One of the easiest ways to calm a cough is to add water to the inflamed respiratory tract. You can do this by drinking fluids or adding moisture to the air through the use of a humidifier.
A viral infection in the respiratory tract—such as the common cold or bronchitis—often causes a cough. Coughing can also be sparked by asthma, allergies, whooping cough and other conditions. Dry air can make a cough even worse, says SeattleChildrens.org.
There are two main types of humidifiers—warm and cool. Warm air humidifiers add a heated mist to the air, while cool air humidifiers emit a cool mist.
Warm air humidifiers use a heating element to create steam or a warm mist. Cool air units use a wick, filter or ultrasonic sound waves.
A cool mist humidifier is the best type to use for a cough, says kidsgrowth.com, because it is more effective in reducing the swelling and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Cool moisture is also better at thinning out the secretions that build up inside the respiratory tract during an infection.
Cool mist humidifiers should not be used for asthma-related coughs, as this often worsens the condition. Use a warm mist humidifier instead.