How to Get Rid of a Dry Cough


Treating a dry cough is different from treating other types of coughs since dry cough is considered non-productive cough that should be suppressed, if possible. There are many reasons why a dry cough may develop. It's best to determine the cause of the cough so that you can embark on the right avenue for treatment. Some chronic illnesses have a dry cough as a symptom, and for these conditions the medicine your doctor provides should ease the cough as well. For other dry coughs, there are additional treatment possibilities.

Things You'll Need

  • Cough suppressant
  • Humidifier
  • Cough lozenges
  • Determine why you have this dry cough. If it is disease-related, make sure your doctor knows your condition so he can prescribe medicine for the cough that will not interfere with other medication you may be taking.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping your body hydrated goes a long way to reducing and ultimately getting rid of dry cough. Drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water is recommended daily. While you are combating a cough, you may want to increase your hydration.

  • Take an over-the-counter cough suppressant medicine. Do not choose a medicine with expectorant as these products make you cough to bring up the mucus that is causing the cough.

  • Buy a humidifier to use in your bedroom. Use this nightly to keep the air moist so your passageways do not dry out overnight. Alternately, try a hot steamy shower and breathe in the steam.

  • Suck on cough lozenges whenever you can. This will keep your mouth and throat moist.

  • Quit smoking. One of the side effects of smoking is the "smokers cough," which is a dry hacking cough. Most of the time the smoker experiences coughing attacks first thing in the morning, but they can occur anytime.

  • See a doctor if the cough persists for a few weeks. A dry cough can be a sign of a more serious condition.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is normal to cough some of the time. Irritants in the air or strong odors will cause people to cough. The cough usually stops once the irritant has been removed.
  • Be sure to see your health care provider if your cough is persistent and lasts an extended period of time.

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  • Photo Credit glass of water image by Artyom Yefimov from
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