Coughing is the body’s involuntary reaction to clear the airways of stimuli and mucus. There are two types of cough: productive cough and non-productive cough. The cough produced is accompanied by mucus and sputum and clears the lungs of mucus. A non-productive cough does not cause mucus or sputum. Many factors, including allergies and gastric acid reflux (return of stomach acid to the esophagus), contribute to dry cough. Sometimes there is no known cause for a dry cough.
Regardless of the cause, a persistent dry cough can severely affect your daily life, especially if it gets worse at night. This article will discuss the relationship between a dry cough and coronary heart disease, causes of dry cough, diagnosis, time to see a doctor, medication, and home remedies.
Association of dry cough and coronary heart disease:
Cough, fever, and tiredness are common symptoms of coronavirus or Covid_19. These symptoms are similar to the common cold or the flu. The cough caused by the coronavirus is dry and persistent, is not accompanied by sputum, and starts from the throat’s back. This cough makes the person feel short of breath. This is why the disease irritates the lung tissues.
As the disease progresses, fluid builds up in the damaged tissues, and the patient feels shorter of breath because the body is unable to supply the oxygen it needs. Occasional coughs are not a concern, but if the cough has the following characteristics, the patient should avoid contact with others and see a doctor:
- Continue for a few weeks.
- Be with blood.
- Be accompanied by fever and fatigue.
Common causes of dry cough:
We said that maybe the cause of a dry cough is the coronavirus. Here are some other common causes of dry cough. (Coronavirus Vaccine And 10 Things You Need To Know About)
Asthma is a disease in which the airways become narrow and swollen. Coughs caused by asthma can be mucous or dry. These coughs are usually dry. Coughing is a common symptom of asthma, but it is not the most important symptom. Asthma cough is a type of asthma in which one of the main symptoms is a chronic dry cough. Other symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Sleep disturbance due to coughing or wheezing
- Cough or wheezing attacks
- Whistling sound when exhaling
Short-acting drugs, including inhaled bronchodilators such as albuterol (Proventil and Ventolin), are used to treat occasional asthma attacks. Asthma treatment usually includes fast-acting medications such as “inhaled corticosteroids,” which include the following medications:
2- Gastroesophageal reflux:
“Gastroesophageal reflux” refers to the return of stomach contents to the esophagus. It occurs when stomach acid regularly returns to the esophagus, which connects the throat to the stomach. Stomach acid irritates the esophagus and causes coughing due to gastric reflux. Other symptoms of this disease include:
- Feeling of pain in the chest
- Raising food and sour drinks
- Bump at the bottom of the throat
- Severe coughs
- Mild hoarseness
- Difficulty swallowing
You can treat this condition by changing your lifestyle and taking stomach acid-lowering drugs such as omeprazole and lansoprazole (Prevacid). You can get these medicines from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
3 – runny nose
In a runny nose, excess mucus comes out of the throat. During a cold or seasonal allergy, the nasal membrane produces more mucus than at other times. Unlike normal mucus, this mucus is watery and fluid. This is why a runny nose can cause an itchy throat and cough. Other signs of the runny nose include the following:
- Sore throat
- Bump at the bottom of the throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- runny nose
Coughing at night
Treatment for runny nose depends on the cause. A runny nose is usually the result of an allergy, bacterial infection, or virus. Regardless of the cause of a runny nose, warm fumigation helps clear the sinuses.
Uncommon causes of dry cough:
The following factors are less common than the factors mentioned above.
1- Environmental stimuli
There are many air stimuli, including smoke, pollution, dust, mold, and pollen, that irritate your airways. Chemical particles such as sulfur dioxide or nitric acid can cause several problems. Even clean air, too dry or too cold, can cause a dry cough in some people. If you live in a dry climate, use an air humidifier to humidify the air around you.
2 – ACE inhibitors
ACE stands for “Angiotensin Converting Enzyme” and includes medicines such as enalapril (Vasotec) and lisinopril (per novel, Zestril), which must be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. These drugs treat many diseases, including high blood pressure. One of the most common side effects of ACE inhibitors is a chronic dry cough. About 20% of people who use ACE inhibitors develop a dry cough.
