Treatments for cough vary from a simple intake of over-the-counter medication to a complete lifestyle change. Here are the most common recommendations of medical practitioners for chronic cough treatment:
· Antihistamines. Medication for allergies that cause you to cough. Effects should be felt in a matter of minutes.
· Decongestants. For cough brought about by postnasal drip, a decongestant can help relieve nasal congestion. According to Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Alan Weiss, decongestants open up your air passages by reducing production of mucus and shrinking your swollen nasal tissue.
· Inhalers. Inhalers for asthma containing bronchodilators, corticosteroids, or both reduce inflammation and cause your airways to widen so you can breathe properly.
· Antibiotics. For cough caused by bacterial infection, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics to be taken strictly for a number of consecutive days (normally between 1 to 2 weeks).
· Acid blockers. For GERD patients, acid blockers provide instant relief from its symptoms including cough.
· Expectorants. If your cough produces thick phlegm that is difficult to expel, take a cough expectorant. Expectorants such as guaifenesin help to thin out the mucus so you can easily cough out phlegm.
· Cough suppressants. When cough can't be determined or if the mere act of coughing can cause your condition to worsen (like if you just had surgery or if you have been suffering from sleep deprivation) your doctor may recommend a cough suppressant such as dextromethorphan. Cough suppressants don’t really solve the main problem but they prevent the complications of persistent coughing.
To make sure you’re addressing your cough properly, do not self-medicate. Visit a doctor as soon as you feel you’re not responding to over-the-counter drugs despite several days of taking them. Do not wait until you finally collapse and require hospitalization before seeking medical assistance.