A dry cough can be very troublesome. Not only is it irritating, but it takes a toll on your throat too. It feels like a thousand razor-sharp knives are piercing through your throat each time you cough. It is best to get persistent dry cough treated as soon as possible to get rid of the nuisance. In some cases, a persistent dry cough may be a result of inhaling some foreign substance. It is essential to consult a doctor straight away and a chest X-ray should be done to stay on the safe side. Some common causes and risk factors include medications, whooping cough, asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems and oesophageal reflux of stomach contents. Here are a few causes as well as treatments for persistent dry cough.
Cause – If it was not already obvious, cigarette smoking is the most common cause of persistent dry cough.
Treatment – Avoid smoking if you are suffering from such a cough and visit a doctor for further check-ups. Smoking is extremely harmful to the body. The onset of a persistent dry cough may be an indicator of other health problems. You can try nicotine patches to quit smoking after consulting a doctor.
Cause – Asthma is another common cause of persistent dry cough. It is a disease of the airways and results in several breathing difficulties. Some asthma sufferers have persistent dry cough as their only symptom. This is often called cough-variant asthma. This may be further aggravated by exposure to air pollutants, pollen, and perfume. Smoke and cold air can further cause problems so be aware!
Treatment – Steroids and bronchodilators are given to patients to relieve them of their symptoms. While these are inhaled variants, short-term oral steroids may be given as well.
Cause – The acid reflux of the stomach content into the esophagus is another cause of persistent dry cough. The backward flow of stomach acid causes spasms in the airways. This causes a series of severe problems which include coughing and shortness of breath. Acid reflux can also lead to lung tissue damage when substances are inhaled into the lungs. Heartburn is another problem caused by this reflux of acid.
Treatment – Seek a solution straight away if you are suffering from persistent dry cough due to acid reflux. The simplest treatment for acid reflux is to avoid consuming foods that increase the likelihood of its occurrence, such as spicy and fatty foods. Never eat food while lying down. Try to keep your head elevated while sleeping. There are several medications available as well.
Cause – Sinus problems and postnasal drips lead to persistent dry cough with an added dosage of mucus. This can be difficult to detect at times and may require the assistance of CT scans for diagnosis. People suffering from this variant of the disease often complain of having a tickle in their throat. Due to the build-up of mucus, they require to constantly clear their throat.
Treatment – There are several decongestants which may improve the symptoms of the disease. Inhaled nasal steroids are very effective as well. Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor as well if the cause of the persistent dry cough is sinusitis.
Cause – There are several infections which can lead to a persistent dry cough. These include the likes of pneumonia and bronchitis. These infections are caused by fungus, bacteria, or viruses. Each has a different treatment procedure. Viral infections are complicated as they do not respond to antibiotics. The common cold and the flu often produce a dry cough. Upper respiratory tract infections are the reason for the persistence of a cough. This may continue even after the infection has been cleared in people suffering from asthma. Acute conditions of bronchitis may lead to coughing up of blood.
Treatment – Visit a doctor if you feel uncomfortable. The treatment for infection based persistent dry cough is antibiotics. If the pneumonia is near the chest wall, pain relievers are useful. The treatment may be the same as for the common cold if it is viral in nature.
Cause – Persistent dry cough may also be caused by a particular bacterial strain called Mycoplasma. This strain leads to persistent dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness and sputum production. A rather unpopular name, but this disease has also been termed walking pneumonia. It commonly affects young and healthy people and is one of the leading causes for the onset of a persistent dry cough.
Treatment – Mycoplasma-induced persistent dry cough can be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics that work on cell wall synthesis do not work on mycoplasma.
Get yourself treated for a persistent dry cough at the earliest. The condition only gets worse if it is left untreated. Determine the cause of the disease and get the medication required to alleviate the symptoms today!