This troublesome symptom is often one of the chief sources of weakness and increasing debility, since it deprives the patient of his necessary rest at night and excites him with continued and harassing efforts to relieve the unpleasant sensations by which it is provoked. Not infrequently the cough is produced, not by the condition of the lungs themselves, but by some form of irritation in the throat. This chronic irritation of the larynx is not infrequently itself produced by elongation of the palate. The cause of the cough should always be sought for, as it not infrequently happens that much annoyance and waste of strength will thus be saved. If the difficulty is chiefly in the throat, it will be readily relieved by soothing gargles and other treatment, such as has been described for inflammation or chronic catarrh in this location. Very simple remedies are often effective to relieve the most distressing cough, such as gargling of water in the throat, holding pieces of ice in the mouth, taking occasional sips of strong lemonade, and similar remedies. The best of all means of allaying the irritation of the throat we have ever found is the inhaler which has already been described. Another measure for the relief of cough is the application of fomentations to the chest and between the shoulders. These applications should not be given more than once or twice a day. The time of each application should not extend over fifteen or twenty minutes. If the patient perspires easily, great care will be necessary to prevent weakening him by exciting perspiration by fomentations. In this case the application to the chest of dry heat by means of the hot-water bag is better than the use of fomentations. A tepid compress applied to the chest at night will frequently relieve the harassing night cough. The application should be made with a soft woolen cloth of two thicknesses, which should be wrung as dry as possible and should be covered with several thicknesses of dry flannel to retain the warmth and moisture. The chest should be rubbed in the morning with the hand dipped in cool or tepid water, and covered with a dry flannel or chest protector through the day. The use of various cough mixtures for the relief of cough is generally attended by more harm than good, as a majority of them contain opium, to which their effectiveness in relieving cough is chiefly due, but which encourages the exhausting night sweats, and hence really occasions much harm, though temporarily contributing to the patients comfort. As a general rule, patients run down, and the disease progresses much more rapidly after beginning the use of opium in any form.

It should be borne in mind that cough is merely a symptom, the significance and importance of which varies greatly in different cases. Sometimes it is best that it should be encouraged instead of being repressed. When the patient expectorates very freely, the cough is a necessary means of relieving the chest of matters which would seriously interfere with the functions of the lungs if retained, by filling up the bronchial tubes and air-cells. Cough is important in such cases as these, as the suppression of expectoration would be the surest means of hastening the death of the patient rather than encouraging the recovery. The kind of cough which it is important to relieve is an irritable, ineffective cough, unaccompanied by any considerable degree of expectoration. This cough is sometimes excited by the irritation occasioned by an elongated uvula, for which the proper remedy is snipping off the end of the offending organ. Loaf sugar, honey, or a mixture of honey and lemon juice and other simple remedies familiar in every household, are often effective in relieving a cough which is accompanied by little expectoration. In cases in which cough cannot be relieved in any other way, and is very distressing and painful, the use of an opiate mixture is sometimes advisable, but should be administered only under the advice of an intelligent physician.