Types of cough

Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 and Long-COVID, and whilst it is typically in the form of a dry cough, coughs with phlegm can also be caused. 

Dry coughs

A dry cough is one of the most common coronavirus symptoms and can continue into Long-COVID for many individuals.

If you have a dry cough, try to:

  • Stay hydrated. Take small sips of a soft drink, one after the other. Try not to take large sips..

  • Inhale steam. Pour hot water into a bowl, then put your head over the bowl. If comfortable, cover your head and bowl with a towel.

  • Drink a warm drink, such as honey and lemon, as this can soothe your throat.

  • Swallow repeatedly if you don’t have a drink near you. This can work in a similar way to sipping water

Coughs with phlegm

If you have a cough with phlegm, try to:

  • stay hydrated – take small sips of a soft drink, one after the other. Try not to take large sips.

  • inhale steam – pour hot water into a bowl, then put your head over the bowl. If comfortable, cover your head and bowl with a towel.

  • lie on either side, as flat as you can. This can help you to cough out the phlegm.

If you have another condition that might be causing you to cough, speak to your GP about how you might be able to tell them apart. Find out how to tell if your symptoms are due to asthma, hay fever, cold, flu or COVID-19.

If you are losing weight, coughing up blood, getting chest pain or if any of your symptoms are getting worse, speak to your GP or phone 111 urgently.

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