How to Treat Cough that Won’t Go Away?

Cough that won't go away

Constant coughing is a problem that causes both physical and mental strain. There are many explainable causes of a cough that won’t go away.

Whether it is minor or severe, if you experience an uncontrollable cough, you can seek the treatment as soon as you get a quick diagnosis.

That nagging cough can be caused by the changing of a season to something more severe there are always solutions.

Causes of Cough That Won’t Go Away

There are many reasons for why someone may have a chronic cough, many of these can be attributed to the surrounding environment.

Whether it be the pollen in the air or temperature your environment plays a key role in your respiratory health.

Mentioned below are some possible causes of your tickly cough that won’t go away:

1. Allergies

Allergies are the bodies response to dust and pollen in the body. This ranges from food all the way to pollen in the air.

With a cough, it is more than likely an airborne particle that gets stuck in the airway. Whenever you breathe, a small tickle occurs which in turn, causes a nagging cough that won’t go away.

2. Heartburn

Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a condition when the upper part of the stomach and the diaphragm do not work correctly.

This is due to a hiatal hernia and acid from your stomach that moves up into your esophagus. This burning can cause irritation to the airway and a chronic cough.

3. Asthma

Asthma is a chronic and long-term lung disease that causes the airways to become inflamed and narrows them.

This then creates periods of wheezing, chest tightness and possibly constant coughing. More often than not asthma begins during childhood, but can affect people of all ages.

4. Not Drinking Enough Fluids

Hydration is the key to curing many physical ailments. The human body requires water to carry out its natural processes and when it does not have the desired amount things tend to go poorly.

If your throat and/or esophagus are too dry from dehydration then you’ll find a tickly cough that won’t go away until enough water has been brought back into the body.

5. Post-nasal Drip

Otherwise known as sinus drainage, post-nasal drip is when the mucus from the nasal cavity drains into the throat.

This happens every day, but when the human body produces more than usual due to allergies, sickness or other reasons, the mucus flow will cause irritation to the airways. This could possibly create a constant cough.

6. Air That’s Too Dry or Too Moist

Depending on the immediate environment the air will change humidity levels.

Air that is too dry will have a harmful effect on the airways and throat as irritation can occur from a lack of moisture.

Air that is too moist can also do this but through causing post-nasal drip or an increased mucus production in the sinus.

7. Bacterial Infection

There are a number of things that can cause a bacterial infection. The most well-known symptom is “a sore throat”, more commonly known as streptococcus.

This is a type of bacteria that inflames the throat just below the mouth and can create a chronic cough.

The triggers mentioned above are fairly common and can change on a day to day basis as your environment changes.

Knowing previous health issues can help you work through these cases, people who are more likely to have respiratory ailments should be aware of their health history as well as familial health history.

Home Remedies for Cough That Won’t Go Away

There are a variety of ways that a cough that won’t go away can be treated.

A visit to the local physician will provide a clear answer to the cause. However, there are also home remedies that can the issue before the doctor is needed.

Related Reading: 10 Essential Oils for Cough or Cold and How to Use them

Mentioned below are some of the remedies to help cure your constant coughing:

1. A Spoonful of Honey

Honey is a naturally occurring product that is made by bees when they harvest nectar and use it for their own food.

The golden brown and sticky substance, honey, has strong properties to help get rid of mucus in your throat.

All you have to do is pour or scoop some onto a spoon and then swallow it down and you should notice somewhat immediate results.

2. Gargle Salt Water

This is a home remedy that is used for all sorts of different health problems.

Salt has properties that cause dehydration and when the concentration of salt is higher outside of your cells than inside, the water goes out.

This eases the inflamed part of your throat and can make you feel better. Doing this when you have a cough can help reduce the discomfort level.

3. Behavior Tweaks

Basically, if you are doing something that you find causes a cough that won’t go away, you should think about not doing that anymore.

If you have asthma and smoke cigarettes and find your cough to be worse after a smoke break, reduce and stop smoking cigarettes.

If you have a constant cough and are lots of sawdust, wear a mask and you will notice a difference.

4. Antibiotics

To get these you will have to go to a doctor’s office. Antibiotics are prescription drugs that will directly attack the tickle in your throat.

Usually, you will get these if you have an infection, or if the home remedies can’t seem to work and you have had the problem for a very long time.

This is the most effective option for getting rid of your cough. However, always consult your doctor before taking any antibiotics.

5. Reflux Treatment

Acid reflux is an easily treatable condition and with proper diet, you can lead a happy life. By avoiding foods that trigger it, spicy foods or overeating, you will find that a chronic cough becomes less chronic.

You should also look to avoid caffeine and alcohol as these are things that cause reflux. When your stomach is not at an overfilled level of food and can properly work through digestion, your overall health will also increase.

6. Steam Treatment

Steam allows your body to open up its cells and absorb moisture as well as using the heat to decrease inflammation.

Filling a pot with water and getting it to boil on your stovetop is the first step, then turn off the heat and place a towel over your head and the pot to direct the steam into your face.

Take deep breaths to get as much steam through your airways as possible.

Take the towel off from time to time to cool down, if you feel faint, or if the steam is too hot to start right off the stovetop.

By doing this once a day for 15 minutes you will find some relief to the constant coughing.

7. A Lot of Liquids

Proper hydration is the key to success. Your body has to function with a good level of water in it every day.

By drinking just enough water daily you will find many health issues to go away. You don’t want to overdrink as that will cause more problems, a recommended average of eight glasses of water every day, unless you are moving a lot, is a good level of hydration.

This does vary person to person though and you should talk to your doctor for a proper recommendation.

Home remedies for a cough that won’t go away are simple and quick. Just taking a few minutes out of your day may help you get to a cough free life or even just a reduction in the number of coughs.

How to Prevent A Cough

Preventing a cough is a pretty easy task to do. By avoiding the things that trigger it you will find a less irritated airway. That means drinking enough liquids, avoiding smoke-filled areas, taking your allergy medication, or talking to your doctor.

A cough that won’t go away is not the end of the world. There are many things you can do at home to get help alleviate the problem.

One thing that can always be done is sitting down and talking to your doctor if the problem continues past the home remedies.

Your doctor will be able to give you medication to really get your cough gone. Preventing a cough is simple, you just have to know what to look for that causes them.

A cough that won’t go away is something that has affected all of us at least once in our lives’. It’s that tickle in the back of your throat that you can’t seem to get rid of. A constant cough can cause you to stress out over it and incidentally make it worse.

We all have worked through different ways to help this problem and found our own remedies. A cough that won’t go away usually is a fixable issue, it’s just finding the right solution that will take some time.

Read Next:

Laliberte, R.,”7 Highly Effective Solutions For Your Cough That Won’t Go Away,” Prevention web site, Nov 12, 2014;
“The Best Natural Cough Remedies,” Healthline web site, Apr 12, 2016;

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Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.