Of course, it’s most important that you take your asthma medications as prescribed. But in addition to taking your medicine correctly, if you’re having symptoms, there are some home remedies you can try to help make yourself feel better too. But remember — these tips should never replace your regular asthma medications.
If your cough is getting annoying, it might help to sip room-temperature water (not cold). The fluids can help quiet a cough and thin the mucus coating your airways, making it easier to breathe. Drinking plenty of fluids is also a good idea to help you prevent future flares.
If you’re bothered by a nighttime cough, as many kids with asthma are, you can help prevent a cough by raising the head of your bed. You can do so by either putting a block of wood under the headboard or simply adding a few extra pillows.
Although cold air during exercise can trigger an asthma flare, many people have found that breathing cool air can ease a bad asthma cough. In the winter, you can simply step outside and slowly inhale a few breaths. In the summer, your cough might improve if you breathe air from an air conditioner. Sucking on hard candy or a Popsicle also can ease coughs. Some people find sipping on hot tea can ease a cough, although pure mint tea should be avoided. (The menthol in mint and catnip tea can create an unpleasant numbing sensation in the throat.)
Also called heartburn, this common problem in teens with asthma happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. You can help prevent it by making sure the head of your bed is propped up and by not eating right before bed. You also can try to avoid acid reflux by taking acid-suppressing drugs such as nonpre-scription Pepcid AC, or Prilosec, or your doctor may prescribe medications such as Nexium.
Many patients find that when sleeping flat on their back worsens the chest tightness, sleeping on their side helps ease breathing. Some patients find that standing in a steamy shower and breathing in the warm mist can help ease chest tightness.