If you’re dealing with a persistent cough, you likely have a buildup of mucus in your chest. Although this isn’t a life-threatening condition, it can certainly affect your quality of life. And left untreated, it can lead to additional complications. Before you head to the doctor, there are a few things you can do to help clear up your symptoms.
Keep reading to learn more about the different treatment options available.
For many people, home remedies are an effective first-line treatment. Try these options.
Drink lots of fluids. It sounds cliché, but you likely hear this advice so often because it works. Liquids help thin out mucus. Warm liquids in particular can help clear out mucus in the chest and nose. This can relieve congestion, giving you a small respite from your symptoms.
You may wish to try sipping:
- chicken noodle soup
- warm apple juice
- decaffeinated black or green tea
Use a humidifier
Steam can also help loosen mucus and clear up congestion. Depending on your needs, you can make your own steam room or humidifier at home. You can also pick up a humidifier at your local drug store. Cool mist humidifiers are an option, as well. They’re often preferred in warmer climates where steam may not be ideal.
You may find it beneficial to use the humidifier at night and keep it near your bed. This may help ease congestion while you’re sleeping so that you can sleep easier through the night. Be sure to keep your bedroom door and window closed to keep the vapor from escaping.
There are a couple of ways to DIY your own humidifier:
Allow your shower to become a sauna. Let the water run until it begins to steam up the bathroom. To maximize your steam, step into the shower and close the curtain or door. Make sure the showerhead is pointed away from you so that the water doesn’t scald your skin.
Use a bowl and a towel. For a more targeted steam, place a large bowl in your sink and fill it with hot water. Once it’s full, lean over the bowl. Place a hand towel over your head to help trap the steam around your face.
There aren’t any set guidelines for how long to sit in the steam, so use your best judgment. If at any point the heat becomes overwhelming or makes you uncomfortable, remove yourself from the steam. Drinking a glass of cold water can help you cool down and rehydrate.