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Need to Get Rid of a Cough? Try These 12 Remedies You Probably Already Have at Home

Bicycling Logo By Ashley Martens of Bicycling | Slide 1 of 13: There are few things in life more annoying than a pesky cough that just won’t go away. A cough could be a simple tickle in the throat, or it can linger after a cold has passed. No matter how long you've been dealing with one, the discomfort may have you wondering about and searching online for how to get rid of a cough in five minutes. The sooner, the better, right?But to be honest, a cough is not always bad. Coughing is a reflex that protects our airways and lungs against irritants like dust, germs, and mucus. And occasional coughing is completely normal, according to the American Lung Association.That said, a cough isn’t necessarily something you should just shrug off.“[A] cough has many causes, ranging from a common viral illness to asthma or seasonal allergies to more significant health problems, such as chronic lung conditions, congestive heart failure, or even cancer,” says Michael Hanak, M.D., an assistant professor of family medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Now, some people may develop a cough after becoming infected with COVID-19. A COVD cough is dry and persistent, according to Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital. It is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pains, fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath.Certain medications could also be to blame, says Dr. Hanak. Environmental triggers like dust, mold, or other pollutants could be a contributing factor as well, either through lung irritation or postnasal drip. Acid reflux is another potential trigger. Given that a cough can be a sign of a condition or totally harmless, when should you see a doctor? “When a cough is present for more than two weeks, it is reasonable to contact a health care provider for additional testing or recommendations,” notes Dr. Hanak. In the meantime, if you’ve just started hacking, you can try to soothe your throat with these remedies.

There are few things in life more annoying than a pesky cough that just won’t go away. A cough could be a simple tickle in the throat, or it can linger after a cold has passed. No matter how long you've been dealing with one, the discomfort may have you wondering about and searching online for how to get rid of a cough in five minutes. The sooner, the better, right?

But to be honest, a cough is not always bad. Coughing is a reflex that protects our airways and lungs against irritants like dust, germs, and mucus. And occasional coughing is completely normal, according to the American Lung Association.

That said, a cough isn’t necessarily something you should just shrug off.“[A] cough has many causes, ranging from a common viral illness to asthma or seasonal allergies to more significant health problems, such as chronic lung conditions, congestive heart failure, or even cancer,” says Michael Hanak, M.D., an assistant professor of family medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Now, some people may develop a cough after becoming infected with COVID-19. A COVD cough is dry and persistent, according to Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital. It is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pains, fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath.

Certain medications could also be to blame, says Dr. Hanak. Environmental triggers like dust, mold, or other pollutants could be a contributing factor as well, either through lung irritation or postnasal drip. Acid reflux is another potential trigger.

Given that a cough can be a sign of a condition or totally harmless, when should you see a doctor? “When a cough is present for more than two weeks, it is reasonable to contact a health care provider for additional testing or recommendations,” notes Dr. Hanak.

In the meantime, if you’ve just started hacking, you can try to soothe your throat with these remedies.

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