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Wet cough: 9 home remedies to stop coughing

Wet cough can be common as the season changes, While over-the-counter medicines are available, you can also try home remedies for wet cough.

When the weather changes, we often sneeze or cough. The thing about coughing is that once it starts, it takes forever to stop. It can keep you up all night, make it difficult to speak and just leave you feeling annoyed. Whether it is dry cough or wet cough, doctors will suggest you to have cough syrups and other medicines. You can also try home remedies for wet cough, which is a type of cough that produces mucus or phlegm.

What is wet cough?

A wet cough is often characterised by a sound or sensation of congestion in the chest or throat. Wet coughs are commonly associated with respiratory infections such as the common cold or bronchitis, and they help to clear excess mucus from the airways, says Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Director and Head of Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.

Wet cough vs dry cough

dry cough, also known as a non-productive cough, is different from a wet cough. In dry cough, mucus or phlegm does not get produced. It’s often characterised by a tickling or scratching sensation in the throat, and the cough itself does not bring up any secretions. Dry coughs can be caused by various factors, including irritants, allergies, or viral infections, and they are typically less effective in clearing the airways compared to wet coughs, which help to remove mucus and other substances from the respiratory system.

What makes wet cough worse

There are several factors and actions that can make a wet cough worse or exacerbate the symptoms. These include:-

1. Smoking

Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can irritate the airways and make a wet cough more severe, says the expert.

2. Allergens

Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust or mold can trigger or worsen a wet cough in people who have allergies.

3. Dry air

Breathing dry air can further irritate the throat and airways, but use a humidifier to help to alleviate this.

4. Cold air

Inhaling cold air can constrict airways and increase coughing. Covering your mouth and nose in cold weather may help to some extent.

5. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in your favourite tea or as a throat-soothing remedy. You can also heat it, put a little salt to it and just keep it in mouth for some time.

6. Garlic

Garlic has natural antibacterial properties, so chewing raw garlic or using it in cooking can help to boost the immune system.

7. Hot toddy

It is a warm beverage with honey, lemon and a small amount of whiskey or brandy. It can provide relief from cough symptoms, but should be used in moderation, warns the expert.

8. Eucalyptus oil

Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam can help to clear nasal passages and ease coughing.

9. Elevate your head

Sleeping with your head elevated can
make it easier to breathe at night and reduce postnasal drip, which is secretion from your nose that drains down into your throat. This whole process causes congestion and cough.

These home remedies can provide relief for mild cases of wet cough, but if your symptoms worsen, check with a doctor.

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