What to do to stop a coughing fit. Whenever the cough surprises you, discover how to act to relieve coughing attacks quickly, effectively and easily.
We have all had a cough at some point. In fact, I would almost go so far as to say that everyone, at some point too, has suffered a terrible coughing fit; that annoying violent, sudden and noisy expulsion of the air that we contain in the lungs, but that even if we want to stop we simply cannot, even reaching the point of gasping for breath. Its causes can actually be very varied: irritation of the respiratory tract due to the weather, unhealthy habits such as tobacco, infection (as is the case with colds and flu) or choking. It can also be a type of conscious cough, which we do with the aim of keeping the air in the lungs clean of different foreign substances.
Did you know that there are different types of cough, whose causes and characteristics are just as different? We can mention the dry or non-productive cough (consisting of a type of cough without mucus that does not produce expectoration), the productive cough (which does produce mucus and therefore expectoration), the asthmatic cough (with respiratory difficulty and a kind of “whistle”) and psychogenic or psychosomatic cough.
However, when a coughing attack occurs, it is usually due mainly to the presence of a dry, irrigative and non-productive cough, as it is characterized by being a strong and dry type of cough. This can be acute (lasting less than three weeks), or chronic (when it is constant and lasts more than three weeks).
What to do when we suffer a coughing attack?
When we suffer a coughing fit, the main recommendation is to stay calm and not get nervous, since the nervous tension that we may suffer at that time can worsen the cough and ultimately turn into a dangerous cycle by making it difficult for us to breathe normally.
Once we remain calm, it is advisable to take a deep breath to try to relax, and swallow saliva. It is also helpful to drink warm water to keep your throat hydrated.
From a medical point of view, when the coughing attack is strong, the specialist tends to prescribe codeine or dextromethorphan in the form of syrup or pills. We can also mention noscapine, dihydrocodeine, pentoxyveria or benproperine. They are all antitussive medications that help in controlling cough. However, remember that the consumption of any type of medicine or drug must have been previously prescribed by the doctor, self-medication is not recommended.
How to ease a coughing fit:
- Stay calm and breathe slowly and deeply. You should try to breathe through your nose, which will help relieve and control your cough.
- A sweet or lozenge with honey or herbs will help relieve the cough. Candies or lozenges with menthol are not recommended because they irritate the throat more.
- Go outside to breathe fresh air. Sometimes you just need a little fresh air to stop a coughing fit. Try to breathe normally.
- Have a hot drink of tea and honey when the coughing fit has eased. It is ideal for calming coughs and soothing the throat. You can add ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Take 1 teaspoon of honey. It is especially useful for calming coughs while soothing your sore throat, by helping to coat it, reducing the annoying sensation of irritation and roughness.
- Balsamic creams applied to the neck and chest help calm the cough, especially when it is repetitive. Of course, you have to wait between 10 to 15 minutes for it to have the expected effect.
Remember that the main thing whenever you have a coughing fit is to try to stay calm and -above all- avoid getting nervous. In the event that the person who has the coughing attack is a companion, try to follow the same advice indicated above, helping them so that they do not get nervous as well.