Coughs, Age 12 and Older
There is no sure way to prevent a cough. To help reduce your risk:
- Reference Wash your hands frequently during the cold and flu season. This helps prevent the spread of a virus that may cause a cold or Reference influenza Opens New Window.
- Avoid people who have a cold or influenza if possible.
- Don't smoke or use other forms of tobacco. A dry, hacking "smoker's cough" means your lungs are constantly irritated. For more information, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
- Avoid exposure to Reference secondhand smoke Opens New Window, both at home and in the workplace.
- Increase your fluid intake. This helps keep the mucus thin and helps you cough it up. It also helps prevent Reference dehydration Opens New Window.
- Get a flu shot (influenza vaccine) each year. For more information, see the topic Reference Influenza (Seasonal Flu).
- Get a pneumococcal shot if you are age 65 or older; if you have chronic lung disease, such as Reference asthma Opens New Window or Reference chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Opens New Window (COPD); if you smoke; or if you have a Reference health risk that increases the seriousness of your symptoms.
- Make sure your immunizations are current, such as pertussis to reduce your risk of getting Reference whooping cough Opens New Window. For more information, see the topic Reference Immunizations.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference David Messenger, MD
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