What Exactly is a Dry Cough???

People always have cough along with cold, which is a protective mechanism brought out by the human body in order to fight against from viral or bacterial infection, which leads to an increase in thick mucus formation and causing to block the airway passage. To bring out the mucus, the human body brings out a defensive mechanism by coughing which causes a productive cough but a persistent cough caused usually due to a non-productive cough (no mucus cough) causes a Dry cough which irritates the tissue region around the throat.

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Causes for Dry Cough:

There are an enormous number of reasons causing Dry cough which can be classified according to External and Internal Factors.

External Factors:

1. Smoking:

Persistent smoking is one of the main causes of a dry cough since the Cilia hairy structure present in the lungs becomes non-functional due to smoking leading to the accumulation of toxins in the lungs which are ridden by coughing.

2. Allergens:

Factors like pollen, and dust all trigger the ciliary hair in the nose to cause a cold called allergic rhinitis leading to a cold and cough.

3. Unhygienic Environment:

Not protecting oneself from getting exposed to viral and bacterial situations is also one of the most common causes of cold and cough.

See More: Cough Syrups for Dry Cough

Internal Factors:

1. Acid Reflex:

GERD is a common disease associated with acid reflux which leads to a cough, which is normally experienced during lying down. During the course of lying down the gastric juices travel to the upper respiratory tract and lead to a cough.

2. Stress:

The experience of airway spasm is experienced during the period of stress which leads to a cough.

3. Congenital Abnormalities:

Anomalies like Cleft palate, Congenital heart disease, congenital Laryngeal cleft, and Tracheobronchomalacia are some of the congenital anomalies which cause a cough due to defective growth of the tissue or the organ which leads to difficulty in swallowing and opening and closure of the glottis.

4. Medication:

Medicines like ACE inhibitors used for hypertension end up with the side effect of a cough.

5. Psychological Factor:

It is also called a Psychogenic cough because for some people a cough becomes a habit. There is no illness related to this condition.

6. An Asthmatic Cough:

People with asthma always face the difficulty of a cough when the airway gets blocked or inflamed due to various reasons caused internally or externally.

The Classic Symptoms of Dry Cough:

  • Flu is the foremost common symptom experienced which includes fever, tiredness, headache and leg pain
  • Hoarseness of voice which is due to thick mucus formation around the region of the upper respiratory tract.
  • Vomiting sensation: The cough Bacterial infection triggers the sensation of vomiting.
  • Nasal block or congestion
  • Soreness of throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes which increase in size according to the severeness, for people with tuberculosis
  • palpable matted lymph nodes near the neck and ear region are present
  • Wheezing is mostly experienced by asthmatic patient
  • Rashes caused due to viral infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Gum Bleeding
  • Bad breath is caused due to the growth of bacterial colony around the throat region which causes bad breath

Some of The Serious Symptoms Accompanied by The Cough Which is Life Threatening Are:

  • Difficulty in taking breath & Speaking
  • Frequent tendency to urinate (micturition)
  • Swelling of leg and ankle
  • Increase in heartbeat
  • Severe pain on swallowing which may be due to tumor growth or tonsillitis.

Tips to Get Rid of Dry Cough:

Ways to get rid of a dry and persistent cough can be done by using home remedies which are the initial treatment method, Later intake of mild dry cough syrup is recommended only when the patient is aware of their medical condition.

Home Remedies for Dry Cough:

1. Herbal Tea with Honey:

Herbal tea is available in each household and is never been used until the necessity arises. One such situation is the cough. The best way to soothen the dry throat is by drinking a glass of warm water along with herbs and honey. Honey is a natural source available to mankind in breaking down the thick mucus and relaxing the throat.

Recommended: calming. It´s recommended for all age groups from kids to adults and for pregnant women

2. Salt Water Gargling:

It is the best way of reducing the swelling of the throat and calming down the cough. It acts on the principle of osmosis wherein the internal cell secretes water to balance with the increased salt content outside the cell during the course of gargling. Thus the swelling is reduced. Too much gargling with salt is not recommended since it may lead to dryness of the mouth

Recommended: This method can be used by all age groups including pregnant women

3. Steam Inhalation:

To have a good sleep moistening the throat is very important when someone has got a dry cough. The method of inhalation helps to wet the throat tissue reduce the inflammation and calm down the nerve ending against stimulation of a cough. The inhalation can be done with Medicated oil like eucalyptus or medicated balm which acts as an antitussive.

