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Dry cough

dry cough , which is also called an irritating cough or a nervous cough , is one that is not accompanied by mucus. It is characterized by irritating the respiratory tract, so that the problem of coughing progressively worsens.

This is a kind of “vicious cycle”: coughing progressively worsens irritation of the respiratory tract , which in turn causes a dry cough. That is why this condition must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Contrary to what one might think, coughing is a defense mechanism of the body. Therefore, it acts as an ally to external agents to expel them and clear the airways.

The cough is a reflex that can be voluntary or not. In the process the glottis plays a very important role. It closes to keep air in the lungs. Before the contraction of the diaphragm, the glots opens and expels air to the outside. This is how coughing occurs.

Causes of dry cough


In the vast majority of cases the dry cough responds to a cold. A mild disease that affects both children and adults. It appears gradually and lasts for a few days. The most common symptoms are runny nose, sneezing, dry cough, and headache.

Although the cold can occur throughout the year, it is most common in the fall and winter . The virus spreads through the small droplets that a person expels when coughing or blowing their nose.


The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus . This is a disease that annually affects millions of people around the world. In the vast majority of cases it is mild, although it can sometimes be life threatening, especially for babies and the elderly.

Unlike the cold, the flu comes on suddenly . The most common symptoms are: fever , chills, dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, tiredness and headache .

There are people who are not able to tell if they have a cold or the flu . Sometimes the differences between the two diseases are very subtle. Cold symptoms usually appear gradually and are less severe.


Pneumonia is what an infection of the lungs is called. It can affect one of them, or both. This disease is caused by microorganisms , such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Regarding the symptoms of pneumonia , the most common are: chest pain when coughing or breathing, high fever, chills, dry cough and fatigue.


An allergy is defined as an exaggerated response of the immune system to a certain substance, called an allergen . Although this substance is harmless for the vast majority of the population, the immune system of the allergic person identifies it as harmful.

One of the most common allergy symptoms is conjunctivitis , which leads to tearing, itching, and redness of the eyes. Also, allergy sufferers suffer from a dry cough and itchy skin.

Lung cancer

Although it is not the most common cause, a dry cough can also be caused by lung cancer. This is one of the most common malignant tumors in the world, especially among adults .

Common symptoms of lung cancer are: a dry cough that worsens over time and does not go away, severe chest pain, wheezing, hoarseness, neck swelling, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

There are different types of lung cancer , each with its own characteristics. Treatment of the disease is highly stage dependent and may include radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.

What are the symptoms of a dry cough?

It is important to know the symptoms of a dry cough. The first sign, which is repeated in practically 100% of patients, is the need to cough permanently. As we have explained, the ” vicious cycle of coughing ” occurs .

This type of cough does not cough up mucus. Also, you feel irritation and dryness in the throat. The chest is clear, without any congestion.

A dry cough can make it difficult to fall asleep at night, leading to a continued feeling of tiredness.

Therefore, the symptoms of a dry cough are very different from those of a productive cough. In the latter case, it is normal to feel congested in the chest, and even have difficulty expelling mucus .

Dry night cough

Many people suffer from a dry night cough . As its name suggests, it occurs during rest and prevents you from sleeping well, which significantly affects your quality of life.

The main reason has to do with posture. When lying down, the horizontal posture considerably exacerbates the cough. Thus, the throat becomes irritated when coughing and, being coughing constantly, it is difficult to fall asleep

One of the best solutions is to place a humidifier in the room to keep humidity levels at optimal values. In this way, dryness and irritation of the throat is avoided.

Of course, before sleeping it is very important to drink plenty of water to keep your throat hydrated .

Dry cough in babies and children

Dry cough in babies and children is characterized by the fact that the little ones produce a kind of barking when coughing. In addition, it is common for a dry cough to be accompanied by a hoarse voice .

Children have colds frequently, and a dry cough usually occurs when the cold is ending or beginning. As in adults, it can be very annoying, especially at night.

Dry cough: treatment and diagnosis

If the dry cough recurs for several days and increases in intensity, it is important to see a doctor. The cold is easy to diagnose by its symptoms. If the doctor suspects an infection or other disease, he or she may order various diagnostic tests .

If the doctor considers that the cause of the dry cough may be pneumonia, an X-ray of the lungs is recommended . In addition, the doctor analyzes the patient’s blood count. Only in certain cases is it necessary to perform a bronchoscopy .

You may also be interested in:   Home remedies for flu and cough

One of the most frequent treatments is the administration of painkillers . These drugs are very helpful in relieving throat pain, headache, and fever.

