Many asthmatics cough. As a rule this is caused by the failure of the microscopic cilia of the chest to beat at a normal rate of 16 to 20 beats per second. Especially if there is infection and pus in the nose, the toxin from the infection can act as an irritant If the bronchi are swollen or in spasm, this can affect the tracheobronchial cilia and instead of the normal ciliary action, we cough.

For example, the coal miner doesn’t cough. But when he inhales a large piece of coal that is too big for his cilia to handle, he coughs to get rid of it. When the patient has the flu, the cilia are poisoned by the toxins and they fail, then cough takes over.

Many studies have shown that clearing the sinus infection can reduce the cough of allergy or asthma. Antibiotics of course are important. Unfortunately the number of drug resistant bacteria is on the increase so other techniques have to be considered. Deep breathing, raising the elbows as you inhale is good. Hot tea with lemon and honey is helpful. Hot compresses applied over the nose, below, and above the eyes are helpful. Medications containing guiafenesin are recommended. Sometimes making a low-pitched sound which penetrates deep behind the eyes can be beneficial.

Pulsatile irrigation is especially helpful, since it actually helps the body help itself – it invigorates the nasal and sinus cilia so they can protect the body against irritants and contagions. This method is safe, safer than blowing your nose. There is some evidence that pulsatile nasal irrigation is helpful to restore the cilia of the chest. Certainly the chest is helped by removing the bacterial load from the nose and sinus. Sometimes asthma is caused or aggravated by pus in the nose so using pulsatile irrigation to remove nasal sinus pus is good medicine. Now that so many bacteria have become antibiotic resistant, using pulsating irrigation early in an infection can help prevent the need for antibiotics.