Wet cough: causes and home remedies for treatment

When the weather changes, we often sneeze or cough. The problem with coughing is that once it starts, it takes forever to stop. It can keep you up all night, make it difficult to speak, and annoy you. Whether it is a dry cough or a wet cough, doctors will suggest you to take cough syrups and other medications. You can also try home remedies for wet cough, which is a type of cough that produces mucus or phlegm.

What is a wet cough?

A wet cough is often characterized by a noise or feeling of congestion in the chest or throat. Wet coughs are usually associated with respiratory infections such as colds or bronchitis, and they help clear excess mucus from the airways, says Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, director and head of the pulmonology department at the hospital. Fortis Escorts in Faridabad.

Wet cough is different from dry cough. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Oily cough vs. dry cough

A dry cough, also called a nonproductive cough, is different from a wet cough. In dry cough, mucus or phlegm is not produced. It is often characterized by a tickling or scratching sensation in the throat, and the cough itself does not cause any discharge. Dry coughs can be caused by a variety of factors, including irritants, allergies, or viral infections, and they are generally less effective at clearing the airways than wet coughs, which help clear mucus and other substances from the system respiratory.

What makes a wet cough worse?

Several factors and actions can make a wet cough worse or exacerbate symptoms. These include:-

1. Smoking

Smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke can irritate the airways and make a wet cough worse, says the expert.

2. Allergens

Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust or mold can trigger or worsen a wet cough in allergy sufferers.

3. Dry air

Breathing dry air can further irritate the throat and airways, but use a humidifier to help alleviate this problem.

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4. Cold air

Inhaling cold air can constrict the airways and increase coughing. Covering your mouth and nose in cold weather can help to some extent.

5. Respiratory irritants

Exposure to pollutants can affect your lungs, as can strong odors or chemicals that can exacerbate a wet cough.

6. Not Staying Hydrated

Dehydration can thicken mucus, making it harder to clear from the airways, so drink water and healthy beverages.

Home remedies for wet cough

There are several natural ways to relieve the symptoms of a wet cough.

1. Hydration

Drink plenty of fluids like water, herbal teas, or warm broth to keep your airways moist and help thin mucus, says Dr. Jha.

2. Honey

Honey has natural antibacterial and soothing properties, so mixing it with warm water or herbal tea can help relieve coughs.

3. Steam inhalation

It may seem a little stuffy, but inhaling the steam from a bowl of hot water can help break up mucus and relieve congestion.

4. Gargle with salt water

This is one of the most common and effective ways to stop coughing. Gargling with warm salt water can reduce irritation while soothing your sore throat.

Woman with a wet cough
Use ginger or garlic to treat wet coughs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in your favorite tea or as a soothing throat remedy. You can also reheat it, add a little salt and keep it in your mouth for a while.

6. Garlic

Garlic has natural antibacterial properties, so chewing raw garlic or using it in cooking can help strengthen the immune system.

7. Hot toddy

It is a hot drink with honey, lemon and a small amount of whiskey or brandy. It can relieve cough symptoms, but should be used in moderation, the expert warns.

8. Eucalyptus oil

Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam can help clear nasal passages and relieve coughs.

9. Raise your head

Sleeping with your head elevated can
Make it easier to breathe at night and reduce postnasal drip, which is discharge from your nose into your throat. This whole process causes congestion and coughing.

These home remedies can relieve mild cases of wet cough, but if your symptoms worsen, see a doctor.

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