Dry Cough Causes
Dry cough is called a strongis called a strong without expectoration. Dry cough usually sounds hard and as’’barking’. Dry cough especially occurs when respiratory tract is irritated. It appears, for example: In incipient colds and in many lung diseases, but it can also be as a side effect of some medicines. The penetration of foreign bodies, different inflammations such as laryngitis or inflammation of the bronchial mucosa (bronchitis) can irritate espiratory tract and produce a dry cough.
Depending on the cause, other discomforts may occur such as sore throat, sneezing, hoarsenes or dyspnoea. Cough is usually a protective reaction of the body. Cough reflex triggers it to release the respiratory passages from foreign bodies that have penetrated pathogenic germs and phlegm. Various inflammations or allergic reactions may also be responsible for dry cough.
Depending on the duration, dry cough may be acute (less than three weeks) or chronic (constant for more than three weeks). Doctor performs a thorough physical examination to determine the exact causes of dry cough. Other tests in certain circumstances, such as a pulmonary function test or a chest x-ray are performed to rule out serious diseases in which dry cough appears as one of the symptoms.
To treat dry cough, different treatment measures are considered depending on the cause. Usually, cough should also improve and disappear with the treatment of the underlying disease. If coughing is severe and frequent, antitussive medications may also be helpful. If dry cough appears due to a cold, several home remedies such as applying compresses to neck and chest or also aromatic baths are helpful in many cases.
What Causes Dry Cough
Dry cough can be due to different causes. Some of them are irritations of the lower or upper airways due to inflammations, allergic reactions or the penetration of foreign bodies. But, dry cough may also appear as a side effect of different medications.
Irritations of the lower respiratory tract may be caused at the following:
- The penetration of foreign bodies
- Inflammation of the trachea (tracheitis)
- Inflammation of the bronchial mucosa (bronchitis)
- Irritation of the respiratory tract by harmful substances
Cough without expectoration can occur even if upper respiratory tract (nose, nostrils and pharynx) is irritated. Thus, an incipient cold and flu can also occur with dry cough. However, dry cough becomes relatively rapid in a productive cough with phlegm formation.
Other possible causes of dry cough are the following:
- Pleuritis (dry pleuritis), for example: in case of pneumonia, tuberculosis, lupus erythematosus
- Chronic Asthma
- Reflux disease (reflux of gastric fluid into the esophagus)
- Chronic Heart Failure
- Pulmonary fibrosis (proliferation and scarring of lung tissue)
- In addition, dry cough may be one of the adverse reactions associated with certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure), beta-blockers, analgesics and antirheumatics (ARNE). A small pulmonary embolism can also cause discomfort such as irritating cough which it can sometimes be the only symptom
Dry cough may also be due to psychic causes. If this is the case psychogenic irritative cough appears as an attack and often lasts for hours. Many sufferers feel the need to clear throat at the same time. If dry cough is not due to any organic cause, it can be a tic or functional disorder.
According to the underlying disease, dry cough is accompanied by other symptoms:
If dry cough is the reason of an incipient cold, limb pain, headache, sore throat and sneezing may occur simultaneously.
If dry cough is painful and accompanied bywatery eyes, cause of this condition may be irritation of the respiratory tract due to dust or harmful substances in the form of smoke or gas. At the same time other discomforts such as headache and reduced resistance can occur.
If dry cough is accompanied by chest pain that is dependent on breathing, trigger may be dry pleuritis.
Dry coughing accompanied by dyspnea can appear especially when exerting efforts and frequent urination at night may be indicative of chronic heart failure.
If dry coughing is both long lasting and bothersome while breathing after by physical exertion, it may be chronic asthma.
Dry cough is seen as the symptom of reflux disease. Most of the time, this disease is due to a weakening of the entrance of the stomach. Dry cough occurs when gastric acid reaches esophagus. In this case, dry cough mainly appears in the morning.
Dry Cough Diagnosis
Coughing is a natural and necessary reflex act by body for cleaning respiratory tract from foreign body or infection through a violent impulse. There are many reasons why coughing can occur, but dry cough can be usually a symptom of a disease such as cold or a respiratory infection. There is no reason to worry if coughing occurs, but it is also very importat if coughing is intense and long lasting.It is better to consult a doctor to find out what causes dry coughing. Many infectious diseases which affect respiratory tract have cough as a symptom, but we suspect it to be a serious condition if dry coughing is accompanied by other symptoms.
Dry cough can be ndicative of different underlying diseases. To establish the diagnosis, doctor asks some questions regarding to symptoms. Doctor also makes physical examination and listen to patient’s complaints. Scan of the mouth and throat gives clues to the doctor to evaluate what type of infection is involved. Most commonly it is a cold, especially if throat is inflamed or irritated. However, doctor should make sure that cough is not the reason of serious disease.
A visual lung scan (bronchoscopy), an x-ray, and a CT scan of the rib cage may be necessary to rule out serious illness. Bronchoscopy allows examination of the lower airways from the trachea. With this test, doctor can accurately determine the presence of possible tumors or foreign bodies. In addition, visual examination of the lungs provides clues about allergic, allergic pulmonary or bronchial diseases and detects pathogenic germs of inflammatory processes.
The lung function test (spirometry) provides information on respiratory flow and lung volume. The measured values allow to doctor to determine if there are narrowing of the airways.
Depending on the diagnosis, doctor may establish a protocol and a treatment.
How To Treat Dry Cough
The treatment of irritative cough (dry cough) depends on the corresponding cause. Since the cough is normally used to clear the airways, it should not be prescribed medication. However, if dry cough occurs too intensely and frequently, the mucosa can be damaged. Since irritant cough can also be unproductive dry and without phlegm, cough inhibitors (antitussives) may be considered as a treatment measure. Antitussives help those affected to have a restful sleep, especially at night.
If dry cough cough is related to a cold, there are several home remedies that can have a pleasant effect. These include, for example, application of heat through compresses in the throat and chest or having aromatic baths. In case of a dry cough, those affected have to stop smoking.