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Quiz: How to calm your night-time cough

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Coughs can cause sleepless nights - but coughs caused by common colds should go away in around:

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Coughs can cause sleepless nights - but coughs caused by common colds should go away in around:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You probably think a cough should clear up in a little over a week. However, research has shown a cough that's not caused by a more severe illness will stick around for up to 3 weeks (21 days). 

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Most coughs are caused by:  

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Most coughs are caused by:  

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Because most coughs are caused by viruses antibiotics won’t help - they only treat bacteria. Other remedies can help relieve symptoms as the cough runs its course - but there are no quick fixes.

You may get a better night’s sleep if you treat your cough with:    

You may get a better night’s sleep if you treat your cough with:    

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Either cough medicine or home made honey and lemon drinks may help calm your night-time cough and make it easier for you to get a peaceful night’s sleep. The medicines regulator MHRA says there's little evidence cough medicines are better than the home remedies. Remember honey shoudn't be given to babies under 1 year old.

Most coughs go away on their own, but seek medical advice if:

Most coughs go away on their own, but seek medical advice if:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Noisy breathing can be a symptom of bronchitis, asthma, or another problem - so seek medical advice. Also get medical help if you have trouble breathing, or cough up blood, or your cough lasts more than 3 weeks. If your baby has a cough that worries you, seek medical advice.

Vapour rubs can help a night-time cough:

Vapour rubs can help a night-time cough:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Menthol vapour rub with its strong smell can help ease a night-time cough and make breathing easier. Use age-appropriate products for babies and children and always follow the instructions.

Always seek medical advice if your cough lasts more than:  

Always seek medical advice if your cough lasts more than:  

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks is reason to seek medical advice. Most coughs go away on their own before that but if you have other symptoms like weight loss, shortness of breath, coughing up blood - or if you smoke - seek help sooner..

A cough that brings up yellow-green mucus means you have a sinus infection.

A cough that brings up yellow-green mucus means you have a sinus infection.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It may look gross but that yellow-green stuff that comes out of your nose is a normal part of having a cold. This mucus is thicker and harder for your sinuses to drain, so you may feel pressure in your face. That still doesn’t mean you have a sinus infection or need antibiotics. Seek medical advice if it doesn’t get better on its own.

Your cough may be caused by heartburn.  

Your cough may be caused by heartburn.  

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Heartburn can cause a long-lasting cough in both adults and children. The acid that comes with it triggers your cough reflex. Try avoiding heartburn triggers like alcohol and spicy food close to bed time. Other tips include raising the head end of your bed by a few inches to help stop acid going into your throat.

To fend off a coughing fit, you should sleep:

To fend off a coughing fit, you should sleep:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Try an extra pillow or two. Sleeping with your head raised helps keep mucus from pooling in the back of your throat. It also helps keep acid from travelling up from your stomach.

A humidifier may soothe your nagging hacking cough.

A humidifier may soothe your nagging hacking cough.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Dry air can irritate your throat. A humidifier adds moisture to the air and wets your airways, helping make it easier to breathe - but don’t overdo it. Having a steamy shower before bed can also help.

Cough it up. But is it OK if you swallow it?

Cough it up. But is it OK if you swallow it?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There’s no harm in swallowing mucus. You do it without thinking about it all the time, and it won’t come back up again. If you do want to spit it out - use a tissue and bin it to avoid spreading germs.

Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Well done! You’re equipped to combat a night-time cough.

You’ve got the basics, but your night-time cough knowledge needs help.

What you don’t know about night-time coughs could be keeping you up at night. Try again!

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