What Causes a Lingering Cough? Plus 3 Home Remedies to Try

What Causes a Lingering Cough?

Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of influenza infection. A cold or flu usually clears up within 24 hours, but sometimes it lingers for several days. This means that you are likely to have another attack during your trip abroad. If you do not get better after two days, you need to see a doctor immediately!

The reason why you may experience a lingering cough is because of the virus that caused the infection. You will probably have been exposed to influenza viruses before, but never experienced a severe illness.

This is because these types of infections are very mild and only cause a slight fever and sore throat. However, if you had been exposed to a more virulent type of influenza virus, then you could develop complications such as pneumonia.

If you think that you might have been infected with influenza virus (or any other kind) when traveling abroad, then you should take precautions against getting sick while away from home.

How to Prevent Getting Sick Again

One of the most common causes of a lingering cough is the tendency for the lungs to secrete mucus. When you have a cold or the flu, this can cause you to feel like you have excessive mucus in your lungs.

The only way to get rid of this excess secretions is to cough it out. Excessive coughing leads to coughing spells that can last several days.

Since your body is still fighting the influenza virus, it will try to fight off the mucus in your lungs by coughing. The only way to stop this from happening is to stop coughing altogether.

You can do this by drinking more water and taking a drug called Robitussin. This medicine works by loosening mucus in the lungs and throat, which then can be coughed up and eliminated from your body.

You can find this medication over the counter in any drug store or pharmacy.

How to Get Your Cough to Go Away

People often mistake a lingering cough for the actual flu virus. This is because a lingering cough can last anywhere from three to seven days.

While a cough can be a sign of an infection, it does not necessarily mean that you have the flu.

There are ways to get your cough to go away, including:

Drinking plenty of fluids. This will help to loosen the mucus in your lungs.

You can use over-the-counter medications that can help you get rid of a cough. Robitussin is one of the most common over-the-counter medicines used to help loosen chest secretions and relieve a cough. It usually takes about an hour to start working and can last up to three hours.

The Benefits of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

When you have a lingering cough, getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important. Not getting enough sleep can make you feel more tired, cranky and more susceptible to getting sick again.

If you do not get good quality sleep, it is harder for your body to fight off infection.

How do you know if you are getting a good night’s sleep?

The best way is to keep a log for a few nights. Write down how long it takes you to fall asleep, what time you wake up in the middle of the night and how many times you wake up during the night. This will give you an indication of whether or not you are getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

If you are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, try doing the following:

Don’t take your worries to bed with you. Take time each day to relax and unwind.

Try meditation or yoga.

Darken your bedroom as much as possible. If your eyes are adjusting to the light, you will feel more awake.

Use a fan to help you drift off to sleep. The sound of the fan will block out other noises and will help you relax.

If you are waking up during the night, do not turn on bright lights. Instead, use a dim lamp that won’t hurt your eyes when you wake up.

Drink chamomile tea. It is known to have relaxing properties and can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Don’t take any naps during the day. This will confuse your body’s sleep cycles, making it harder to go to sleep at night.

When you are sick with a lingering cough, it is extremely important to get a good night’s sleep if you want your body to fight off the infection and get rid of the mucus in your lungs. If you do not get enough sleep, your body cannot fight off the infection as well.

So, as soon as you start to catch a lingering cough, be sure to start creating good sleep habits. If you don’t have a cough when you go to bed, try drinking a cup of chamomile tea before you go to sleep.

If your cough is really bad, take some Robitussin before bedtime.

When you are sick it is okay to take a little extra medicine to help you get a good night’s rest. Just be sure that you are not taking it on a regular basis.

Talk to your doctor about the best way to get a good night’s sleep when you are sick with a lingering cough.

When you take good care of yourself, you can get over a lingering cough much quicker than you thought possible. After all, no one wants to be sick for days on end.

Taking good care of yourself is the best way to get rid of the cough.

If you have any further questions about how to take care of yourself or if your lingering cough does not seem to go away, be sure to ask your doctor. He or she will be able to give you the help you need to feel better as quickly as possible.

Sources & references used in this article:

Evaluation of chronic cough in children by S Asilsoy, E Bayram, H Agin, H Apa, D Can, S Gulle… – Chest, 2008 – Elsevier

Development of a symptom specific health status measure for patients with chronic cough: Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) by SS Birring, B Prudon, AJ Carr, SJ Singh, MDL Morgan… – Thorax, 2003 – thorax.bmj.com

… . KM Nadkarni’s Indian materia medica: with Ayurvedic, Unani-Tibbi, Siddha, allopathic, homeopathic, naturopathic & home remedies, appendices & indexes … by KM Nadkarni – 1996 – books.google.com