Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or home treatments can treat a dry cough. It is advisable to consult a physician to confirm the underlying problem and ascertain the optimal action. Coughing is the body’s natural defence against upper respiratory tract irritation. A dry cough that doesn’t generate mucus might occur together with a vigorous wet cough. Adults and children can have either sort of cough. Therapeutic options include over-the-counter and home therapies to ease and eliminate the reasons for a dry cough.
Treatments for Dry Cough
It might be unpleasant to have a dry cough. However, your neighbourhood pharmacy may have many over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that might assist in relieving your cough.
Decongestants are over-the-counter drugs used to relieve sinus and nasal congestion. Decongestants narrow down the blood vessels in your nose when you get a virus, such as the common cold. Breathing will become more accessible as a result of the reduced oedema. They could mitigate postnasal drip as well. Though there are many different decongestants, the most often used ones are brand-name decongestants like phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine), oxymetazoline (Afrin), and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).
2. Prescription Drugs
Consult a physician if over-the-counter remedies are ineffective for your cough. Depending on what’s underlying and causing the cough, a physician may recommend:
- For asthma, inhaled corticosteroids
- A seasonally appropriate oral antihistamine
- Acid blockers to treat reflux
- antimicrobials for illnesses
Natural Treatments and Home Remedies for Treating Dry Cough
There is insufficient research or evidence to support the efficacy of several of these natural therapies. It is primarily anecdotal instead. Babies and children shouldn’t use all these natural cures for dry cough. Take a look at some treatments:
A device called a humidifier adds moisture to the air. Dry air can exacerbate irritated throat tissue, which is prevalent in hot environments. Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night can help clear mucus, facilitate breathing, and improve your comfort level. Use a cool-mist vaporiser on little toddlers. Children should not tip over humidifiers that utilise hot water and heating components since they might burn them.
2. Menthol Cough Drops
You may get menthol cough drops at most pharmacies. Compounds from the mint family are present in these medicinal lozenges. They relieve inflamed tissue and calm the cough reflex with their potent cooling impact. It’s wise to utilise them in moderation. According to research, using too many menthol cough drops may worsen your cough.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of honey can aid in lowering throat irritation. It can also assist in clearing mucous and easing sore throats. Consider putting some honey in a cup of hot tea or warm water with lemon. It would help to take a tablespoon each time you start coughing.
4. Tea, Soup, Broth, Hot Beverages
Warm beverages that quickly relieve painful and scratchy throats, such as soup and tea, also assist in replenishing moisture. Warm beverages also aid in maintaining your fluid intake, which is crucial for the healing process.
Drinking fluids is generally recommended if you have a dry cough. For your throat to recover correctly, staying hydrated helps ensure it stays moist. Drinking about 8-9 glasses of water daily is a minimum, but more is preferable.
5. Gargle with Saltwater
Healing and tissue calming are two benefits of salt water. Furthermore, salt is capable of eliminating oral and throat microorganisms.
Gargling with salt water three times a day shortened the length of a cough by 2.4 days. Additionally, it shortened the time that sneezing, nasal blockages, and voice hoarseness lasted.
Pour half a teaspoon of salt into an eight-ounce glass of warm water, then sip. This makes a saltwater gargle. After gently gargling for 30 seconds with your head tilted back, spit. Never take salt water by mouth.
6. Steam Inhalation
Steam from hot water, like warm or hot water from beverages, helps relieve dry, irritated tissues in your throat and nasal passages. Coughs can also be lessened, and sore throats soothed.
You may heat water with a kettle, stove or microwave. Pour the water into a basin after that. Carefully breathe in the warm, humid air for two to three minutes while covering your head with a towel and a bowl.
You can also take a hot shower and inhale the steam as you bathe. If you want the steam but don’t require a shower, close the bathroom door, turn on a hot shower and wait for the steam to build up. Breathe in deeply of the damp air.
Choose Right Diet
Some meals may cause a dry cough, even if you believe food affects your stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Food allergies may manifest as a cough. Avoid the meal for a bit to see if the dry cough goes away if you have been eating it just before. DRY Cough can also be brought on by acid reflux. Acid reflux is often caused by high-fat and acidic meals (e.g., tomatoes). Acid reflux symptoms like a dry cough can also worsen with chocolate, coffee, and spicy meals.
Causes of Dry Cough
Most of the time, a virus is the reason for a dry cough. When you’ve had a cold or the flu, a dry cough can stick around for several weeks. Adding to this, home heating systems can make the air dry, making the cold and flu season even more challenging. Breathing in dry air might irritate your throat and slow down your recovery. The usual reasons for this are:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Allergies and irritants in the air
- Whooping cough (pertussis)
- Postnasal drip
One of the most typical signs of COVID-19 is a dry cough. Furthermore, varying populations may have a 3.9% to 35% increase in persistent dry cough as a side effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs. On rare occasions, a persistently dry cough might indicate the presence of a more severe illness, such as lung cancer or pulmonary fibrosis.