General Question

rock4ever's avatar

How can I stop coughing?

Asked by rock4ever (1851points) May 29th, 2011

I’ve been coughing for the past half hour non-stop. My chest is on fire and there seems to be no end to it. I’ve tried drinking and eating mints. I took medicine, but it continues on. It a bronchitis sounding cough and it shakes my entire body all the way down to my feet. Is there any breathing exercises I could do? I suppose I could try fresh air but it’s almost dark out. How can I make it stop?

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34 Answers

snowberry's avatar

It depends on the cough. Some of them can be controlled with home remedies. Others simply won’t respond no matter what I’ve tried.

Try hot water, lemon juice with honey, honey and whiskey, and I have a few other ideas, but for the others you need to have the skill already, and not pick it up once you’re sick. If the suggestions you get here don’t work, go to the doctor. Nobody here can tell you how you can stop coughing.

rock4ever's avatar

@snowberry I tried hot water and it worked a little. I’m still coughing a lot, but not as much. Oh and I will not touch lemon juice. That would just burn at this point. Thanks very much.

marinelife's avatar

@rock4ever Try to get some Robitussin with dextromethorphan.

rock4ever's avatar

The only stuff my mom buys is Theraflu.

snowberry's avatar

Get a pot of water boiling and throw a big towel over your head. Lean your head over the pot (but DON’T burn yourself)! Breathe in and out for several minutes. Do this as many times as you need. I just remembered my doctor told me to do this. I didn’t think about it at the time because I had been coughing so long I thought I had tried everything there was to try. (You don’t think so good when you are sick.)

You can also get a hot shower going and turn it off when the room is steamy. Just sit there and breathe (don’t turn on the fan)! For some reason my doctor thought it was a better idea to breathe the boiling water from steam. Anyway, his home remedy worked best for me.

john65pennington's avatar

I have an attack of bronchitis twice a year. I have tried everything. Nothing works…..except
prescription cough medicene with codeine in it.

After you have coughed enough and it keeps you awake, then its time to conact your doctor for an RX.

rock4ever's avatar

It’s not bronchitis ( i think ) the coughs just sound like it. It’s likely caused by inhalation of wall debris.

anartist's avatar

Hot water, Mucinex [my doctor recommended this]—if it is viral it will go away.
If smoker’s cough this will also help. So will quitting smoking. If bacterial—antibiotics.
Most of this stuff is viral.

rock4ever's avatar

The hot water effect wore off. I’m starting to feel dizzy from coughing more than breathing. What do I do? I can’t go to the hospital or take any more medicine. Is there any pressure points or ancient methods to sooth coughing that I could use? Ancient methods seem to work very well.

Plucky's avatar

If you are living in your parents’ home, you should go ask them for help.

You said it’s most likely a cough from inhaling wall debris…um what wall debris? Seriously, you may have inhaled something toxic – depending on what wall debris you are talking about.

I just realized this question was 7 hours ago ..hope you got help.

Stinley's avatar

Poor you, hope you are feeling a bit better by now.

I think that if you have been inhaling stuff, then coughing is good as you will be getting rid of it – it’s a healthy response from your body.

The steam idea will help as the water will dissolve or suspend the irritant particles and then you breathe them out. Make sure you deep breathe – try counting in for 10 seconds (through your nose) and out for 15 (through your mouth). Make sure you push your tummy out as you breathe in – to expand your lungs and get the steam into all the little pockets of your lungs.

The dizziness probably was hyperventilating (fast shallow breathing) so breathing this way – slowly and deeply – should prevent that.

knitfroggy's avatar

What has helped me at times with an uncontrollable, hacking cough is a spoonful of honey. If it’s a deep, bronchitis cough though, honey may not help.

rock4ever's avatar

It is still going!!!!!!!!! I only got 4 hours of sleep.
@Stinley Thanks. The breathing exercise helps sooth the burning in my chest. It however does not stop the coughing.

Stinley's avatar

I think you will keep coughing until your body has got rid of all the gunk you’ve inhaled. Keep steam cleaning. Maybe buy some cough mix like Robitussin for a dry cough which will make your cough more productive, ie you cough up more stuff. Try warm drinks (soothing and steamy). Also please check out these warning signs and promise you’ll visit a doctor if you have any of them

rock4ever's avatar

Thanks @Stinley but I can’t go to the doctor. No health insurance.
I have 7 of the symptoms.

JLeslie's avatar

Sit in a steam bath. Go to your smallest bathroom, turn on the hot water and let the room fill with steam, sit in there for 5 minutes. Buy some cough medicine, Robitussin DM, should be expecterant and cough surpressant. Not one with decongestant or anything else, only expectorant and cough surpressant.

