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
- 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.
- Photo Credit glass of water image by Artyom Yefimov from Fotolia.com
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