How to stop a bout of coughing

Updated April 17, 2017

Methods for resolving a persistent or severe cough depend on the type of cough. For instance, a cough may be dry, produce phlegm or be caused by a dry and irritated throat. A cough may also result from a cold or flu, asthma, smoking or other causes. There are various treatments for coughs, some from the pharmacy and some that you can make or try at home.

Try lozenges and fluids for a cough caused by a dry and irritated throat. Keep your environment smoke free, as even nonsmokers can experience irritation from cigarette smoke.

Sit in a hot, steamy shower to treat a dry throat or dry cough. The steam will help soothe and hydrate your breathing passages.

Purchase a cold-water humidifier for use in your bedroom at night. Coughs sometimes become worse when you lie down. If this is the case, a cold-water humidifier may help.

Drink hot liquids for wet coughs that produce phlegm. Also, talk to your pharmacist about expectorants, which can help you bring up the phlegm.


Don't treat babies or young children with cough syrups unless prescribed by your doctor. Clean your humidifier out after each use. See your doctor if you have trouble breathing, become dehydrated or have a cough that lasts longer than two weeks. None of these methods can cure a cold, infection or another cause for a cough. They merely address the coughing symptom.

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About the Author

Ann Craney started writing professionally in 2010, with articles appearing online at various websites. She specializes in food-related topics as she has formal patisserie training. Craney earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of British Columbia.