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Q.

How do I make a persistent dry cough go away for good?

It's been about two weeks now since I've had a cold/flu and I can't afford to go to a doctor right now. How can I treat this at home? Or will I need to go see a doctor for this?

Related Topics: Flu, Vision, Cough, Coldness
 
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Primary Care
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A.
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You are coughing for a reason. Coughing helps clear your airway of mucous, so if you are still coughing, then perhaps you are still having post-nasal drainage. Coughing can irritate the respiratory track, so the more that you cough, the more that you may feel the need to cough.

Assuming that you are not having signs of a secondary infection, like pneumonia (fever, chills, rapid respiration) or an asthma-reaction (wheezing, shortness of breath, etc.), you can quiet an annoying cold-related cough several ways:

  • Hydrate: drink plenty of fluids
  • Humidify: use a cool mist humidifer or at least take a steamy shower before bedtime
  • Soothe: Try some honey to coat your throat
  • Suppress: You can take an over-the-counter cough suppressant that contains dextramethorophan (DM). A pharmacist can help you select a good one.
  • Try some cough drops. Many contain soothing glycerine to help the irritated throat. Don't leave them in your mouth at bedtime, however!
  • Control post-nasal drainage. An antihistamine may help dry up a drip.
  • Avoid decongestants at bedtime (they increase post-nasal drainage)

Any persistent cough should be taken seriously, so you may need to see a medical professional if the cough does not quiet down and completely resolve.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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