A dry cough is irritating and usually associated with a tickly throat. Dry coughs are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds and flu, but they can also be caused by allergies or throat irritants.
Dry cough can be a result of many health issues
- Dry cough can be handled with simple home remedies
- Gargle with hot water for some relief
- Honey is an effective remedy for cough
Winter means cold and flu season. Sore throat and wet coughs are very common which converts into irritating dry cough due to drying of mucous membrane in respiratory tract. Dry cough is a cough where no phlegm or mucus is produced (known as non-productive). A dry cough is irritating and usually associated with a tickly throat. Dry coughs are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds and flu, but they can also be caused by allergies or throat irritants.
However, a dry cough may be a result of other problems, such as:
- gastro-oesophageal reflux
- allergic rhinitis (hay fever) due to inhaling substances you are allergic to, such as pollen, dust or pet dander
- post-nasal drip (the drainage of mucus secretions from the nose or sinuses down the back of the throat – also known as upper airway cough syndrome)
- laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx, also known as the voice box)
- whooping cough
- obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring
- habit cough (a cough that is only present in the daytime and not caused by illness – it most often affects school-aged children)
- an inhaled foreign body (e.g. food or other objects accidently being inhaled – usually in babies and small children)
- certain types of lung disease known as interstitial lung disease
- aside effect from a medicine (for example, cough is a possible side effect of most ACE inhibitors – often prescribed for high blood pressure)
Specific treatment for a dry cough will depend on the cause of the cough.
A sore throat is often a symptom of:
1. Colds or flu: You may also have a blocked or runny nose, a cough, a high temperature (fever), a headache and general aches
2. Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box): You may also have a hoarse voice, a dry cough and a constant need to clear your throat
3. Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils): You may experience red or spotty tonsils, discomfort when swallowing and a fever
4. Strep throat (a bacterial throat infection): It can result in swollen glands in your neck, discomfort when swallowing and tonsillitis
5. Glandular fever: You may feel very tired and have a fever and swollen glands in your neck
It may also be caused by something irritating your throat, such as smoke, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (where acid leaks up from the stomach) and allergies.
Home remedies for sore throat and dry cough
Most sore throat and dry cough can be treated at home and be prevented in winters with help of these remedies.
1. Gargling with salt water and a pinch of turmeric gives great relief in bringing the irritation of throat
2. Humidifier: Adding moisture to the air or steaming helps a lot
3. Honey is an age old practice to soothe the dry cough and throat
4. Many herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the swelling in your throat-
- licorice root
- marshmallow root
5. Plenty of fluids: If you have a dry cough, then fluids are your friend. Staying hydrated will help ensure your throat stays moist so it can heal properly. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, but more is better.
6. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swollen and irritated throat tissue.
7. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can improve your gut bacteria. A healthy balance of bacteria not only keeps your gut healthy, but also strengthens your immune system so you can fight off infection. Probiotics are available as a dietary supplement at most drugstores, or you can find them in yogurts containing live active cultures
8. Vitamin C plays an important role in your immune system. Persistent dry cough and sore throat requires detailed assessment. Kindly visit your physician if it persists for more than 3-4 weeks.
(By Dr. Preethy Dinakar by Homeopathic Practitioner, Medall Clumax, Bangalore)
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