Recommended: For all age groups,  kids may find it a little uncomfortable due to its process. It is also recommended for pregnant women since the medicated oil does not have any side effects.

4. Garlic:

Saute some garlic and have it warm along with honey is the best home remedy for soothing the throat and breaking down the fibers of mucus. People who like the flavor of garlic. The person who has an affinity for garlic odor garlic capsules can also be consumed.

Recommended: For people who like the flavor of garlic. Pregnant women who don’t have the sensation of vomiting can consume.

5. Elevation of Head:

Elevating your head with few extra pillows helps in calming down the throat against a cough.

Recommended: traditional For all age group as well as for kids and pregnant women.

6. Black Pepper Tea:

Black pepper stimulating the flow of the mucus ad clearing the airway passage.This black pepper tea is  a traditional Chinese method to cure a cough.To make this tea one tablespoon of freshly grounded black pepper along a teaspoon of honey is brewed along with water for about 15 minutes and then can be consumed.

See More: Medicine For Cough

A Diet Which is Easy to Follow are Like for Kids and Adults:

1. Non-oily Food:

Oily food increases the rate of acid production which in turn causes gastric regurgitation and cough.

GERD(Gastroesophageal reflux disease):  Avoiding foods which cause acidity is highly recommended.

2. Vitamin C:

fruits and vegetables like berries, lemon, paprika are known for their vitamin c content, Consumption of vitamin C helps to boost up the immunity and fight against bacteria.

3. Probiotics:

Yogurt with berries is a very good probiotic which is available in any supermarket.Probiotics help to fight against bacteria by the presence of good floral bacteria in probiotics.

4. Proteins Food:

feeding kids with proteins like sprouts, whole grains for vegetarian and for not-vegetarian eaters chicken, like an egg are a good source of proteins which like to eat more.

See More: What Causes Coughing At Night

Remedies and Diet for Pregnant Women:

  1. Proper hygiene maintenance like  washing hands regularly
  2. Avoiding any public crowded areas
  3. Drinking lot of fluid like herbal tea with honey or plain honey water
  4. Avoiding any sort of medicines for the fist trimester since it is the critical part of the baby formation, thus any medicine which crosses the placental barrier is harmful.
  5. Good exercise which helps in relieving nasal congestion
  6. Applying vapor rub after 12 weeks is allowed.
  7. Diet: Eating food which causes acidity should be avoided they are like oily food and spicy food.Consuming more vitamin C content fruits like orange juice will help in building good immune system since pregnant women have less immunity to fight against any viral or bacterial infection.

Exercises to Help in Reducing Cough for Kids & Adults:


The best way to build up immunity is by exercising, its not about running a long stretch marathon.Instead every day a long walk with stretching exercise which stretches the muscles and helps to build up stamina

Breathing Exercise:

Yoga is an easy way to relax our body which can be done at home or in the office too. The time and concentration are what needed. Pranayama is a good way to clear the airway passage which relaxes the respiratory muscles and helps in mucus flow. For kids, regular outdoor activity is the only boost to build up their stamina instead of playing indoor play station games.

Exercises for Pregnant Women:

Household Work:

From To keep moving their body is an important function preventing from adding few pounds which indeed decreases the stamina and immunity levels. Bending down or climbing stairs is a good exercise which can be done at home.


Less intensity Practicing yoga with the help of a yoga trainer helps in relaxing and build in Less intensity yoga is enough for about 20-30 minutes.

In initial stage treating the cough with home remedies along with a low dosage cough syrup and also using throat lozenges gives a better relief. But for Chronic and health related sickness finding out the underlying cause for a persistent dry cough is the key factor in eradicating the cough which can be done only by visiting a Doctor and getting a complete check up with a blood test and scan the lungs are examined which gives a detail information regarding any abnormalities.


About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.