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There’s a cough, and then there’s a persistent cough, which is like the guest that hangs around too long at the end of a party. However, once you’ve figured out why your irritating cough isn’t going away, you can start to take control. In this guide we look at the most common causes, explain when you should seek medical advice, and identify some home remedies for persistent coughs you might want to try.
Why your cough isn’t going away
There could be a whole host of possible reasons for a wet or dry cough not going away. But with a process of elimination and a chat with your GP, you can narrow down the culprits and move onto finding home remedies for a persistent cough. Common causes include:
- Chest infection. Sometimes infections last a lot longer than we expect them to. If a cough with phlegm isn’t going away, that could well be the reason. Consult your doctor, if you haven’t already, and they will be able to help you deal with it.
- Post-virus. After a cold or flu, it’s normal for congestion to hang around. This could be the reason for a cough with mucus not going away, and other symptoms like a postnasal drip.
- Asthma. Respiratory problems like asthma can lead to a dry cough not going away. If you’re asthmatic, that could well explain your irritating cough symptoms; especially if they occur at night.
- Acid reflux. This is another medical condition that can lead to a cough with mucus not going away.
In addition to medical conditions, there’s a handful of other reasons your wet or dry cough is not going away, including:
- Lack of fluids.
- Air that’s overly dry or moist.
When to seek medical advice
If your cough isn’t going away on its own and you haven’t identified the cause, it’s important to see your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Unexpected weight loss.
- Coughing up blood.
- Dizziness, fever or shortness of breath.
- When a dry cough or cough with phlegm isn’t going away after three weeks.
Home remedies for persistent coughs
Whatever the cause of your irritating cough symptoms, there are a number of remedies. For a persistent cough that occurs as a result of a medical condition, you should always follow the advice of your doctor. However, for other causes, there are a few other steps you can take when trying to figure out how to stop constant coughing:
- Use over the counter medicines. Always follow professional advice when taking medicine.
- Drink more. Fluids will not only help soothe a sore or dry throat, they’ll also help loosen mucus, making it easier to get rid of.
- Practice relaxation. Being stressed can wreak havoc on your immune system and lead to a lingering cough. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing can do the trick.
- Honey and lemon. If you’re stuck for how to get rid of a lingering cough, brewing this combination in hot water will help soothe your throat and tickly cough – let it cool down before drinking!
- Use air filters, humidifiers or dehumidifiers.
- Avoid cold air when suffering.
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When you’re not sure how to get rid of a lingering cough, identifying the reason why is the top priority. Examine your symptoms, talk to your doctor if needs be, and try out some simple remedies to relieve the cough. Hopefully now that you’ve got a better idea how to get rid of a persistent dry cough, you’ll be able to deal with your persistent cough and wave it goodbye.