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Home Remedies for Dry Cough - Causes and Preventions

Updated on August 21, 2011

Dry cough is a type of cough that does not produce any mucus or phlegm, patients often experience an uncomfortable tickling in the throat before they begin to cough. Usually dry cough occurs when there are respiratory infections in the throat and upper airways. Dry cough sometimes can become a productive cough (or chesty cough) as the lungs start to produce more sputum. In some cases, a severe cough may become a persistent dry cough if it was not treated properly.

Dry cough often occurs as a result of the inflammation of the throat and upper airways or other ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) diseases. It usually happens at the end of a cold, flu, sinus infection, acute or chronic rhinitis, etc. Dry cough is a common symptom of pharyngitis, inflammations stimulate the throat, produce secretions, and cause coughing, there will be itching, burning, dry and other uncomfortable feelings at the same time.

In most cases, dry cough does not last too long, it appears as a further complication of other ENT diseases, and usually it will disappear in about half a month. If a cough persists for more than a month, it is highly recommended that you should go to the hospital to do further medical checkups, because sometimes, dry cough can be a symptom of a more serious disease such as inflammation of the lungs (or pneumonia). Medical examination can help in identifying the underlying cause and therefore help in appropriate treatment.

In order to get rid of dry cough, some home remedy tips are listed below: 

  • Improve the body's immune strength

Generally speaking, coughing is not a fatal disease, if you are having dry cough with other symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat or cold symptoms, you do not need medication, as the body's own immune system is strong enough to deal with dry cough. In fact, having cold occasionally is not without benefits, actually it is a great exercise for our immune system to function well. Abuse of antitussive agent will not only reduce our body’s function to auto-clean our respiratory tract, but it also may mask the symptoms of other serious diseases. Therefore, regardless of how serious the dry cough may be, patients should not treat themselves with antitussive for any longer than 7 to 10 days, preferably only at night to ease the cough. If the cough persists for more than half a month, it is recommended that you should go to see a doctor.

  • Be careful with drugs

Generally speaking, antibiotics are used to treat cough caused by bacteria, but antibiotics do not work on viral influenza. Patients with dry cough can use the throat tablet, licorice tablets or cough syrup to reduce the body's susceptibility and relieve cough. But no matter what kind of drug is used, you should remember not to take the medicine for too long, and the medicine should be taken under the guidance of a doctor.

  • Drink a lot of water

Large intake of water helps to alleviate dry cough, boiled water, fruit and vegetable juices are good drinks for recovery, pear juice, watermelon juice, apple juice and carrot juice are good medicines for cough, drinking 4-5 glasses of these juices every day is quite beneficial to your health. But be careful not to add sugar and salt in the drink, you can add a little honey, honey is good for dry cough, it helps to alleviate the symptoms.

  • Do not drink coffee and wine

Avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine and alcohol, because these beverages have diuretic effect, which leads to excessive fluid consumption.

  • Keep the air moist

Increased indoor air humidity will help to reduce cough, sore throat, nasal dryness and other discomforts, you can use a humidifier.


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