1) A cough is only a symptom, not the problem.
2) Coughing clears the lungs and airways.
There are three kinds of coughs:
Productive - This brings up mucus of phlegm
Nonproductive - This is a dry cough
Reflex - This is a cough that comes from a problem somewhere else, like the ear or stomach
Infections. Examples are bronchitis, colds, and the flu
Allergies and postnasal drip
Acid reflux from the stomach that comes with heartburn
Something lodged in your windpipe
Symptom of medical conditions. Example: tuberculosis
Common causes of coughing are:
Avoid close contact with anyone with upper-respiratory illnesses
Wash hands regurlarly
Don't share drinking glasses or eating utensils
Replace your toothbrush after an illness and/or every two months
Don't smoke; avoid secondhand smoke
Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, hot tea, and fruit juices. These help loosen mucus and soothe a sore throat.
Use a cool-mist vaporizer in your room
Take a shower. The steam can thin the mucus
Take an over-the-counter expectorant or cough medicine containing guaifenesin
For Coughs that bring up mucus:
For Coughs that Are Dry:
Drink liquids. Drink tea with lemon and honey
Suck on cough drops or hard candy
Take an over-the-counter cough medicine that contains dextromenthorphan as directed
Diagnostic tests may include a chest x-ray. Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight an infection. If they are prescribed, be sure to take the entire antibiotic you are given.