Having A Dry Cough? You Can Treat This At Home
Coughing is your body's way of removing foreign substances and mucus from your lungs that may be caused by viral infections. Read on to find out ways to get rid of dry cough quickly.
Dry cough can happen due to many reasons
Coughing is your body's way of removing foreign substances and mucus from your lungs and upper airway passages which carries the air a person breathes in via mouth or nose. A dry cough often occurs alongside a tickly cough and can be caused by viral infections or allergies. A dry cough does not produce any mucus and is therefore termed as 'non-productive.' Productive coughs are often useful, and you should not try to eliminate them. This biological process can be voluntary as well as involuntary.
Common causes for dry cough
- Viral infections - this broadly includes flu, cold and influenza. This may occur at the start of the illness or more likely, appear towards the middle or the end of the infection, and may linger long after other symptoms have disappeared.
- Asthma - An asthma cough is also often accompanied by wheezing. This is a high-pitched whistling sound caused by a constricted airway.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux- acidic contents of the stomach travels upwards to the back of the throat. Minute amounts of acid may then enter the upper respiratory tract, causing inflammation and coughing. Hoarseness. Thus, If acid reflux gets past the upper esophageal sphincter, it can enter the throat (pharynx) and even the voice box (larynx), causing hoarseness or sore throat, which results into chronic dry cough. This is more likely when one is lying down flat.
- Smoking is a major risk factor for chronic cough. This is caused by direct inhalation of cigarette toxins or secondhand smoking (breathing cigarette toxins in the air). The toxins settle into your lungs, which causes an inflamed reaction and your body has to work to try to get the toxins out of your respiratory system. Coughing is the way your lungs try to get rid of all the toxins from smoke. This can also result into laryngitis (inflammation of voice box) also.
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) due to inhaling substances you are allergic to, such as pollen, dust or pet dander Hay fever, an allergy to grass and tree pollen, causes irritation to the eyes and nose and when the throat is affected, a cough results. Sensitivity to other particles such as animal fur, known as allergic rhinitis,.
- Obstructive sleep, apnoea and snoring causes constriction in breathing which leads to coughing.
- Psychological conditions - when coughing becomes a habit and is referred to as psychogenic cough. Often the person does not even realize he or she is coughing. Many people cough when they're in a stressful situation. Breathing becomes shallow when you're anxious and this can trigger the cough reflex.
Here are some remedies you can try to treat a dry cough without having to visit a doctor
1. Gargle - One of the most common remedies tried at every Indian household, is to gargle with warm salt water. Salt water can help ease the discomfort cause by a cough. It will also help treat sore throat through osmosis.
2. The classic golden turmeric milk - This dry cough treatment has been used successfully for centuries now and is scientifically proven. The warm turmeric milk will calm your throat and help you sleep. Turmeric - the golden spice - is a panacea for many problems because it is a natural antibiotic. When you awaken the next day, you will be all rise-and-shine-y for sure!
3. A spoonful of honey - A Study, conducted at Penn State College of Medicine, has found that honey can work more efficiently to calm a cough than over-the-counter drugs. It is a rich demulcent, with a high viscosity and stickiness that does an incredible job of coating and soothing those irritated mucous membranes. Thanks to an enzyme added by bees when they harvest honey, it also has antibacterial properties as well, which may help shorten how long you have the cough if it is due to bacterial illness.
4. Steam, steam, steam - Not only does the steam loosens mucous and phlegm, almost immediately, but numerous essential oils can be added that will impart wonderful healing benefits. These benefits (anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory etc.) do become airborne, so you inhale them while you breathe in the steam.
5. Ginger peppermint syrup - Here you get the soothing qualities of warming ginger, all wrapped up in a delicious easy to swallow cough syrup. Spicy ginger works as an expectorant, helping loosen and expel mucous from the lungs. It can also stop the painful tickle at the back of throat that can trigger a cough if the first place, if you are experiencing a dry cough. The peppermint will also help relieve the irritating tickle of a cough.
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