夜に出始める咳…原因と緩和方法

就寝時、布団に入ってから出始める咳に悩まされていませんか?夜の咳には色々な原因があり、それによって治療法もさまざまです。ちょっとした工夫で緩和させることもできるかもしれません!

夜に咳が出るのはなぜ?

夜になると出る咳の代表的な原因をご紹介します。夜になると体を休ませるために副交感神経が作用し気管支が狭くなるので咳が出やすくなるほか、布団の中で温まった身体と空気の温度差も咳が出やすくなる原因の一つです。

必ずしもこの中に当てはまるとは限りませんが、次のような病気によって咳が引き起こされている場合も多いです。

・喘息

「ひゅーひゅー」といった独特の呼吸音を伴う咳の場合は、喘息の可能性が高いです。夜だけでなく、早朝にも症状が出やすく、音や息苦しさを伴わない「咳喘息」という病気もあります。

・逆流性食道炎

胸焼けを伴う咳や胸の痛み、胸焼けなどが主な症状です。胃液が食道に逆流しそこにとどまるために食道が炎症を起こしてしまうという病気です。

・後鼻漏

粘性の高い鼻水が鼻腔の後ろ側に流れる病気で、横になるとたんが絡んだ咳が出ます。60歳以上の高齢者の方に多く見られます。

・心不全

横になってしばらくしてから咳が出る、息苦しさを伴うなどの症状は心不全の可能性があります。病名ではなく、何らかの原因で心臓のポンプ機能が正常に機能しなくなり、全身に必要な血液が廻らなくなる状態を指します。

咳を放置する危険性

慢性的に咳が出ていても、他に不調がなかったり、朝になればおさまるからと放置している人もいると思います。症状が就寝時の咳だけだと、なかなか病院に行きづらいですよね。しかし、咳を放置するのはあまり良いことではありません。

長期間咳をし続けると、例えそれが夜の間だけだとしても、喉や肺へ負担がかかります。気道が炎症を起こしたり、ひどい場合は肋骨が骨折してしまうこともあります。

咳だけではその原因が何なのか自分で診断するのは難しいです。市販薬ではなかなか改善しないという時や、ただの風邪とは違うという時には、医療機関への受診をお勧めします。

自分でできる緩和方法

一番いいのは病院で治療してもらう事ですが、どうしてもすぐには受診できない、というような人には、緩和の為に自分でできる工夫がいくつかあります。病気によっては逆効果になるなど、効果には個人差がありますので注意してください。

①仰向けで寝る

横向きやうつ伏せで寝ると気道が圧迫されて咳が出やすくなってしまいます。咳が出ている時はつい体を丸めてしまいますが、なるべく仰向けの体勢になることを心掛けてみましょう。

②鼻呼吸をする

就寝時の口呼吸によって口内が乾燥すると、より咳の出やすい状態になってしまいます。鼻呼吸をすることで多少乾燥を防ぐことが出来ます。

③枕を使わない

枕を使って寝ている時は、頭の位置が高くなって気道に負担がかかっています。枕を使用せずに首がまっすぐな状態で寝ることで咳が出にくくなることがあります。

④咳を抑えるツボ

「尺沢(しゃくたく)」 肘の内側のしわ付近、腱の外側にあるツボで、少し強めに押すことで席に効果があると言われています。

「中府(ちゅうふ)」 鎖骨の外側下のくぼみから指一本分ほど下にあるツボで、深呼吸をしながら押すことで呼吸の機能が高まると言われています。

子供の夜の咳

子供の夜の咳は風邪の代表的な症状です。苦し気な呼吸音を伴う場合は大人と同じく喘息であることが多く、「ぜーぜー」といった音ではなく、犬の遠吠えのような咳の場合は、「喉頭炎(クループ)」という病気で、どちらも重症だと吸入などの治療を要します。

親子で寝ている家庭も多いですが、子供が毎晩咳をするとそれによって親の方も寝不足になってしまうことも多いようです。子供は自分で咳を止めるための対策などはできないですから、親が何とかして緩和させてあげたいですよね。

加湿をする、暖かい飲み物を飲ませる、絨毯や布団を清潔に保つなどの対策は咳が出やすい子供に効果的です。また、寝る30分前にハチミツを飲むと効果があると言われていますが、1歳未満の子供には絶対に与えないでください。

まとめ

毎晩咳が出ると、ゆっくり休むことが出来ず、寝不足にもなってしまいます。喉が痛んだり、息苦しくなると昼間にも影響が出てしまいますよね。本記事ではいくつか緩和方法をご紹介しましたが、いずれも一時しのぎですので、咳が治まらない、何か月も続くという

場合は、緩和法や市販薬に頼らずに医療機関を受診してください。

また、記事内の病気の症状や咳の対策についての記載に関しましては、専門知識に基づいたものではありませんのでご了承ください。

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