Cough – an important protective reflex
Although we usually find coughing uncomfortable and unnecessary, it still performs an extremely important protective function for our airways: the explosive expulsion of air serves to remove mucus, dust or foreign bodies from our lungs or throat. This cough reflex is activated when the corresponding receptors in our epithelial cells are occupied. In the case of cold-related phlegm, this leads to a cough with sputum (productive cough) to eliminate pathogens. If, on the other hand, dust or other microscopically small foreign bodies stick to the epithelial cells, this also leads to a dry cough. cough call.
Important: Acute cough lasting up to three weeks is usually harmless and is considered a normal cold symptom. However, if the cough persists, you should see your doctor. For four weeks there has been talk of subacute or chronic cough.
Dry cough: 5 tips against dry cough
1. Increase hydration
It doesn’t matter if you prefer traditional home remedies like chicken soup or you prefer to add water as well Take cold teas – Increased fluid intake is always helpful when you have a cough. In a meta-analysis from the University of Oxford, honey proven to be particularly effective: the proven home remedy has been able to reduce both the frequency and severity of coughing. You can then refine your tea with a serving of bee nectar or treat yourself to warm milk with honey to counter a dry cough.
2. Inhale with salt water
Inhalation of salty water vapor can have a calming effect on cold infections and the cough that occurs with them. With the help of warm, humid air, you counteract the drying out of the airways and thus can eliminate a cough stimulating factor. To optimally moisten your mucous membranes, boil a liter of water (attention: danger of burns!), Let it cool a little and pour it into a sufficiently large bowl. Add three teaspoons of table salt or sea salt and place the bowl on top. Cover your head and bowl with a towel to prevent steam from escaping. Several inhalations of 10 to 20 minutes each per day are recommended.
Important: However, according to the Health Knowledge Foundation, water vapor inhalation is not suitable for children.
3. Cough suppressant
Basically, coughing is an important reflex that clears our airways and shouldn’t be suppressed, at least if there is mucus in the throat. However, if you have a dry, uncomfortable, dry cough, it makes sense to use cough suppressants to prevent further irritation and inflammation of the throat. This prevents the mucous membranes of the airways from being further damaged and the coughing from worsening. The use of cough suppressants is especially at night recommended to ensure a restful sleep. However, such drugs should not be used for more than a week due to the risk of addiction. Get advice from your trusted pharmacy.
4. Nasal drops
If our nose is blocked, we have to breathe through the mouth. Unfortunately, this can make a dry throat worse and increase the urge to cough. Because the nose actually has the job of filtering, heating and humidifying the incoming air. If both nostrils are blocked, dry, cold air will enter your throat. the short-term application Decongestant nasal drops or nasal sprays can help here. However, these should not be used for more than five days, otherwise there is a risk of addiction.
5. Avoid cough triggers
Some substances can irritate the epithelial cells of the bronchi and throat, triggering or increasing the urge to cough. These irritants include one dry heating air in winter, this is why it makes sense to humidify the air, for example by using damp cloths on the stove. However, you shouldn’t do without regular airing due to the risk of mold. Likewise, an excess of Dust in the apartment or exhaust gas further irritate the airways in road traffic. If, on the other hand, you suffer from the typical smoker’s cough with sputum, cigarette smoke is responsible for it because it destroys the cilia of the bronchial mucosa and therefore inhibits the removal of mucus.