© 2003–2023 The Redmond Family. All rights reserved.

Stop the Cough

A cough usually starts with a BIG breath of cold, dry and dusty air dragged in through the mouth, and ends by blasting lots of that warm, moist air that our lungs like, straight out into the atmosphere. Once you are in a coughing fit, then that big breath in and big blast out can leave you unable to catch your breath.

It can be embarrassing to cough a lot when you are in church, the theatre, or while making a speech, and those who listen to lots of coughing also find it disruptive. Parents of asthmatic children frequently drag themselves out of bed at 2am to deal with the dry persistent cough that always seems to occur in the middle of the night. Eliminating the incessant cough therefore is a Godsend.

The first step is to work out what stimulates the cough. Is it breathing through your mouth while brushing your teeth, laughing too hard, talking, climbing into bed, running around too much, getting short of breath, inhaling aerosols??? The possibilities are endless, but the following causes are common and the solutions are simple.

A dry and irritated throat causes a cough, and breathing through your nose can mostly stop this because the nose filters, warms and moistens inhaled air. Post-nasal drip is also a common source of coughing, so dealing with sinus problems, hay fever or chronic rhinitis with the Buteyko Method, or other means, is a good idea. Eating or drinking very cold substances frequently sets off a cough and having a warm drink often makes it stop.

Coughing hard can damage the airways, and so while it might feel like a good thing to do, you could find it useful in the long run to cough more softly. Try putting a clenched fist over your mouth and cough into that instead of hacking away like you normally do. However, sometimes it is impossible to cough softly, and at other times it seems that there is nothing as satisfying as a great big cough to clear the tickle. When this happens to you, remember to silently and slowly count to three before you inhale again through your nose. Putting in this short pause and breathing through your nose generally stops the coughing fit and allows you to get your breath back. Sucking something sweet or sipping water that has not just come out or a refrigerator are other ways that help stop a cough.

-- Control Asthma, Reduce Medication -- Jennifer Stark

© 2003–2023 The Redmond Family. All rights reserved.