Persistent Chronic Dry Cough: Causes & Treatment

Cough is a common health problem, one of the most common causes of hospital visits according to many physicians. A dry cough is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition rather than being a disease on its own. In some cases, dry cough can simply be a reaction to an allergy, or a normal body response to particles in the lungs or upper respiratory tract.
Chronic dry cough is often used to describe dry coughs that persist for as long as eight weeks or more in adults, and at least four weeks in children. It is characterized by a lack of phlegm production accompanied by a tickling sensation which result in coughing that can last for about eight minutes.

While this persistent dry cough may appear to subside after a few minutes, it usually reoccur continually for some weeks.

What Causes Persistent Dry Cough?

There are various causes of persistent dry cough ranging from underlying chronic health problems to minor allergies. Common medical conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, influenza, acid reflux, and common cold are major causes of dry cough. As one of the presentations to these illnesses, coughing will likely continue until the underlying factor is properly treated.
Other important causative factors are smoking and allergies. For example, a dusty room or exposure to fumes can trigger fits of coughing in susceptible people. While cough triggered by allergies and smoking are temporary, a dry cough caused by another health problem might last for several weeks.


Patient with persistent dry cough!

How Can You Treat and Manage Chronic Dry Cough?

For effective treatment, it is best to first determine the causes of your cough as already mentioned before pursuing any form of treatment. You should also ensure that your cough is not as a result of the side effects of some medications you are currently using. Check your medication labels or, preferably, consult your doctor to be sure of this.
There are various drugs available over the counter; that are very effective in treating constant dry coughs. Some the most common medications are listed below.

  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Inhaled asthma drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • Acid blockers
  • Cough suppressants

Home Remedies for Persistent Dry Cough and Lifestyle Changes

To permanently get rid of dry cough, you may have to take certain measures. If your cough is usually triggered by fumes, it is best to quit smoking and ensure your surroundings and home is clean and free of dusts. Avoid exposing yourself to chemicals that are likely to induce cough. Several home remedies are also available to help you manage your constant dry cough especially at night when you are in need of a quick relief. These home remedies are simple, cheap and can be easily prepared, all at the comfort of your home. Some of the home remedies are listed below.

  • Drink as much water as you can, about eight glasses of water daily.
  • Gargle a mixture of warm water and salt in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting out. Do this repeatedly throughout the day to ease your dry cough.
  • Drink hot tea or soup containing cinnamon.
  • Drink a mixture of honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar.
  • Drink a mixture of lime juice and honey.