Dry cough does not produce mucus (phlegm) which is why another name for it is nonproductive cough. Cough, in general, is the body’s defensive reaction to clear the airways of something irritating or obstructing. In many respiratory infections, and even in common colds, cough begins as dry and then becomes productive.
What are the causes?
There are MEDICAL CONDITIONS that cause dry cough:
- colds and influenza;
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
- pneumonia and other respiratory infections like bronchitis;
- lung cancer;
- psychiatric conditions etc.
There are OTHER factors that trigger the condition:
- certain medications;
- air pollutants.
What’s the best treatment?
The best treatment is the one that targets the cause of the cough. You should see your GP and if necessary get referred to a specialist. Do not self-medicate and follow the steps recommended by the physician!
When to see the doctor?
– For adults, you should see the doctor if the cough has no apparent cause, yet it persists and causes discomfort. Pay attention to any other symptom that accompanies the cough and give the doctor a detailed list of all the drugs you are currently using for other health conditions.
– For children, you should see a pediatrician as soon as the child begins coughing. Young patients have difficulties describing their symptoms. The parent is the child’s voice and he/she can point to any recent changes in environment, behavior or health condition.
Are there natural remedies?
There is quite a number of remedies for getting rid of dry cough that you can find around the house. However, these tend to work when the cough is triggered by a bad cold or some environmental factor. Against lung diseases, natural remedies may be too weak or ineffective. You should first get a professional medical opinion as to what might be causing the dry cough.
Does homeopathy offer viable treatments?
Homeopathy fans and homeopaths will answer with a big YES to this question. However, there are all sorts of controversies about homeopathy, and lots of people claim that it does not provide real remedies. Skeptics say that the rate of success is variable and explained by the Placebo effect rather than by the efficiency of the homeopathic remedies. Before you decide who you side with, do a bit of reading on homeopathy.
How long does the treatment take?
The treatment for dry cough as well as its length and nature depend on the cause underlying the health condition. Talk to your physician about this aspect to get a professional answer to your questions.