Dry Cough


     A Cough is a reflex action that clears your airway of irritants and mucus. There are two types of cough: productive and nonproductive. A productive cough produces phlegm or mucus, clearing it from the lungs. A nonproductive cough also known as a dry cough, doesn’t produce phlegm or mucus. A dry cough means it’s tickly and doesn’t produce any phlegm (thick mucus). A chesty cough means phlegm is produced to help clear your airways.

     A dry cough or sometimes a tickly cough is a cough that does not bring up any phlegm or mucus. Dry coughs may cause a tickling sensation and are often due to irritation in the throat. Dry cough is very rarely a sign of a serious condition but it can be very bothersome and affect the quality of your sleep if it wakes you up in the middle of the night. Dry coughs are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds and flu, but they can also be caused by allergies or throat irritant and many things from allergies to acid reflux can cause a dry cough. In some cases there’s no obvious cause.

    Coughs in children often have similar causes to those mentioned above. For example, respiratory tract infections, asthma and GORD can all affect children. In recent years many cases of whooping cough have been recognised in adults and adolescents due to waning immunity. These individuals are a significant source for the transmission of infection to infants.

Causes for Dry cough:

  • Asthma is a condition in which your airways swell and become narrowed. Other symptoms of asthma, besides the universally known difficulty to breathe, are a generalized weakness or fatigue. If you have a persistent dry cough caused by asthma.
  • A persistent dry cough can be caused from a upper respiratory infection or bronchitis.
  • Heating is very counterintuitive because people are used to associate coughing with symptoms of a cold and therefore with low temperatures. However, not all coughs are caused by a cold room or walking out in a cold weather, but instead by warm air.
  • Sometimes your cough is caused by a small object or substance that you have inhaled and is stuck in your throat.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)is a type of chronic acid reflux. Gastric reflux can cause dry cough because our throat is irritated by the acid from the stomach that reaches it chronically.
  • Other common causes for a dry throat cough include smoking, or viral throat infection.
  • Postnasal drip can tickle the nerves in the back of your throat, triggering a cough.
  • Most people don’t even read the list of side effects described in any medications prospect, but in some cases dry cough can be among them.
  • Viral pneumonia and COPD are less common causes of dry cough.
  • Smoking is the cause of Dry Cough.
  • An inhaled foreign body ( food or other objects accidently being inhaled – usually in babies and small children).
  • Medications: ACE inhibitors (medications for elevated blood pressure) can cause dry cough.
  • There are many things in the air that can irritate your airways, including smoke, pollution, dust, mold and pollen. Chemical particles, such as sulfur dioxide or nitric oxide can also cause problems.
  • Lung problems such as pneumothorax can cause a dry cough. Lung cancer might also cause a dry cough in a number of cases. 
  • Lung clot (or pulmonary embolism) is a potentially life-threatening condition where blood clots travel, usually from leg veins to the lungs causing sudden shortness of breath and sometimes coughing.

Symptoms for Dry cough

  • A nagging tickle in the throat.
  • Heartburn.
  • Weight loss.
  • shortness of breath.
  • Tightness or pain in the test.
  • An absence of mucus.
  • A cough that sounds unproductive.
  • An absence of wheezing or congestion.
  • Wheezing.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sore throat.
  • poor sleep.
  • Trouble sleeping because of wheezing or coughing.
  • Night sweats.
  • coughing or wheezing attacks.
  • a whistling sound while exhaling.
  • Decrease in exercise tolerance (easy fatigability).
  • Wheezing or a whistling breathing.
  • Shortness of Breath.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Difficulty swallowing or coughing when swallowing.

While dry cough is an initial warning sign of pleural mesothelioma, it cannot diagnose the cancer alone. If you have a history of asbestos exposure and develop a consistent or worsening dry cough, tell your doctor about your exposure history.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Depending on your age, history and examination, your doctor may order tests such as:

  • a chest X-ray.
  • a throat swab (sample of secretions from the back of your throat which can be tested for infections).
  • Lung Infection test.
  • Allergy tests.

Treatment isn’t always necessary for short-term coughs because it’s likely to be a viral infection that will get better on its own within a few weeks.


   Particularly childcare, preschool, school or work contacts of a person with whooping cough should seek medical advice if he or she develops any symptoms of whooping cough. A contact is any person who has been close enough to an infected person to be at risk of having acquired the infection from that person. . Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues appropriately. Wash hands after contact with soiled articles such as tissues.

     Whooping cough kills about 250,000 children worldwide every year and many surviving children are left with brain damage. Other serious complications include:

  • pneumonia (lung infection or inflammation).
  • bleeding into the nose, eyes or brain.
  • development of hernias.

If there is a young child under 6 months of age in the same household as the person with whooping cough or a woman in the late stages of pregnancy, it is recommended that all household members receive preventive antibiotics.

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