Wet cough: causes and home remedies for treatment

When the weather changes, we often sneeze or cough. The problem with coughing is that once it starts, it takes forever to stop. It can keep you awake all night, make it difficult to talk, and just leave you feeling irritated. Whether it is dry cough or wet cough, doctors will recommend you to use cough syrups and other medications. You can also try home remedies for wet coughs, a type of cough that produces phlegm or phlegm.

What is wet cough?

A wet cough is often characterized by a sound or feeling of congestion in the chest or throat. Wet cough is often associated with respiratory infections such as colds or bronchitis, and helps clear excess mucus from the respiratory tract, says Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, director and head of the Department of Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.

Wet cough is different from dry cough. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Wet cough versus dry cough

A dry cough, also called a non-productive cough, is different from a wet cough. In dry cough, no phlegm or phlegm is produced. It is often characterized by a tickling or scratching sensation in the throat, and the cough itself does not bring up secretions. Dry coughs can be caused by several factors, including irritants, allergies, or viral infections, and are typically less effective at clearing the airways compared to wet coughs, which help clear mucus and other substances from the airways.

Which aggravates wet cough

There are several factors and actions that can worsen a wet cough or worsen its symptoms. These include:-

1. Smoking

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

2. Allergens

Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust, or mold can cause or worsen a wet cough in people who are allergic.

3. Dry air

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

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4. Cold air

Breathing cold air can constrict the airways and worsen coughing. Covering your mouth and nose in cold weather can help to some extent.

5. Respiratory tract irritants

Exposure to pollutants can affect your lungs, as can strong odors or chemicals that can make a wet cough worse.

6. Not staying hydrated

Dehydration can thicken mucus, making it more difficult to clear from the airways. Therefore, drink water and healthy drinks.

Home remedies for wet cough

There are several natural ways to relieve the symptoms of a wet cough.

1. Hydration

Drink plenty of fluids like water, herbal tea, or warm broth to keep your airways moist and thin the mucus, says Dr. Jha.

2. Honey

Honey has natural antibacterial and soothing properties, so mixing it with warm water or herbal tea can help relieve a cough.

3. Steam inhalation

It may seem a bit suffocating, but inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water can help loosen mucus and reduce congestion.

4. Gargle with salt water

This is one of the most common and effective ways to stop coughing. Gargling with warm salt water can reduce irritation while soothing your sore throat.

Woman with wet cough
Use ginger or garlic to treat wet coughs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in your favorite tea or as a throat soothing agent. You can also heat it, add a little salt to it and keep it in your mouth for a while.

6. Garlic

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

7. Hot toddy

It is a warm drink with honey, lemon and a small amount of whiskey or cognac. It can provide relief from coughing complaints, but should be used in moderation, the expert warns.

8. Eucalyptus oil

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

9. Lift your head

You can sleep with your head held high
make it easier to breathe at night and reduce postnasal drip, which is discharge from your nose that drains into your throat. This whole process causes congestion and coughing.

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

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