How to Stop an Annoying Cough

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Things You'll Need

  • Cough medicine
  • Lozenges
Man coughing on couch
Man coughing on couch (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Persistent coughs usually develop during a sickness, as well as at the end of the sickness, becoming dry and annoying. A chronic cough that lasts more than eight weeks can be the sign of some serious trouble. The most common causes of a persistent, lingering cough are post-nasal drip, asthma and acid reflux, according to the Mayo Clinic. Whatever the cause, it is important to treat the cough properly. If the cough becomes extremely painful, or does not stop, contact a doctor.

Step 1

Drink plenty of water to rehydrate and to reduce the amount of mucus build-up.

Man drinking glass of water
Man drinking glass of water (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Step 2

Suck on throat lozenges and take cough suppressants from the pharmacy that contain codeine to ease pain and reduce the cough.

Pharmacy shelves
Pharmacy shelves (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Step 3

Sleep eight hours a night and rest at home to keep the body strong.

Man sleeping in bed
Man sleeping in bed (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 4

Visit your doctor if the cough persists more than eight weeks. A doctor may perform a CAT scan or an X-ray to have a look at your lungs and perform a lung test.

Woman talking to doctor
Woman talking to doctor (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Step 5

Avoid smoking to prevent a cough. See your doctor for recommendations on how to quit smoking, or visit your local clinic for nicotine gum or patches to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

Cigarette on ashtray
Cigarette on ashtray (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Step 6

Monitor your diet if the cough is due to acid reflux. Eat smaller meals, more frequently throughout the day. Wait three to four hours after a meal before going to bed.

Woman eating at desk
Woman eating at desk (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Step 7

Apply chest rub medication containing camphor or menthol before bed. This should reduce chest irritation and ease breathing.

Woman applying lotion
Woman applying lotion (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Step 8

Drink a mug of hot water or tea with honey to reduce coughing.

Woman holding mug
Woman holding mug (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 9

Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration and may exacerbate your cough.

Woman at dinner table with glass of wine
Woman at dinner table with glass of wine (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

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