Cough is one of the most common ailments and can last for a few days to years, in some cases. People, irrespective of age and sex, experience cough and it can be irritating and disturbing when it keeps coming back. Normal coughing is essential at times, for getting rid of mucus and other particles, thus keeping the airways and throat clear. However, a prolonged and severe cough may be a sign of an underlying disease or disorder. The most irritating type is the dry, tickling cough.
Cough is actually the response our body gives to irritation or inflammation in the throat, larynx, bronchial tubes, or lungs. A dry cough is characterized by a high-pitched cough, a tickling sensation at the back of the throat, and the most important is the absence of mucus or phlegm. There can be various causes for the same. Some of them are as follows:
- Common cold
- Lung infections like pneumonia
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Viral infection
- Whooping cough
- Lung cancer
- ACE inhibitors
If one experiences tickling cough at night, it may be due to a condition known as acid reflux. The gastric acid can wash into the lungs when one lies down, and result in severe tickling sensation or dry cough at night. Allergy to certain medications or an iron deficiency can also lead to irritating cough apart from the causes mentioned above.
This dry cough may be accompanied by various signs and symptoms. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Scratchy throat
- Tickling sensation in the throat
- High-pitched dry cough
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Severe coughing at night
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Persistent chills
There are several ways to treat the problem of itchy cough. Home remedies prove to be the most effective in many cases, to alleviate the tickling sensation felt in the throat.
Drinking herbal tea or any warm liquid is the best cough remedy. The warm fluid soothes the throat and alleviates the irritation. Adding honey to the tea helps in coating the throat and eases the scratchy feeling. The best thing is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water that prevents the throat from becoming dry.
Cough drops and throat lozenges are quite effective in suppressing this problem. The hard candy stimulates release of excess saliva, that forms a coating on the throat and settles the cough.
Steam from a hot shower can help alleviate the tickles and soothe the throat. Sinus cavities or the cilia in the bronchial tubes may become dry and may result in this condition. Steam can provide moisture to these dried membranes and relieve the throat and airways.
Cut a small piece of ginger and peel it carefully. Sprinkle some salt and chew it. Although it may be a bit spicy, it is believed to work wonders for this condition. One could also add ginger to their tea, or mix some ginger extract with honey and lick it up.
Turmeric is famous for the numerous health benefits that it offers. It serves as an effective remedy in case of this condition too. Mix honey and some turmeric to make a paste. Consume this mixture about 3 times a day.
Following the aforementioned remedies might prove beneficial to get rid of the condition. However, if there is no improvement and the condition persists for long, one should consult the doctor and get it treated immediately.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.