During cold and flu season, our lungs are filled with mucus and the coughs tend to be wet. Wet cough often changes into a dry cough when no mucus is present.
Medical Treatment for Dry Cough
Dry coughs can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are various solutions available to treat dry cough. You can treat your dry cough at home, by following the remedies given below.
Decongestants are medications used to treat congestion in the nose and sinuses. It usually works by constricting blood vessels in the nose to reduce blood flow towards the swollen tissue. When the person gets in touch with a virus of common cold the lining of your nose swells up and blocks the passage of air. And when the swelling reduces it becomes easy to breathe. Children under the age of 12 years should not take decongestants as it may give serious complications such as seizures and rapid heart rate.
- Cough Suppressants And Expectorants
There are normally two types of OTC cough medicine available at your local medical store: Cough Suppressants and Cough Expectorants.
- Cough suppressants blocking your cough reflex which is helpful to avoid dry coughs that are painful or keep you awake at night.
- On the other hand, Cough Expectorants are better to treat wet coughs. It works by thinning the mucus in your airway. You may easily find some natural expectorants at your home, too.
How to Stop Dry Cough at Home
Menthol cough drops – Menthol cough drops are easily available at a local medical shop. This type of medicated lozenges contains mint in it. It provides a powerful cooling effect that relaxes the cough reflex and helps in soothing the irritated tissue.
Humidifier – A humidifier is a machine that adds up moisture in the air. Dry air further aggravates our inflamed throat tissues. So you must use a humidifier in your bedroom to get a comfortable sleep.
Hot Beverage – Drink warm liquids like soup and tea that will help you in providing immediate relief for sore throat. Warm liquids drinks also keep you hydrated which is a part of the healing process.
Avoid Irritants – When irritants enter the respiratory system of a person then it might trigger the cough reflex and slow down the healing process. Common irritants are as follows:
- cleaning products
- pet hair
Honey –Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation in the throat. It also breaks down mucus and soothes sore throats. Add honey to a cup of warm tea and mix a spoon of lemon in it to reduce a dry cough.
Gargle With Salt Water – Saltwater helps in soothing inflamed tissue and also promotes the healing process. You should mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and drink it to see its results. Gargle gently for 30 seconds by tilting your head back. Avoid swallowing saltwater.
Herbs –Herbs have anti-inflammatory properties in it that help in reducing the swelling in your throat. These are also full of antioxidants, that boost your immune system. You should add herbs to your diet in order to get rid of dry cough naturally. You can also look for supplements at your local food store.
Herbs that are useful in treating dry cough are as follows:-
- licorice root
- marshmallow root
Vitamins – Vitamins are essential organic compounds that we need in our bodies to function properly. There are different types of vitamins that serve different purposes. For example, Vitamin C plays an important role in boosting our immune system. You can consult with your doctor to buy multivitamins from your local medicine shop.
Drink plenty of Fluids –When you are having a dry cough, then fluids are a good option to treat it. You should keep yourself hydrated so that it can heal properly. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
What are the Causes of Dry Cough?
A dry cough is the result of a virus and it continues for weeks after a cold or flu. Home heating systems often cause dry cold or flu due to dry air. When you breathe dry air then you may feel irritation in your throat. People who are suffering from asthma face swollen and narrow airway issues. People might face trouble breathing and wheezing in such situations.
COVID-19 and Dry Cough
One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 is a dry cough. Other common symptoms include fever and shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the following steps if you are feeling sick and suspect of having COVID-19:
- Stay at home.
- Isolate yourself from all family members and pets.
- Cover your mouth while sneezing.
- Use a mask and maintain social distancing.
- Contact your doctor and seek medical attention.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Disinfect common surfaces.
Monitor your symptoms when you are at home. In case, if you experience any of the following symptoms then you must seek a doctor immediately:-
- trouble breathing or talking
- heaviness or tightness in the chest
- bluish lips
When to Contact Doctor?
A persistent dry cough is not a sign of a medical emergency but if you experience chest pain. Trouble breathing or fever then you should counsel your doctor to get proper medication.