1. Stay Hydrated
An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes postnasal drip. Extra secretions trickle down the back of your throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough.
Drinking fluids helps to thin out the mucus in postnasal drip, says Dr. Jyoti Sharma.
Drinking liquids also helps to keep mucous membranes moist. This is particularly helpful in winter, when houses tend to be dry, another cause of cough, he says.
2. Try Lozenges and Hot Drinks
Try a menthol cough drop. “It numbs the back of the throat, and that will tend to decrease the cough reflex.”
Drinking warm tea with honey also can soothe the throat. There is some clinical evidence to support this strategy.
3. Take Steamy Showers, and Use a Humidifier
A hot shower can help a cough by loosening secretions in the nose. This steamy strategy can help ease coughs not only from colds, but also from allergies and asthma.
Humidifiers may also help. In a dry home, nasal secretions (snot) can become dried out and uncomfortable. Putting moisture back in the air can help your cough. But be careful not to overdo it.
4. Remove Irritants From the Air
Perfumes and scented bathroom sprays may seem benign. But for some people they can cause chronic sinus irritation, producing extra mucus that leads to chronic cough, says Alan Weiss, MD, a general internist at the Cleveland Clinic. Take control by avoiding such scented products.
The worst irritant in the air is, of course, smoke. Almost all smokers eventually develop “smoker’s cough.” Everyone around the smoker may suffer from some airway irritation. The best solution? Smokers need to stop smoking. ( severe chronic cough can be a sign of emphysema or lung cancer in smokers, so see a doctor if you’re a smoker with chronic cough.)
5. Vitamin C tablets
Although vitamin C does not necessarily help a cough from a cold or the flu, it might help your cough if you are a smoker.
6. Treat with medications
If your cough not relieved with these methods, then take over the counter drugs.