What can I do to prevent or relieve the symptoms of chronic cough?

To prevent chronic cough:

  • Quit smoking, or don't start smoking, since this is the most common reason for chronic cough.
  • Avoid contact with anyone you know who may have bronchitis or pneumonia.
  • Eat fruit and foods that contain fiber. Research suggests that a combination of fiber and flavonoids found in fruit may prevent chronic cough.

To relieve the symptoms of chronic cough:

  • Drink plenty of water (at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day).
  • Gargle with warm saltwater to help remove any mucus.
  • Inhale steam.
  • Avoid inhaling dust, smoke or other pollutants as much as possible.
  • Use extra pillows at night to prop up your head and upper body.
  • Try cough lozenges.
  • Try over-the-counter cough medicines that contain guaifenesin and/or dextromethorphan.

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