Coughing is usually a symptom of some disease or ailment, and it is not a disease in itself. The body responds to the presence of some waste material present in the air passageways by inducing a cough to push out the irritants out of the system. The heaviness of a cough often helps a doctor to determine the exact cause behind it and suggest some suitable medication for the condition. Similarly, even a dry hacking cough is the symptom of a disease that has primarily affected the lungs, or the airways in the body.
Coughing can be classified into 2 categories: productive and dry (unproductive). A productive cough results in the discharge of sputum or mucus, whereas the latter is simply an irritation in the lungs caused by some other reasons. A dry hacking cough is most commonly seen towards the later stages of a common cold, and can also be caused by some external irritants like smoke or dust.
It is usually easy to detect what has caused this cough. There are many instances when people suddenly get hit by spasms of this cough, and desperately try to find the reason behind these bouts. Here are a few causes that might seem rational.
- Asthma: This is an ailment that a person is born with, and regularly has to deal with for their entire life. If the coughing is accompanied with wheezing and difficulty in breathing, it is a definite sign of asthma. This is also a common cause of coughing at night.
- Allergy: This is the most common cause of this condition. A person can be allergic to dust and smoke in the air, and this can lead to sudden allergic reactions that result in this cough.
- Smoking: Heavy and regular smokers often have to deal with bouts of this cough, due to the congestion in their systems caused by the smoke.
- Choking: Often a person may have swallowed something that might have got stuck in the throat. This also leads to coughing, and the stuck item must be removed as soon as possible.
- Viral infection: Soon after a viral infection has cleared up, the cough may remain for a few weeks.
- Bronchitis or Laryngitis: These are two ailments that often show their first signs of appearance with this cough.
To soothe this condition you need to clear out the air passageways in your body, and allow the free movement of air inside in order to get relief. There are many medications that you can take for this purpose, or you can even try out some home remedies.
- Drinking lots of fluids will help. Ideally, you should consume something warm like hot water or soup to get instant relief. Guzzling on homemade chicken soup is a time-tested remedy to silence dry cough.
- Dabbing a small amount of Vicks Vaporub on the soles of the feet can work wonders to get relief from dry cough in minutes. Applying it on the chest can also contribute to provide relief from cough.
- Eating a cough drop candy will also help as it works instantly in relieving cough.
- If you are a heavy smoker you need to quit the habit. If that is not possible, then you must at least make an effort to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.
- Protecting your nose and mouth by wearing a mask or some form of protective gear will also help you in this regard.
- Too little moisture in the surrounding air can also worsen dry cough. Moisten air in your room by installing a cool mist humidifier. The device introduces moisture into the surrounding environment, which helps to soothe dry airway passages and stop dry hacking cough. Drinking ginger tea or green tea is also considered to be an effective dry cough remedy. These herbal teas act as a throat soothing beverage and moreover destroy the pathogens that trigger bouts of cough.
- Honey displays antimicrobial properties, hence its usage can help to kill the germs causing cough. Honey acts as a natural cough suppressant and moreover soothes the irritated throat. So, take plain organic honey just before retiring to bed to prevent dry cough from bothering your good night's sleep.
- Steam inhalation is also an effective way for combating this cough in children. Inhalers that are specifically designed to treat asthma, can also help to relieve dry hacking cough.
- As far as taking cough syrup is concerned, one should choose cough suppressants and not expectorants to treat dry hacking cough. Cough suppressants tone down the urge to cough. Delsym 12 cough suppressant is found to be the most effective as a single dose can keep your cough at bay for as long as 12 hours.
- Take 9 almonds and place them in a glass of water for the whole night. In the morning, remove the skin of the almonds and grate them to make a fine paste. Combine half a tablespoon of butter and small amount of honey into the paste. Have this paste twice during the day to relieve cough.
- Mixing grape juice with honey can also work to quiet the cough. Grape juice is well-known for its ability to detoxify and improve lung function. Therefore taking a glass of grape juice containing a spoonful of honey everyday is effective to get rid of dry cough.
- Munching on a fresh piece of raw ginger added with salt can also help to get rid of nasty dry cough. Make sure to peel ginger before consuming it. Instead of having raw ginger, one can have ginger tea to reduce cough. Combining ginger juice with honey is also useful to relieve cough.
- As turmeric displays both antiviral and antibacterial properties, it makes sense to use it for the treatment of dry cough. Its inclusion in the diet can certainly destroy the germs responsible for causing dry cough. So when preparing meals, add the goodness of turmeric by sprinkling it in small amounts to combat and prevent numerous infectious diseases.
The causes and remedies for this cough are many and you must know when to apply the right mode of treatment. Visit the doctor if the need arises, as the doctor will be the best judge of the cause of the cough, and he will also suggest the most suitable mode of treatment. This can be a very annoying ailment but you must not worry as this is a condition that can be treated with relative simplicity.