 5 minutes. Doing this regularly will help you get relief from coughing, swollen throat and shallow breathing.

Are dry coughs bad?

A dry cough is one that does not produce phlegm or mucus. Dry coughs are often temporary and rarely a cause for concern. However, a chronic, dry cough may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as asthma or GERD.

What position should I sleep in with a cough?

Tips for a wet cough

Sleeping flat on your back or on your side can cause mucus to accumulate in your throat, which can trigger a cough. To avoid this, stack a couple of pillows or use a wedge to lift your head and neck slightly. Avoid elevating your head too much, as this could lead to neck pain and discomfort.

Why are coughs worse at night?

Coughing often becomes worse at night because a person is lying flat in bed. Mucus can pool in the back of the throat and cause coughing. Sleeping with the head elevated can decrease postnasal drip and symptoms of GERD, which both cause coughing at night.

Is Cold air bad for a cough?

Cooler air can, however, exacerbate an existing cough. So if you have a cold or other respiratory infection – such as pneumonia or bronchitis – then being outside in the cold can make you cough. This is why most coughs seem to get worse when the temperature falls after dark.

Can a fan make you cough?

Do fans trigger coughing? Dry air, whether from the fan, air conditioner, or heater, can trigger coughs. You can use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Moist air also prevents the circulation of dust mites and other indoor air allergens, irritating your nasal passage and throat.

How do you get rid of a tickly cough fast?

Try cough drops – pick a strong flavoured cough drop to not only ease the pain but also help stimulate saliva production. 3. Drink lots of clear fluids and herbal teas – swap coffee for hot water, peppermint tea and other clear fluids that will help keep your body hydrated.

Will ibuprofen help a tickly cough?

Ibuprofen may be powerless when it comes to treating the common cold. A new British study found the popular pain reliever ineffective at treating symptoms like sore throat, cough, and sinus pain associated with respiratory tract infections, such as colds.

Does drinking water help with coughing?

Keeping your body hydrated will help it function at its best. Increase your fluid intake when you have a cough or cold. Drinking water or herbal tea is a great way to get more fluids. Try to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol while you have a cough.