The Science Behind A Cough Thats Worse At Night
Why do coughs get worse at night? There are a number of reasons why they do or at least why they seem to.
Gravity The number one factor that makes your cough worse at night is simple: gravity. Mitchell Blass, MD, a physician with Georgia Infectious Diseases, says, When we lie down, mucus automatically begins to pool. The best way to counteract this gravitational pull is elevation. Sleep with a pillow propping you up a little, Dr. Blass suggests. It will help keep the mucus from collecting in the back of the throat.
A dry, indoor environment Dry air can aggravate an already irritated nose and throat, making your nighttime cough worse. To relieve a dry air cough, you can try a humidifier to put moisture back into the air and make it easier to breathe, but be sure to take proper care of the unit.
Humidifiers are not always safe, warns Blass. If the water you put in it isnt sterile, you run the risk of cycling the germs back into the air or breeding other diseases. The last thing people with a cold or flu want is to experience complications, says Blass. Bacterial infections can set in. Many flu-related deaths are caused by pneumonia that hits after people think theyre over the flu. To ensure you use a humidifier safely, be sure to carefully follow all the directions that come with it.
Things People Dont Tell You About Pneumonia
While many of you mightve thought I have been on a hiatus due to winning the lottery and spending the past month enjoying my new home in Italy, Ive actually just been sick. Really, really sick. How sick, you ask? So sick that I couldnt even read. THAT sick.
You see, I went home to Texas for a quick, early Christmas visit with family in mid-December and came back with the worst gift ever: H1N1 flu.
Its an evil, evil virus, folks. As in fetal position for six days. And then for me, it quickly turned into pneumonia, with a side of kidney and liver failure. I spent many days in the hospital. Christmas and New Years never happened, really.
Basically, you know those stories you read in the newspaper about previously healthy people who get the flu and die unexpectedly? Well, that was ALMOST me. I was one of the lucky ones who pulled through.
Its been two weeks since I got out of the hospital now, and Im still on oxygen. Which makes me feel about 90 years old, and is something that I never dreamed Id need in my 40s.
Here are a few other things that no one ever told me about pneumonia.
1. When you are in the throes of pneumonia, before the antibiotics start to kick in, every time you cough, you will feel as though someone is reaching down through your lungs and pulling out your soul. And the sound will be violent. Horribly violent.
Have you ever had H1N1 and/or pneumonia? Whats been your experience?
How To Sleep With Pneumonia
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Stop Cough At Night With Breathe
Stop Cough at Night With Breathe-Easy Exercise? Persistent coughing at night or daytime is the most common symptom among asthmatics. Over a quarter million asthmatics became symptom-free naturally and stopped persistent coughing at night using one breathing technique called the Buteyko Emergency Procedure. This simple home remedy can help stop bouts of persistent coughing, including a dry cough and will aid in falling asleep promptly using relaxation and reduced breathing explained below.
The Buteyko breathing method has been used by more than 150 MDs in the USSR and Russia for over 40 years. These doctors taught this exercise to their patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. It also solves the problem of how to stop coughing at night. It will also help to get rid of or reduce coughing at night. It works well for a dry cough at night, excessive or a severe cough, nagging of coughing, and other similar situations. Cant stop persistent coughing during the day?
Coughing means breathing about 3-5 times more air than the medical norm. This activity is called hyperventilation.
Overbreathing reduces oxygen levels in the brain, heart, and all other vital organs . This is the main reason why coughing promotes chronic diseases, like asthma, COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and many others.
Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There isnt a vaccine for all types of pneumonia, but 2 vaccines are available. These help prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. The first is recommended for all children younger than 5 years of age. The second is recommended for anyone age 2 or older who is at increased risk for pneumonia. Getting the pneumonia vaccine is especially important if you:
- Are 65 years of age or older.
- Have certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or cirrhosis.
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, a damaged or removed spleen, a recent organ transplant, or receiving chemotherapy.
- Have cochlear implants .
The pneumococcal vaccines cant prevent all cases of pneumonia. But they can make it less likely that people who are at risk will experience the severe, and possibly life-threatening, complications of pneumonia.
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What Could Cause A Nighttime Cough
There are many reasons you could be coughing. “Cough is a really common symptom,” Senior says.
If you have a cold, it could be postnasal drip. A may help.
If you’re coughing up mucus, you may have an infection like bronchitis, whooping cough, or pneumonia. So if youâre not getting better within a week, visit your doctor. Go sooner if you have a high fever plus other symptoms.
“If you’re dealing with pneumonia, it’s going to need medical intervention,” says Aaron E. Glatt, MD, executive vice president at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, NY.
If you’re pretty healthy except for your nighttime cough, you can work on your symptoms at home and then follow up with your doctor as needed.
These are some of the most common causes for a nighttime cough and what you can try:
Heartburn. If you have heartburn, lying down can cause coughing if stomach acid leaks into and up your esophagus. “A tiny amount of acid gets into the back of the throat, which causes enough irritation to cause a cough,” Senior says. You could try an over-the-counter heartburn treatment first, and then see your doctor if that doesn’t help.
