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persistent coughing

I think if anyone knows the answer to this they have probably made a fortune but does anyone have any suggestions for how to reduce persistent coughing? My daughter quite often coughs but recently this has got a lot worse and at the moment she has a cold which means she is coughing constantly (every 30 seconds) all day and for most of the night. She looks shattered and it's really unbearable. I have tried honey, steam, cough mixture and lots of water but nothing really makes any difference. Also how can you tell if it's an asthma cough or just a normal cough? Any ideas would be great.

5 Replies

Hi we have the same problem, my Son cough's and cough's constantly when he's either got a cold or his asthma is really bad,he's never wheezed which causes even more of a problem! My Mum told me this tip (i thought she was mad until we tried it!).She suggested rubbing vicks vapour rub into the soles of the feet. My Son can't tolerate vapour rub anywhere near his chest as it aggravates it. We tried it and it stops the coughing when it's a normal cough but not when it's asthma related. It's the only early clue we get to tell the difference as often a normal cough will set his asthma off eventually anyway. we have tried everything. Keeping calm and telling them everything will be ok helps keep them settled and feel safe. I know this is an impossible task, I feel I deserve an Oscar for my performances regularly but it really does help.Talking to the Asthma Nurses at Asthma UK is really helpful, they will give you advice on what to do next.

Good luck and hope your Daughter feels better soon



coughing help

I noticed at least one regular contributor who suppresses a too regular cough.Not sure what techniques they use.

I use the buteyko breathing method for relief from coughs.

I now breathe through my nose all the time after previously suffering lifelong mouth breathing and symptoms like asthma, allergies and coughing. This includes when coughing, i now cough through my nose.

This takes a bit of getting used to and is messier than coughing through the mouth.

By breathing through your nose, the volume is reduced which reduces the tickle causing the cough. Using exercises (that may not be suitable for all asthmatics) the normal breathing volume is slowly reduced to a more optimal level (theory being that most people breathe too much).

There is a technique of holding your breath for 2-3 seconds on the out breath, every 15 secs or so (normal nasal breathing in between) that is great for pushing the length of time between coughs, this can be maintained all day- and can dramatically reduce the need to cough. This can be difficult as its a strong almost reflex-like response to cough.

Please note that the buteyko method may not be suitable for all asthmatics. It should be learned in consultation with your doctor/ asthma specialist. It is advocated by the British Thoracic Society as a ""useful adjunct"" although supporters of the technique believe that it has much greater potential than so far established through largely successful medical trials (at least 7 worldwide but with small patient numbers and with disputed results).


Re: buteyko

FionaT, I'd phone or email the asthma nurses on AUK. I've always found them very helpful.

Re: Buteyko

I looked up The British Thoracic Society and did a search on buteyko. Search result came back as nothing found in their patient guidelines for Asthma.

I then looked up The British Thoracic Society 2008 British Guideline on the Management of Asthma - updated June 2009. Listed in amongst other complementary and alternative medicines is buteyko. All complimentary and alternative medicines listed had their research findings looked at for the June 2008 practitioners guidelines.

I quote from this -

'The Buteyko breathing technique specifically focuses on control of hyperventilation. Trials suggest benefits in terms of reduced symptoms and bronchodilator usage but no efect on lung function. '

I then looked at the rest of their site and documents and nowhere is the buteyko system mentioned in their treatment guidelines for either children or adults.


Edit due to a missing 's' on documents - 2nd last line.


Hi FionaT thanks for your message, would be great to send you a message but I can't as you've ticked the box not to receive mail.If not I will send you a message on here.

Take care



Hi FionaT, my Son is 9 nearly 10 and coughs with his asthma all the time when it's bad. He has scoliosis and his rib sticks out on the left from all the coughing. Our local Consultant apologised for not spotting it sooner. We see a chiropractor regularly to get his spine straightened, this also helps with his breathing, giving him more room to breath. Costs lots but saves him wearing a brace which would be the NHS option, progress I guess! I hope things are getting better for you, I'm dreading the cold weather and Christmas as cold air and excitement set my Son off. He is ill every Christmas and just missed being in Hospital last Christmas day by me reassuring the consultant we were only staying down the road from the hospital and I would bring him in as soon as I felt I couldn't cope (usually 80miles away!). Things are a bit easier now he is older, he tells me where the pain is and when he can no longer breath, he signs to me to call an ambulance. I have an older Son with asthma but we seem to manage his so easily, he has allergy related asthma and we know all the triggers which is really good.Matty has no allergies but can't understand why he gets so ill so very quickly.Trying to keep calm is so difficult but it keeps him calm.

Take care



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