Do you know that your body has been working nonstop since birth? It’s a wonderful machine with a variety of different functions with built-in countermeasures for foreign invaders such as irritants, germ, and viruses. One of which is cough. And there are many kinds of different coughs that you can have, such as dry cough or a wet cough. Let’s check out everything you need to know about a wet cough.
What Is a Wet Cough?
When your body is trying to get rid of irritation in the throat or lungs, your body responds in the form of a cough. This is your body’s method of flushing out irritants such as fluid, mucus, and phlegm.
The wet cough, also known as productive cough, brings up bodily fluid like phlegm and mucus. Unlike the wet cough, dry cough, also known as nonproductive cough, does not produce any fluid and doesn’t help you in any way except for giving you an irritating sensation.
What Is Wet Cough a Symptom Of?
Besides coughing up bodily fluid, a wet cough may also accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the personal health condition, disorder, or underlying disease. Some respiratory symptoms that might occur along with wet cough include:
- Chest pain
- Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- The cough gets worse over time
- Coughing up light brown, yellow, green, or pink frothy sputum
Beside these respiratory symptoms, other symptoms in other body parts may also occur, such as:
- Chill and fever
- Swelling and leg pain
- Loss of sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Raise in heart rate
- Postnasal drip
- Night sweats
- Unwanted and unexplained weight loss
While a wet cough is a common symptom, you should not take it for granted or ignore it. If your condition worsens over time and other mentioned symptoms appear along with your wet cough, then you need to seek help from healthcare professionals right away.
The Causes of Wet Cough
Wet coughs often result from infection by microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria, like the ones that cause influenza or cold. When your body tries to fight off an infection like the flu, the mucus membranes lined in your entire respiratory system produce excessively more mucus than usual. This is to help contain and get rid of the organisms causing the infection, and the cough helps to expel all the excess mucus that is stuck in your chest and lungs.
If your wet cough continues to last for more than a few weeks, it could be caused by:
- COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of health conditions that affect both your air tubes and lungs. Smoking is the cause of the leading cause for this.
- Asthma. Although people with asthma tend to experience a dry cough, a small number of people produce excessive mucus and have a chronic wet cough.
- Pneumonia. It’s an infection in your lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses.
- Bronchitis. This is an inflammation appearing in the bronchial tubes, which transport oxygen to the lungs. Various viruses often cause acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a persistent disease, often caused by smoking.
How Long Should a Wet Cough Last?
Typically, a wet cough can be acute and last less than three weeks, or it can be chronic and last longer than four weeks in children and eight weeks in adults. Also, the cough duration may vary from person to person, depending on their difference in physique.
How Do You Get Rid of a Wet Cough?
There are plenty of great natural remedies you can easily use at home.
Breathing in dry air is one of the causes of wet cough, and investing in a humidifier can help you with this. It is particularly useful at night when your throat naturally dries out due to inactivity.
Herbal Cough Drops
Natural ingredients such as lemon, honey, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, and sage can be used to make cough drops.
Ginger is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. A couple of cups of ginger tea a day can help you soothe the inflammation in your throat.
One of the purest ingredients, also known as “nectar of the gods,” is one of the most effective ways to treat a wet cough. A small clinical trial found out that eating one and a half teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before sleep can reduce the cough and improve sleep quality.
Have you ever experienced a wet cough before? Tell us what kind of treatment or remedy helps you with it in the comment section below!