Dry cough is a condition in which there is no expectoration of mucus. It can be caused by several factors such as allergies, viral infections, environmental irritants, and certain medications. Dry cough can be a symptom of a more serious condition, so it is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing this symptom. There are many home remedies that can help relieve dry cough.
What Causes Dry Cough?
Dry cough can be caused by allergies, viral infections, environmental irritants, and certain medications. Allergies are the most common cause of dry cough. Dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold are some of the most common allergens that can cause dry cough. Viral infections such as the common cold and flu can also cause dry cough. Environmental irritants such as smoke and air pollution can also trigger dry cough. Certain medications such as ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure) can also cause dry cough as a side effect.
What Are The Symptoms of Dry Cough?
The main symptom of dry cough is a tickling sensation in the throat that leads to coughing. The coughing may be worse at night or after exposure to triggers such as dust or pollen. Other symptoms of dry cough include sore throat, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing.
How is Dry Cough Treated?
The treatment for dry cough depends on the underlying cause. Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines. Viral infections will usually resolve on their own within a week or two. If your dry cough is caused by ACE inhibitors, your doctor may recommend switching to another medication. If environmental irritants are triggering your dry cough, you may need to avoid exposure to the irritant. Home remedies can also help relieve the symptoms of dry cough.
What Home Remedies Can Help Relieve Dry Cough?
There are many home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of dry cough. Honey has long been used as a natural cough suppressant. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that honey is more effective at relieving cough symptoms than over-the-counter cough medicines. Herbal teas such as chamomile or ginger tea can also help soothe a dry cough. Gargling with warm salt water can also help relieve throat irritation. Humidifiers can also be helpful in relieving dry cough by keeping the air moist.
Honey is a natural cough suppressant that has been used for centuries. A study found that honey is more effective at relieving cough symptoms than over-the-counter cough medicines. Honey can be taken by the spoonful or added to tea. 
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cooking. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study found that curcumin is effective in relieving symptoms of bronchitis, a condition that can cause dry cough. 
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. Ginger Tea can also help relieve dry cough by soothing the throat and promoting saliva production. 
4. Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with salt water can help relieve the symptoms of dry cough by reducing throat irritation.
To make a salt water gargle,
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water.
- Stir well and gargle for 30 seconds.
- Spit the solution out after gargling. While it provides relief,
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Humidifiers can help relieve dry cough by keeping the air moist. This is especially helpful if your cough is triggered by dry air. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
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6. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is important when you have a cough. Fluids help thin mucus and keep your throat lubricated. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help prevent dehydration. The best fluids to drink when you have a cough are water, juice, and warm liquids such as soup or tea. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate you. Alcohol should also be avoided as it can irritate your throat.
7. Avoid Irritants
Certain environmental irritants can trigger or worsen dry cough. These irritants include dust, pollen, smoke, and air pollution. If you have a dry cough, avoid exposure to these irritants as much as possible.
8. Stay Warm and Rest
Coughing can be exhausting. When you have a dry cough, it is important to get plenty of rest. Staying warm can also help relieve cough symptoms. Drink warm liquids and dress in warm clothing.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Probiotics help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut. A study found that probiotics are effective in relieving the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, such as cough and sore throat. 
10. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation is a simple and effective way to relieve the symptoms of dry cough. The steam helps thin mucus and loosen congestion. It also helps soothe a sore throat.
To do a steam inhalation,
- fill a bowl with hot water.
- Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl.
- Inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
When to See a Doctor?
If your dry cough lasts more than a week or is accompanied by fever, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you should see a doctor. These could be signs of a more serious condition such as pneumonia. Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can be life-threatening. If you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma or COPD, you should see your doctor if you have a cough that is not improving. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help relieve your symptoms and prevent exacerbations.
Dry cough can be annoying and disruptive. However, these easy home remedies can help relieve your symptoms so you can get on with your day. If your cough lasts more than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should see a doctor. With covid on the rise, make sure to get tested and be safe!