How do you get rid of a dry cough?

How do you get rid of a dry cough?

  Dry cough is usually caused by irritation of the respiratory system, which can occur from exposure to cigarette smoke, but also from pollution. 

But when it is very persistent, dry cough is also often caused by a respiratory allergy, especially if it appears at more specific times of the year (such as spring or autumn).

 Even so, there are other causes that can cause dry cough, mainly respiratory problems, such as asthma, or the existence of some cardiac disease.

 For this reason, whenever dry cough persists for more than 1 week, gets worse quickly or is accompanied by other signs such as thick phlegm, presence of blood, fever or difficulty breathing, it is very important to go to the hospital or consult a pulmonologist to identify the cause and initiate the most appropriate treatment.

 The most common causes of dry cough are:

 1. Respiratory allergy

 Allergy to dust, pet hair or flower pollen causes irritation in the throat, causing coughing until the cause of the respiratory allergy is identified and eliminated.  This type of cough is more common in spring or autumn.

 What to do: It is essential to identify the cause of the allergy, as this is how it is possible to avoid new allergic crises.  Also, one can make use of antihistamine medications to relieve the symptoms.

 2. Cigarette and pollution

 Cigarette use or exposure to smoke or any type of environmental pollution can cause irritation in the throat, and may also stimulate the cough reflex, which tends to be dry and quite persistent.

 What to do: In this case, it is recommended to avoid this type of exposure, as well as avoid smoking.  In this way, it is possible to avoid throat irritation, coughing and the development of other health problems resulting from frequent and/or prolonged exposure to smoke or pollution.

 3. Asthma

 Asthma is a respiratory problem that causes chronic inflammation of the lungs, which, in addition to a dry cough, results in symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing when breathing and a feeling of pressure in the chest.

 What to do: It is important to follow the treatment indicated by the doctor, which involves the use of inhaled medicines that promote bronchial dilation, facilitating breathing and relieving symptoms.  In addition, it is important to identify the factor responsible for triggering the asthma attack, as this way it is possible to avoid new attacks.

 4. Gastroesophageal reflux

 Gastroesophageal reflux can also cause dry cough after eating spicy or very acidic foods, due to the rise of stomach acid into the esophagus.  In addition to coughing, other symptoms can include a lump in the throat, heartburn, and poor digestion. 

 What to do: To relieve coughing and other symptoms of reflux, it is important to have a light diet, low in fatty foods, and the doctor may also recommend the use of medications that reduce or neutralize the amount of acid in the body. stomach.

 5. Heart problems

 Some heart changes, especially heart failure, can cause an accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which makes the person often feel like coughing.  In addition to coughing, there may be chest pain, shortness of breath at rest, swelling in the leg and feet, and frequent tiredness.

 What to do: In these cases, it is important that the cardiologist is consulted so that tests are carried out to identify the cause of the dry cough and, thus, initiate the most appropriate treatment not only to relieve the cough, but also to treat the cardiac disorder .

 6. COVID-19

 COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that can also cause a dry and persistent cough, in addition to difficulty breathing, runny or stuffy nose, fever above 38°C and general tiredness due to lung involvement.

 What to do: In case of suspicion of COVID-19, it is important to perform the rapid test and/or the PCR test for COVID-19 to confirm the infection and stay in isolation to avoid transmission to other people.  In addition, it is important to rest and eat a lighter diet.  In cases where there is difficulty breathing, it is important to go to the hospital for a chest X-ray and to assess the need for hospitalization.

 How to treat persistent dry cough

 Treatment for persistent dry cough should be directed at addressing the cause.  In the case of allergic dry cough, in addition to the use of medicines prescribed by the doctor, it is important to:

 Drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day, because water helps keep the airways hydrated and reduces throat irritation;

 Take 1 tablespoon of carrot or oregano syrup about 3 times a day.  These syrups have antitussive properties, reducing coughing spells.

 Drink 1 cup of mint tea, about 3 times a day.  Mint has a tranquilizing, antitussive, mucolytic, expectorant and decongestant action, helping to relieve coughing.  To make the tea, just add 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh mint leaves in a cup of boiling water and let it rest for 5 minutes, strain and then drink it;

 Take medicine for persistent dry cough under medical supervision, such as Vibral, Notuss, Antuss or Hytos Plus, for example;

 Avoid dust indoors, as contact with animals and cigarette smoke can be the causes of persistent dry cough.

 Cases of persistent dry cough for more than 1 week deserve more attention, especially if the individual has asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis or any other chronic respiratory disease.  It can mean a worsening of the condition and the need to take antihistamines or corticosteroids.