Your body is hurting you to fight the invader. You need to stop it from trying so hard at once to get rid of the crap your lungs are filled with, so that is the surpressant. You also need to get rid of that crap in there, so that is the expectorant. The steam shower will moisten the material so it is easier to move up. I usually do the steam right before taking a shower, so steam the room sit on the toillette as the hot water continues to run, then after a few minutes, turn down to a normal temp and bathe while still innthe steamy room. Two birds with one stone.

If you smoke you must stop until this is over. Smoking paralyzes the cilia in your lungs, which naturally moves particles up and out.

JLeslie's avatar

If it is from inhaling a chemical don’t do the steam showers, might hasten absortion of bad chemicals. You might need to go to the doctor and get a blood test or something? Call poison control. The 800 number.

Stinley's avatar

@JLeslie he said it was a drywall. I had a look and it seems that it would likely be plaster dust and dirt rather than concrete or fiberglass or asbestos. So horrible, rather than very dangerous.
@rock4ever what about ER? God it must be awful not to have a free health service. I totally take it for granted.

JLeslie's avatar

Drywall. Oh. Yeah it is just the particles, not chemically toxic probably. I stand by my first answer. Unless it is the Chinese drywall that had so many problems, but I assume that has been taken out of the US market.

rock4ever's avatar

Thanks everyone. I got out of the house for a while and exercised now it’s a lot better.
@Stinley We tore down the walls all the way to the insulation, which is fiber glass, right?
oh and by the way I’m a girl. :)
@JLeslie I don’t smock but I get plenty of second hand. If I could I’d force my mom outside to smock, but that won’t happen.

JLeslie's avatar

@rock4ever Ask her to go outside until you recover. Should be just a couple of days.

rock4ever's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve tried to get her to go outside to smock before once when I was sick. Asking her just made her smock more.

JLeslie's avatar

@rock4ever :(. My dad was inconsiderate like that about his smoking when I was young.

Stinley's avatar

@rock4ever my mum smoked in the house when I was young too, even though my sister once nearly died of asthma. Glad you’re feeling a bit better. Try and get outside again, since it did you some good and try staying in your room away from the smoke otherwise.

Don’t worry too much as anxiety can make your chest tighter. I’m sure that you’ll be fine – you are young and healthy otherwise, aren’t you?

sorry about the gender confusion

shariw's avatar

Recent studies conducted in England have confirmed that dark chocolate in it’s natural, un-sweetened state has certain health benefits; one of these being a cough supressant. A type that’s relatively easy to obtain comes in the form of slabs of dark baker’s chocolate. Most supermarkets stock in the baking/cake aisle. I tried it last time I had a bad cold and it did seem to calm my cough significantly.

Coedine is a type of narcotic usually prescribed for post surgery patients or for high pain level management. In the United States, where I live, the laws no longer allow cough syrups, cold medications, losenges or any non-prescription drugs to contain the ingredient. This is mainly due to the fact that codeine is a highly addictive narcotic that’s prone to abuse by some individuals. Understandable, as it’s derived from the same Poppy plant used to make morpheine, a stronger version that’s usually injected and used in military and field combat situations, and in the strongest form being used to manufacture heroin, an illicit drug that’s sold on the black market. Though difficult to obtain a prescription in the US for the Federally controlled substance, anybody that has had a recent tooth proceedure, extraction, root canal, what-have-you, usually will have 1 or 2 tablets leftover in their medicine cabinet. If you can find one, codeine is the best relief for even the most chronic dry cough caused by colds, flu. Be sure you aren’t allergic.


Hot water with the fresh juice of one lemon, and some honey.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It’s been almost a week. How’s the cough? Did anything work to help ease it?

rock4ever's avatar

It has dwindled down, but it’s still going. Every couple of hours I have a major coughing fit that I can’t stop. 2 days ago I woke up to a heavily bleeding nose, and a few days ago for the first time in 5 years I puked. Even though most of the coughing stopped I don’t think it’s over yet, but I’ll live.
Thanks all for the tips and support.

JLeslie's avatar

Your going to need an xray if it doesn’t stop in a week. See how much crap really is in your lungs. Really bad coughing jags as you describe should be coughing that stuff up? Are you not bringing up anything from your lungs when that happens?

rock4ever's avatar

No nothing’s coming up.

JLeslie's avatar

@rock4ever The lecture part of my answer is this is a lesson for next time. You always wear a mask when particles are flying. Have you been taking the steam baths and taking an expectorant? Staying away from your moms smoke?

rock4ever's avatar

I took a few steam baths and have been walking away whenever she lights one up. What is an expectorant?
We didn’t have masks when we first started. When we did get masks they didn’t work that well because of how much debris there was. I could still taste the wall threw the mask. I think I’ll be fine though. I feel a million times better than I did a few days ago.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Expectorant It works well when there is lung congestion.

JLeslie's avatar

As long as you seem to be getting better and better I wouldn’t worry.

Robitussin DM will give expectorant and cough suppressant. You could try it for a couple of days. Maybe once in the morning once at night.

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