Who hasn’t experienced it: Suddenly there’s a scratchy feeling in the throat and you can’t help but cough. The cough becomes troublesome especially when it does not involve secretions of mucus or phlegm. This is an irritating cough, which is a reflex that the body produces in order to clear the airways. The dry cough may indicate that the airways are irritated or inflamed.
Triggers of irritable cough
Often viral infections, dry air or even allergies are the trigger of irritable cough. In addition, many smokers suffer from the dry cough, as tobacco can irritate the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.
Triggers can also be respiratory diseases, such as asthma or bronchitis. Often, the cause of a chesty cough is harmless, but if the coughing stimuli increase or other symptoms, such as fever, develop, action should be taken quickly to prevent long-term damage.
Treatment of irritable cough
If you want to counteract irritable cough, you should first find out the cause. In general, fluids help to reduce coughing stimuli. Besides water, tea or juices, can cleanse the irritated airways.
Those suffering from allergic reactions should see a doctor, who may prescribe antihistamines to relieve symptoms. If smoking is the cause of dry cough, smoking should be discontinued, as the cough may indicate inflammation of the mucous membranes.
If the irritating cough develops more at night, it may help to spread damp cloths in the bedroom to increase the humidity. If there is dry air near the bed, this can dry out the mucous membranes and lead to coughing. Home remedies such as inhalations with chamomile or salt water gargles are still recommended to soothe the airways and mucous membranes.
In order to effectively treat irritating cough, attention should be paid at most to the situations in which it is scratchy in the throat. In this way, at best, the cause can be found out in order to initiate appropriate measures. However, if the irritating cough persists for more than a week and other symptoms such as fever or shortness of breath develop, a doctor should be consulted. Although a chesty cough is often harmless, it should be treated early to prevent it from developing into a chronic condition.