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Dry Cough

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Dry Cough: Introduction

A cough is your body's method of removing irritants from your lungs and airways so you can breathe properly. If nothing comes out when you cough, it is because there is no mucus clogging the lungs or airways. An upper respiratory infection or bronchitis can induce a chronic dry cough.


A dry cough is one that does not produce mucus in the throat. Sometimes a dry cough is accompanied by swelling and congestion, or a tickling sensation in the throat, and one tries to cough to get rid of it, but to no avail.

The various symptoms, reasons, antibiotics, and dry cough treatments are discussed in the following sections.


What is Dry Cough?

A dry cough is one that produces no phlegm or mucous. A dry cough is uncomfortable and sometimes accompanied by a tickly throat. Dry coughs are most commonly caused by viral infections such as colds and flu, but they can also be caused by allergies or throat irritants.


Dry Cough Symptoms

A dry cough can cause a tickling feeling in the throat. Coughing may help you clean your throat. As you forcefully release air, your throat may feel dry and irritating. You may get a sore throat.


If you have a dry cough, you will most likely experience the following symptoms:

  • A persistent tickling in the throat

  • Mucus deficiency

  • A cough that appears to be ineffective

  • Insomnia

  • There is no wheezing or congestion.

Dry cough symptoms should last no more than a week or two and should go away within three weeks. Some coughs might continue for up to eight weeks after a viral infection. Coughs that last longer than eight weeks (or four weeks in children) are termed as chronic and should be treated by a doctor.


Dry Cough Reasons

The causes of dry cough include:


Infectious Agents

The following diseases are likely to cause a dry cough.

A dry cough can be a sign of a variety of diseases. Upper respiratory infections include URIs, sometimes known as colds, which can induce a variety of coughs, including dry coughs. A dry cough might last for four weeks with a 25% possibility.

  • Bronchitis: A dry cough is the most typical symptom of bronchitis. After a few days, the cough may produce mucus.

  • Smoking: Tobacco use irritates the throat, resulting in a dry, persistent cough. Heavy smokers may develop a moist mouth.


Medical Reasons

  • Asthma: Not everyone who has asthma will have a dry cough. Cough-variant asthma does not cause traditional symptoms such as shortness of breath or wheezing. Instead, the major symptom is a persistent and dry cough. This cough is more prevalent after being exposed to irritants such as cold air or smoke.

  • Heart Failure: While heart failure is not a typical cause of dry cough, it can cause fluid to back up into the lungs. A dry cough might result from lung congestion.


Medicine for Dry Cough

  • Antitussives are thought to function by suppressing the cough reflex. For example, dextromethorphan or pholcodine.

  • Expectorants, such as guaifenesin or ipecacuanha, work to relax secretions, allowing you to cough up extra mucus.

  • Antihistamines inhibit histamine release. This minimises congestion and the amount of secretion produced by the lungs. Brompheniramine, chlorphenamine, diphenhydramine, doxylamine, promethazine, and triprolidine are a few examples.

  • Decongestants induce the blood arteries in the lungs and nose to thin (constrict), reducing congestion. Examples include phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, oxymetazoline, and xylometazoline.


List of Antibiotics for Dry Cough

  1. Bromhexine is a medication used to loosen or thin mucus discharges that might clog the airways. The medicine enhances bronchial secretion discharge by making it simpler to eliminate mucus from the respiratory tract.

  2. Delamanid is an anti-tubercular medication used in conjunction with bedaquiline to treat individuals with active multidrug-resistant TB when other therapies fail or show no response. It is used to treat tuberculosis and dry cough.

  3. Pseudoephedrine with hydrocodone- Hydrocodone and pseudoephedrine are decongestants and cough suppressants used to treat congestion and cough caused by a cold, flu, or hay fever.


What is Chronic Dry Cough or Persistent Dry Cough?

A chronic cough, defined as one that lasts more than eight weeks, might be problematic. However, it is extremely frequent and may be caused by:

  • Asthma

  • Bronchitis

  • Allergies

  • Gastroesophageal reflux syndrome (GERD)

  • Postnasal dripping


Treatment of Dry Cough at Home

If dry cough symptoms are not caused by a medical problem, then there are some home remedies.

  • Demulcents: Demulcents soothe and alleviate inflammation in the throat. Try a cough syrup with sugar and glycerol, or mix honey and lemon in warm water.

  • Cough Suppressants: Cough drops and cough syrups can help you stop coughing.

  • Increase Fluid Intake: Drink additional fluids, particularly water, to keep the pharynx covered and to prevent tickling.

  • Gargling with salt water might assist if your dry cough is caused by an inflamed throat. Salt draws water out of mucous membrane cells, which reduces swelling.


Interesting Facts

A dry or nonproductive cough is one that does not generate mucus. The most common form of cough is acute cough. It only lasts three weeks or less and will eventually go away on its own. This form of cough does not necessitate medical care.

Last updated date: 28th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Dry Cough

1. Can a dry cough be transmitted?

A dry cough might be transmissible or communicable, depending on the reason. Post-nasal drip, or mucus trickling from the back of the nose into the throat, can cause dry coughs. A dry cough can also be caused by smoking (smoker's cough). A dry cough can also be caused by allergies. However, none of these conditions are communicable. It is possible to spread a dry cough as part of a cold or illness. Take measures like washing your hands more frequently and protecting your mouth.

2. Is dry coughing caused by asthma?

Asthma can cause a dry cough. Cough-variant asthma is a kind of asthma that can be caused by the same causes as regular asthma. Dust, chilly air, stress, pollen, and a change in seasons are all triggers. The response of cough-variant asthma to regular asthma therapies confirms its existence. If you continue to cough after taking your asthma medications as directed, you may have something other than cough-variant asthma.

3. What are the most frequent side effects of dry cough medication?

There are a lot of potential adverse effects to using medicine for dry cough, just as there are with any prescription. This is not a full list, but some of the most prevalent ones are as follows:

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Mouth dryness

  • Urination problems

  • Restlessness

  • Breathing rate has slowed

  • A shaky or wobbly walk

  • Breathing difficulty


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