Asthma. If yours gets worse at night, it can make you cough. Check on your triggers. “It may be dust in the mattress or putting your head where the cat has been lying all day,” Cooke says.
Don’t stop taking your medication before you talk to your doctor.
Molly Cooke, MD, professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
Hydrating Your Breathing Passages
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
“Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a person’s lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If you’re generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
“Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month,” says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
“For more serious cases that require hospitalization, we’re not only focused on clearing the infection, we’re also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses,” warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
Why Do I Cough At Night
Persistent coughing can be really annoying, especially if its happening at night. Come to think of it, does your cough seem to get worse at night?6
Night coughs, especially uncontrollable coughing at night, isnt fun and can mean you, and your household, wind up getting very little sleep because of it. But why are night coughs so common?
One of the main reasons why night time coughs happen is because youre lying down. All of the mucus thats in your body begins to gather in one place, particularly at the back of the throat. This leads to the body instinctively coughing to try and shift it.
One way to try and solve the issue is to sleep so that you arent completely horizontal. Try popping an extra pillow behind you to prop you up a bit.
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What To Do When Coughing Is Severe
Most coughs go away on their own, but severe nighttime coughing may be a sign of a serious condition. For example, heart failure can cause a chronic cough that worsens at night. Respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and COPD also cause severe, chronic cough. Lung cancer and blood clots in the lungs are less common causes of severe coughs.
Get medical help if you have a cough and:
- a fever of 100F or above
- trouble breathing
- swelling in your legs or abdomen
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A Lukewarm Bath Or Compress
Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down.
If it is not possible to take a bath, apply towels or washcloths to the body after dunking them in lukewarm water and wringing them out. This may help the body cool. When the towels warm up, dip them in the water again and reapply.
Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:
Take Something For The Aches
If aches or fever are wearing you down, a pain reliever might help, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure you follow the instructions on the label for how much to take and how often. Speaking of taking medicine: If your doctor gives you an antibiotic, take every dose of it, even if you start to feel good again before you use it up. When you quit too soon, the pneumonia could come back.
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How Should I Sleep To Stop Coughing
Elevate your head and neck. Sleeping flat on your back or on your side can cause mucus to accumulate in your throat, which can trigger a cough. To avoid this, stack a couple of pillows or use a wedge to lift your head and neck slightly. Avoid elevating your head too much, as this could lead to neck pain and discomfort.
When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia
You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:
- Shortness of breath or tiredness
- Chest pain
- Mucus, fever or cough
If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.
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How To Regain Your Strength After Pneumonia
While recovering from mild pneumonia, be sure to:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Slowly work back into your exercise routine
“Physical activity can help your lungs regain strength but go slow. Start with light exercise and stop if your cough worsens or you have trouble breathing. If a light workout feels okay, you can put a little more effort into your next workout,” says Dr. Lee.
However, Dr. Lee’s advice for someone recovering from severe pneumonia looks quite different.
“The first thing to realize is that your body may be extremely weak after being discharged from the hospital, so you’ll need to take extra care leaning on your support network, if possible,” says Dr. Lee.
How Is Pneumonia Treated
When you get a pneumonia diagnosis, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia you have, how sick you are feeling, your age, and whether you have other health conditions. The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and prevent complications. It is important to follow your treatment plan carefully until you are fully recovered.
Take any medications as prescribed by your doctor. If your pneumonia is caused by bacteria, you will be given an antibiotic. It is important to take all the antibiotic until it is gone, even though you will probably start to feel better in a couple of days. If you stop, you risk having the infection come back, and you increase the chances that the germs will be resistant to treatment in the future.
Typical antibiotics do not work against viruses. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to treat it. Sometimes, though, symptom management and rest are all that is needed.
Most people can manage their symptoms such as fever and cough at home by following these steps:
If your pneumonia is so severe that you are treated in the hospital, you may be given intravenous fluids and antibiotics, as well as oxygen therapy, and possibly other breathing treatments.
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Check If You Have A Chest Infection
The main symptoms are:
- a chesty cough you may cough up green or yellow mucus
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- chest pain or discomfort
- aching muscles
These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they usually get better on their own in about 7 to 10 days.
The cough and mucus can last up to 3 weeks.
How To Deal With It
You should seek medical attention when you have symptoms of pneumonia. Your doctor will determine the best treatment approach to help cure the infection while preventing complications. You may have to stay home during treatment if you have community-acquired pneumonia. The best treatment for you depends upon the severity and type of your pneumonia. Your age and overall health will also play a role. Some of the most common treatment options include the following:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have bacterial pneumonia. Keep in mind that it usually takes some time to correctly identify the type of bacteria.
- Cough medicine: Your doctor may prescribe some cough medicine to control your cough and prevent chest pain. Keep in mind that your doctor will not try to eliminate your cough completely because it actually helps loosen and remove mucus and fluid from your lungs. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to use the lowest dose of a cough suppressant to manage your symptoms.
- Pain relievers: Your doctor may also give you pain relievers to help control body aches and reduce fever as well. The most common drugs are ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen.
In some cases, hospitalization is necessary. You may need it if:
- You are 65 or older.
- You have confusion.
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