What to do to suppress a cough?

Ah, the annoying cough. It’s that one pesky symptom that just won’t quit. Whether you’re trying to have a conversation with your boss or attempting to sleep through the night, it always seems to rear its ugly head.

So what’s a person to do? Fear not, my friend (1) – I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks for suppressing that nagging cough once and for all.

Start with the basics

Drink plenty of fluids
Staying hydrated is crucial when it comes to kicking that stubborn cough. Drinking water (2) helps soothe irritation in the throat while also thinning out mucus secretions. Other great options include herbal tea (3), warm broth (4), and even hot cocoa (5).

Get lots of rest
This may seem obvious but getting enough quality sleep can greatly improve your body’s ability to fight illness (and thus suppress your pesky cough). Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night (6)!

Home remedies

When it comes down right down to it though sometimes home remedies are going call out our name and here are some honey coated ones:


Honey has been used as an alternative medicine since ancient Egyptian times (pretty impressive, huh?) thanks largely in part to its antibacterial properties- those Egyptians were on something special! Adding honey (7)to warm tea(8) or maybe taking spoonfuls straight-up can help coat irritated throats and reduce symptoms.


Humidifiers or steamy showers(9)can help ease nasal congestion & hey if you add essential oils like eucalyptus oil flippin magic unfolds: better breathing means less needling need too hack every 30 seconds.

Gargle saltwater

You might be thinking “Ew”, fair enough, but gargling saltwater (10) actually helps soothe ticklish coughs by moisturising the throat with its hydrating properties. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water – it’s as easy peasy as that!

OTC treatments

When DIY remedies just aren’t cutting it anymore, over-the-counter treatments are there to pick up the slack.

Cough suppressants

Cough syrup (11)is specifically designed to target your body’s natural urge to cough at all times and suppresses them down like checking out an old school library book instead of letting you renew it online straight away. There’s guaifenesin or dextromethorphan in many cold medications & usually come in a liquid or tablet form.


Decongestants(12) work to relieve nasal congestion allowing you to breath (while also suppressing that pesky cough). These can be found in pill and nasal spray forms too.

What Not To Do?

Suppression is key when dealing with stubborn coughs but sometimes we end up shooting ourselves on foot:

Smoke tobacco
Tobacco smoke acts as an irritant itself (13), worsening already inflamed airways and making everything more difficult.

Sources Of Irritation
Avoid anything else irritating present around – For instance,you might not want hang around near heavy traffic areas where there would be high level pollution.(Airborne pollutants can burn eyes, create chest constriction.)

Obviously medication has side effects which your doctor/pharmacist should talk through clearly,

Talk through any new medication
Many drugs have side effect profiles that include respiratory depression even lying flat, so talking this stuff out is crucial.(
Afterall the internet can give us info no problem but something about coming from someone wearing a lab coat makes things different

When You Should Contact a Health Professional

Trouble Breathing
If you are coughing uncontrollably, struggling to breathe(no matter how much trying slow down & compose yourself) seek medical attention immediately as it may imply some respiartory condition like asthma.

Final Word

While an annoying and persistent cough can seem never-ending- there is still hope! Whether home remedies or OTC treatments have worked best for you in the past, keep experimenting until finding what exactly tames that bad boy into compliance. If things continue to escalate though – don’t hesitate to contact the professionals – remember avoiding seeking help doesn’t make a hero out of anyone – so take care ya’ll!.