This article will take a look at some of the common dry cough remedies that may help with this annoying problem.
What is a dry cough?
Coughing is a reflex and an important defense mechanism of the body. The purpose is to remove the unwanted substance that irritates the lungs, throat and/or mouth. When we cough, there is a contraction of the chest muscles that results in a forceful pressure from the lungs.
Dry cough is the kind where there is no phlegm or sputum produced, hence the term “dry”.
It can be important to know what can cause your problem as this helps with the remedy. The causes of dry cough include these:
- Infection – from underlying medical condition or other lung problems like asthma and sinusitis.
- GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) – the opening of the lower esophagus is relaxed and does not close properly. Due to this, the irritating contents of the stomach are regurgitated back to the throat causing a cough.
- Irritants and allergens like dust, aerosol spray, insecticides, pollen, feather, fur, hay and smoke.
- Frequent talking and shouting will hurt the lining of the throat, and this cause dry cough.
Signs and symptoms of dry cough:
- Constant coughing without phlegm.
- The throat is itchy, sore and red.
- Breathing is difficult, and there may be shortness of breath and panting.
- Fever and headache can accompany the problem if an infection is the cause.
- Due to coughing, there is fatigue or body weakness. The appetite is also suppressed and weight loss is evident.
Best Dry Cough Remedies
The best home remedies can include:
- Increased fluid intake. You may also drink warm water to soothe the throat and reduce pain. Citrus fruits like oranges and kiwi are rich in Vitamin C that helps boost the immune system.
- Herbal teas are another useful remedy. Oregano and ginger can be prepared as tea. Oregano leaves boiled in water, have a minty flavor that relieves sore throats. It has antioxidants that cleanse the body by helping eliminate toxins. Ginger may be chewed, or boiled to create a tea drink. It has antiseptic effects that kill microorganisms.
- Gargle a mixture of salt and warm water to decrease the bacteria in the mouth.
- Protect yourself by wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask, especially in those jobs that are being exposed to spray paints or insecticides. Wear a mask when going out of the house to protect you from allergens like dust and smoke.
- Smoking cessation. Seek medical advice if you are having difficulties quitting.
- Use air sterilizer to clean the room air. You may also use a humidifier to lock in the moisture in the air.
- Get adequate rest and sleep to reduce feeling of weakness.
- For dry cough, you can inhale steam by bathing with warm water. In addition, you can pour hot water in a pan and inhale the steam.
- Practice deep breathing exercises to promote good lung expansion.
The following medications can help remedy a dry cough:
- Antibiotics are prescribed if the cause is bacterial in nature. This is to stop their growth and multiplication.
- Lozenges are hard candies that come in several flavors. It contains antitussives (stops cough), while some contain Lidocaine, a numbing medicine that can help.
- Antitussive syrups or tablets.
- Antibacterial mouthwash – gargled after every meal.
- Inhalers for asthma and other chronic lung disorders.
- Oxygen therapy – prescribed by the physician when necessary. Usually comes in an amount of 1-2 liters per minute. This is to ensure that the oxygen is delivered in sufficient amounts in the body.
There are many ways to prevent dry cough. Just like other medical illnesses, we prevent it by creating a solid foundation, which is a healthy body and strong immune system. Do not attempt to self-medicate, get the problem diagnosed properly. Proper medical treatment is strongly advised, if the problem persists, before you try any home dry cough remedies.