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How can I kill a cough?

Not only does a bad cough totally kill your throat and vocal chords, but it’s also exhausting and annoying. A cough can be caused by a number of different things. Let’s look at your options and see what’s going on.

If you’re coughing something up…
An expectorating cough—a cough in which you usually (ew) cough something up, like mucus—is a good thing, even though it’s disruptive and kinda gross. This is the type of cough you wanna get over with. You can try medicines like Mucinex, which help break up mucus so you can expel it from your body, but do yourself a favor and take them after school or while you’re home. You can also try spending a little extra time in a hot shower or standing in from of a humidifier. The steam helps loosen up congestion in your chest, letting you cough stuff up and get rid of it already. This cough is a pain, but once all the bad stuff is out of your lungs and throat, it goes away.
If you’ve got a tickle in your throat…
Try a 12-hour cough syrup like Delsym before you go to school. You can even bring a bottle in with you (with a note from Mom or your doc) and leave it with the school nurse, just in case you need some more, or you tend to have coughing fits toward the end of the school day. Be sure to have a bottle of water with you at all times and a handful of lozenges or candies you can suck on. I swear by mints and Werther’s Originals. Way tastier than other options, and they coat your throat perfectly.
If your chest feels tight or you’re coughing seemingly for no reason…
You might be suffering from asthma or allergy-related symptoms that could be alleviated with an inhaler. Make an appointment to see your doctor pronto. There are a number of tests that measure your lung capacity and other factors to see if you would benefit from a once-a-day inhaler or a steroid or rescue inhaler.
If you’re coughing so much your throat feels raw…
It’s time to head to the doctor, babe. If nothing you’re taking is suppressing your cough or making it go away, make an appointment ASAP. You could have something that needs treatment or some time at home, like strep throat.

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/20/2014 12:00:00 AM

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