The best home remedies for a dry cough

Honey and lemon

Pure bee honey is one of the best ingredients to soothe a cough and sore throat . A very popular natural remedy with excellent results. It is as simple as taking a tablespoon of honey in the morning, and another at night. A few drops of lemon juice can be added.

Thyme infusion

Thyme is a natural ingredient with calming and relaxing properties. Helps eliminate dry coughs , while minimizing inflammation and relaxing throat muscles.

Prepare an infusion of thyme and take it with small sips. You can also vaporize thyme essential oil to decongest your nasal passages if you have a cold.

Pepper and honey

If you have a dry cough, the infusion of pepper and honey works very well. To prepare the recipe, you just have to add a tablespoon of pepper and two tablespoons of honey to a cup of water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, strain and drink.


One of the most effective and simple solutions is to gargle salt. To do this, you just have to add a tablespoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle for 2 or 3 minutes, several times a day.


If your throat is sore and irritated from a dry cough, licorice will be of great help. You can suck the licorice stick or, if you prefer, prepare an infusion. To take it, add a tablespoon of honey and the juice of a lemon.


The ginger has decongestant and antihistamine properties . To soothe a dry cough and improve health, prepare an infusion of ginger root. Then, you must strain it and add a tablespoon of honey and the juice of a lemon. Let it sit for 15 minutes and take in small sips.


Sage vapors are especially suitable for dry coughs because they calm throat irritation. To prepare this home remedy, you just have to place a handful of dried sage leaves in a bowl and add a liter of boiling water. Wait 10 minutes and place your head near the bowl, covering it with a cotton towel to inhale the fumes .


Onion is an ingredient that practically everyone has in the kitchen, and it is very effective in fighting dry coughs. It has germicidal and anti-inflammatory properties .

Cook an onion in plenty of warm water over low heat. Add two tablespoons of sugar , filter the broth and let it rest for a few minutes. You can take 4 tablespoons a day of this homemade solution before going to bed. If you wish, you can add a tablespoon of honey.

If you suffer from a dry cough at night , you can also place an uncovered bowl of onion broth in the bedroom. This way you will inhale the vapors while you rest.


Peppermint is another of the most effective natural ingredients to combat a dry cough. In addition to soothing a sore throat , it helps you breathe much better. It is enough to add a few drops of mint in boiling water, and when the solution is a little less hot, practice inhalations.

How to avoid a dry cough?

Although there is no 100% foolproof method to avoid a dry cough, there are some measures that can be applied to improve it.

  • Hydration: correct hydration is not only important to avoid coughing, but also for the body to function properly. The ideal is to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters a day so that the airways do not dry out. In addition to water, you can take natural juices and herbal teas.
  • Environment: when the environment is very humid, it favors the proliferation of microorganisms that can enter the body. To avoid this, the bedroom temperature should be 20º and the relative humidity should range between 40 and 60 percent.
  • Ventilate: of course, it is essential to ventilate all the rooms of the house on a daily basis. It is the best way to renew the air and prevent dust from accumulating.
  • Tobacco: smoking is one of the least healthy habits that exist. Tobacco smoke is highly irritating to the respiratory tract, leading to a dry cough.
  • Remedies: finally, it is advisable to take a tablespoon of pure bee honey daily to relieve throat irritation.

What types of cough are there?

Finally, we want to refer to the different types of cough that exist, and what are the characteristics of each of them. It is important to know how to differentiate them in order to apply the appropriate treatment .

  • Dry: as we have pointed out, a dry cough is one that does not present any type of expectoration.
  • Asthmatic: as its name suggests, it is a type of dry cough that is accompanied by respiratory distress due to asthma .
  • Productive: in this case, the cough is accompanied by sputum, and even phlegm.
  • Acute: a cough that starts suddenly is known as such.
  • Convulsive: it is a type of cough that is very violent. It usually consists of a very rapid succession of coughing episodes.
  • Chronic: occurs when the cough lasts more than 15 days. In the vast majority of cases it leads to complications such as irritation of the larynx, and even pain in the ribs. .
  • Psychosomatic: this occurs in people with a high level of stress , who cough when talking to other people.

This is everything you need to know about a dry cough . It is a very common condition, affecting both young and old. In the vast majority of cases it responds to mild causes, and with homemade solutions such as licorice or the mind improves.

If the dry cough worsens as the days go by, it is advisable to see a doctor to carry out the appropriate diagnostic tests .

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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