Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Do you know how to calm your night-time cough?

 1 of 
Current Score:  

What can cause a nighttime cough?

collage of cherry blossoms, acid reflux, and thermometer

What can cause a night time cough

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: With allergies, a night time cough can be caused by postnasal drip – mucous from your nose or sinuses that builds up in your throat. With heartburn, it may be from acid reflux – acid that backs up into your throat. Asthma can also cause a cough – in fact, a cough may be the only symptom of asthma. A cough with cold or flu is also common. Finally, some medicines, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that treat high blood pressure, can also cause a cough.

If you are coughing because you have a cold or flu, it's normal to cough up mucous.

If you are coughing because you have a cold or flu, it's normal to cough up mucous.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Coughing up clear or pale yellow mucus is normal with a cold. You should seek medical advice if you're coughing up yellow/green mucous and have a high temperature, chills, shortness of breath -- or if your symptoms are not better after two weeks.

Which of these home remedies can help calm a cough?

boiled sweets

Which of these home remedies can help calm a cough?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Grandma may have prescribed a hot toddy with a shot of whiskey for a cough, but there's no proof that it works. Plus, some cough and cold medicines should not be taken when drinking alcohol, particularly those that may cause drowsiness, such as night-time cold medicines. Read the label. Chocolate and milk may not hurt a cough, but they won't necessarily help it. Boiled sweets may help ease a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat.

You should seek medical advice for cough and cold symptoms that last:

You should seek medical advice for cough and cold symptoms that last:

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Most coughs from colds or flu go away in one to two weeks, and you shouldn't take over-the-counter cough medicine for more than a week without seeking medical advice. The NHS says to seek medical advice if a cough lasts more then two weeks after a viral infection or is getting progressively worse.

You should see a doctor for a cough if you:

collage of wheezing coughing and fever

You should see a doctor for a cough if you:

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: A cough may come and go with a cold, flu or allergies. But if you have shortness of breath or are coughing up blood, you should seek medical advice. These could be signs of a more serious illness that needs to be treated. Always seek urgent medical advice if a baby under three months has a temperature of 38°C (101.4°F) or higher. For children over three months, as well as adults, seek medical advice for a fever of 39°C (102.2°F) or higher. You should also seek medical advice if a fever of 40°C (104°F) lasts for more than three days.

Which of these home remedies can help calm an infant's cough?

humidifier

Which of these home remedies can help calm an infant's cough?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: A humidifier may help relieve coughing and congestion and help your baby sleep at night. Studies show honey can help calm coughs in older children, but you shouldn't give honey to a child under one year old because of the risk of infant botulism. Children under 3 shouldn't use cough drops or boiled sweets because of the risk of choking. Finally, over-the-counter cough or cold medicine,should not be given to children under six, as any benefits may be outweighed by the risk if unpleasant side effects.

Which of these coughs is most likely a sign of cold or flu? Play the audio clips below and choose one.

  • Whooping Cough
  • Dry Cough
  • Wheezing

Which of these coughs is most likely a sign of cold or flu?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: A cold can cause either a dry cough or a productive 'chesty' cough. A productive or 'chesty' cough also produces phlegm or mucous, while a dry cough doesn't. When you have a cold, a dry cough may last longer than other symptoms and get worse at night. A baby with whooping cough may have the characteristic "whoop" when they gasp for air after coughing. Whooping cough can be a serious illness for children. Wheezing -- a kind of whistling sound when breathing out or in -- can be a sign of asthma.

If you have a cold and a cough, it's a good idea to take cold medicine in addition to cough medicine.

