A cough after coronavirus
Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery
As you recover from coronavirus (COVID-19), you might still have a cough. This can lead to irritation and inflammation, which could make your cough worse.
You can gain some control over your cough to stop it getting worse. Try the exercises below to help you.
Managing a cough
Try to breathe in deep into your stomach. If you put your hand on your stomach, you should see your hand rise and fall as you breathe. It is a good idea to practise this regularly.
If your breathing becomes shallow and rapid, use this technique to bring your breath back to your stomach. This is important because rapid breathing can make your cough worse.
Try to work out if there is anything that causes your cough or makes it worse, and avoid this where possible. Examples are:
- spicy foods
- air conditioning
- smoky environments
- talking a lot on the phone
It is important to stay hydrated and regularly sip water or other drinks that do not contain caffeine.
The urge to cough
When you first notice the urge to cough, try these techniques.
- Sip water.
- Suck boiled sweets (but not menthol sweets).
- Close your mouth and swallow.
- Breathe in and out through your nose.
- Try pursed-lips breathing.
- Try to stay calm and continue your usual physical, work and social activities and routines.
- If you focus on something you enjoy, this can distract you from the need to cough.
- Most people will be concerned about you rather than find your cough troublesome.
Resource number: 5122/VER1
Last reviewed: January 2021
Next review date: December 2023