One of the most common causes of dry cough is as a symptom that lingers on after a bout of infection. This often happens after a recent cold, case of the flu, or as the result of a sinus infection. In this circumstance it is likely the cough will clear up of its own accord.
The same applies to another common set of dry cough causes: exposure to irritants. After recent contact with or inhalation of excessive dust, smoke of fumes, the throat can become inflamed, leading to a cough. This again is likely to clear up without medication, and the best advice is to seek a suitable dry cough remedy to try and quell the pain and irritation.
Another cause of dry coughing is as a result of an allergy. If a cough sufferer has knowledge of any existing allergies, it would be wise to attack the cause directly by reducing contact with the specific allergen as well as ensuring appropriate medication is being taken. Coughing is also often a presiding symptom of asthma sufferers.
If you are a cigarette smoker, I’m sure you can pre-empt the advice I am about to offer. Quitting, or at least cutting down, will reduce throat irritation no matter what the cause of the cough is.
There are two categories of cough: productive and non-productive. A dry cough is what is known as a non-productive cough. Dry coughing does not produce or expel phlegm or mucus; it is the body’s attempts to expel the foreign sensation present in the throat. Unfortunately, this foreign sensation happens as a result of inflammation of the throat and airways, and as such cannot be expelled through coughing. As such, dry coughing is classed as non-productive, as it is not actually beneficial, other than possibly highlighting a deeper underlying health issue that may have caused it.
The vast majority of coughs are acute, which means that they come on suddenly and do not last much longer than 3-4 weeks. It is possible, though, that a dry cough can be a symptom of a serious health condition, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, lung infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sinusitis, or whooping cough. If your cough continues longer than 3-4 weeks it is classed as a persistent cough, and there is a possibility one of these conditions could be one of the dry cough causes.
This is a major warning sign, and should be seen as a clue to seek professional medical assistance. A chronic dry cough can also be caused by a side effect of blood pressure reducing drugs such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors. If you believe the cause of your dry cough Is as a result of medication, discuss changing your medicine with your doctor.