If you have a cold and a cough, it's a good idea to take cold medicine in addition to cough medicine.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Multi-symptom cold and flu medicines contain more than one medication, and most already contain cough medicine. Similarly, some cough medicines may contain medicine to treat cold symptoms. Taking both multi-symptom cold and flu medicine along with cough medicine can put you at risk of an accidental overdose. Be sure to read the labels carefully to see what each medicine contains, and don't take medicine that treats symptoms you don't have.

mum with sick girl

Children with croup can be treated at home.

mum with sick girl

Children with croup can be treated at home.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: The treatment of croup depends on how severe the condition is. Most cases of croup are mild and can be treated at home. However, it's always best to seek medical advice to make sure that's the right approach for you. Croup symptoms are often worse at night and can be a lot like common cold symptoms: stuffy or runny nose, high temperature and a harsh cough. Breathing moist air from a cool-mist humidifier may ease symptoms. Sitting in a closed bathroom with your child as they breathe in steam from a hot bath may also help, but make sure child is supervised and kept safely away from the hot water. Seek medical advice if symptoms get worse, such as severe coughing spells, temperature over 38°C (100.4°F), or trouble swallowing (drooling). Dial 999 immediately if your child is struggling to breathe.

spicy hot wings

What you ate for dinner may make you cough at bedtime.

spicy hot wings

What you ate for dinner may make you cough at bedtime.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: As well as heartburn, symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can include cough, sore throat, hoarseness and trouble swallowing. Many people can control GORD with medicine and lifestyle changes. Examples of lifestyle changes include avoiding spicy or fatty foods, caffeine and alcohol. Eating your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime may also help control GORD at night. Also, try propping the head of your bed up so that gravity can help keep down the stomach acids that cause GORD.

Having these in the bedroom can ease your cough while you sleep:

pillows and mattress covers

Having these in the bedroom can ease your cough while you sleep:

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: 

Explanation: Hay fever and asthma can cause coughing. If you cough at night, the allergy triggers may be lurking around your bed. Use air-tight covers for your pillows, mattress, and box springs. Also, wash your bed sheets weekly in hot water.

Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.
Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.

Results: Your answers indicate that you may not know how to calm your cough. If you can control a cough that is interfering with your sleep or daily activities, you will have more energy to fight illness and get through the day.

The first step to treating a cough is identifying what's causing it:

  • A cold or flu often causes a cough.
  • Allergies to pets, dust, and household cleaners are another cause.
  • Some medicines, smoking, and even second-hand smoke can cause a chronic cough. Rarely, a persistent cough can be caused by a serious health condition.
  • A cough may even have more than one cause.

If a cough is not from a cold or flu, has lingered for 3 weeks, or is accompanied by unusual symptoms such as a high temperature or shortness of breath, seek medical advice.

For a nighttime cough that seems to be from a cold or flu:

  • Get plenty of liquids and rest.
  • Adults can use an over-the-counter cough medicine, if needed, and children over six years old can safely take a child-formula cough medicine.
  • Honey may also help calm a cough and can be given to children older than 1 year old.

Results: Your answers indicate that you could learn more about calming a night-time cough.

If a cough from a cold or flu is bothering you or your child, try these tips:

  • Take a steamy bath or shower before bed
  • Use a humidifier in the bedroom
  • Get plenty of rest and fluids, including warm tea or soup.

For adults, an over-the-counter cough medicine may also help. Read the labels carefully before taking a multi-symptom cold and flu medicine along with cough medicine. Follow these guidelines for children:

  • Children older than six years old can take an over-the-counter child-formula cough medicine.
  • Children aged three years old and older can suck on boiled sweets to soothe an irritated throat.
  • Children older than one year old can take honey to relieve a cough. Don't give honey to a child under one year old.

A cough may come and go with a cold, flu or allergies. If a cough lasts longer than two weeks, or if you don't know what's causing it, seek medical advice.

Results: Your answers indicate that you have a good idea how to calm your night-time cough.

If the cough is from a cold or flu, remember that getting plenty of rest and drinking fluids during the day will help. Warm tea or soup before bedtime, a shower, and a humidifier can also help thin mucous and clear chest congestion.

For adults, cough medicine may also help. Children under three years old shouldn't use cough drops and kids under six years old should not take an over-the-counter cough reliever. Instead, try the remedies listed above.

If the cough lasts two weeks or more, you should seek medical advice. Working with your doctor to identify and treat the underlying cause is the only way to treat a chronic cough.

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
humbug hard candies
Diarrhoea & more
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
cute dog
10 common allergy triggers
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
crossword puzzle
Help for the first hard days
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
adult man contemplating
Visual guide to BPH
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting