The effects on the respiratory system after Covid can be lasting, with many reporting a persisting cough for weeks or months after the infection has gone. Whilst post-infectious coughs are common after any upper respiratory infections, they can cause pain and discomfort to those afflicted.
On March 28, it was reported that London hospital admissions of Covid patients were at the highest it had been for almost two months. So here at MyLondon we've compiled the latest NHS guidance to help soothe your lingering cough.
The NHS say that "whilst recovering from Covid you may continue to experience a dry cough for some time." This is because a cough - which is usually a reflex action to clear your lungs and windpipe - become irritated from the excessive coughing, ultimately worsening the cough.
To help break this cycle the NHS advise practicing "controlling your cough." Whilst the NHS do warn that it can be difficult to do this, using a combination of the techniques and continuing to practice them will be the most effective remedy to reducing your cough.
How can I control my dry cough?
Practise a ‘normal’ breathing pattern – gentle, quiet, diaphragmatic (tummy breathing- feeling the tummy rise and fall as you breathe in and out), nose breathing at rest to start with.
Close your mouth and swallow.
Gently breathe in and out through your nose, until the urge to cough goes away.
Sip drinks regularly (hot or cold).
Suck boiled sweets or lozenges.
How can I ease my wet cough?
After Covid you may experience a wet or 'productive' cough that feels quite chesty. This is your airways and lungs working together to bring up mucus or phlegm and propel it out of your body. It is important to continue to clear the secretions from your lungs to reduce the chance of recurrent chest infections and allow you to breathe more freely day to day.
- Make sure you are sitting upright and comfortably
- Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose and hold it at the top for a count of three (if you can) then let it go gently from your mouth. Repeat three to four times.
- Gentle, relaxed breathing for 20-30 second
- Repeat steps two and three through three times
- Huff two to three times (Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, then breathe the air out quickly through your mouth, keeping your throat open as if you are steaming up a mirror)
- Repeat this for three to four cycles
During recovery, NHS also advise to also stay well hydrated, take inhalers and prescribed medication if you have them, keep active and try steam inhalation. However, If your cough is ongoing and you did not require hospitalisation during your Covid infection you should seek advice from your GP.
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