3 – pertussis
Severe cough or pertussis is an infectious disease that causes a chronic dry cough and is accompanied by loud, loud breathing. Pertussis may be confused with the common cold in the early stages, but the difference between the two is that pertussis eventually leads to uncontrollable cough attacks. In the past, pertussis was a common childhood disease, but today a vaccine has been developed, and children are vaccinated against pertussis. Today, the disease is more common in children under the age of immunization or adolescents and adults whose immune systems have deteriorated over time.
4 – Lung collapse (pneumothorax)
The sudden collapse of the lungs is called a “collapse or collapse of the lungs.” This can happen alone or in response to a chest injury. Lung collapse is more common in people with lung disease. In addition to causing the dry cough, lung damage can cause sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.
5 – lung cancer
Occasionally, a persistent dry cough can be a sign of lung cancer, although this is unlikely. A cough associated with lung cancer usually does not go away and may get worse over time. For example, your cough may be painful, or your breathing may change when you cough. Other symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Raising blood, even in small amounts
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest area
- Wheezing and hoarseness
- Unreasonable weight loss
You should see a doctor if you have a dry cough with high symptoms; Especially if you smoke or have a family history of lung cancer.
6 – heart failure
Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump blood as it should. This is more common in people with coronary heart disease and high blood pressure and dramatically reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood. A persistent dry cough is one of the symptoms of heart failure. It can also lead to a cough with white or pale pink foamy mucus. Other symptoms of heart failure include:
- Sudden and severe shortness of breath
- Feeling weak and tired
- Fast and irregular heartbeat
- Decreased appetite and nausea
- Inflammation of the abdomen
- Water retention in the kidneys
- Difficulty concentrating
How long does a dry cough usually last?
Coughs from colds and flu usually last for a week or two and go away in three weeks. Coughs from viral infections persist for several weeks (up to 8 weeks). Some coughs may last longer and are usually a sign of a health problem.
- If the cough lasts up to two weeks in children and adults, it is called acute or short-term cough.
- In adults, if the cough lasts more than eight weeks, it is known as a chronic or persistent cough.
- In children, a cough that lasts for two to four weeks is called a long-term acute cough, and a cough that lasts more than four weeks is called chronic cough.
When should I see a doctor?
See your doctor for dry cough in the following cases:
- Observing blood or a large amount of mucus due to coughing
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- More coughs at night
- Having a fever
- Being a smoker
- Chest pain when coughing
- Vomiting or suffocation due to cough
- Occurrence of hoarseness
- Having high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory diseases (such as asthma), – gastrointestinal diseases, or the use of certain medications
- Continuation of cough for ten days or more without any improvement
- Cough in infants six months and younger
- Weight loss or muscle aches
- Having other symptoms such as persistent headache or burning sensation in the ears or pimples
Diagnosis of dry cough:
To diagnose the cause of a dry cough, your doctor will first ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history. Then physical tests are performed on you. Some additional tests may be performed, including imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans.
Another method is “spirometry,” in which the patient breathes in a plastic device to check his lungs’ function. Doctors use spirometry to diagnose conditions such as asthma. Endoscopy and bronchoscopy are other methods of diagnosing the causes and treating dry cough.
Drug treatments for dry cough:
Dry coughs caused by viral infections (such as colds) usually go away on their own within a week or two. Home remedies and some cold medicines can help reduce the symptoms and make them easier to tolerate. Cough suppressants are used to treat dry cough in children and adults. These medications help reduce coughing.
Suppressants include “pholcodine, dextromethorphan, codeine, pentoxifylline, and dihydrocodeine.” These drugs come in many forms, such as tablets, liquids, and medicinal syrups. You will need a doctor’s prescription to get some of these medicines, and you can get some of them from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. Side effects of these drugs include nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
Home remedies for dry cough:
1 . humidifier:
Do not neglect incense to fight coughs, colds, and flu. Smoking removes mucus and sputum well and quickly. To increase incense, you can use different oils such as eucalyptus oil that increase the therapeutic effects of incense. This not only fights bacteria and viruses but also soothes your airways.
To do this, bring enough water to a boil and pour into a bowl. Wait for 30 to 60 seconds for the water to cool slightly. Then pour the desired oil into it and stir it a little to get the steam out. Keep your face close to the bowl until you are not bothered. Place a towel on your head to trap the steam. Then take a deep breath in the same position. Repeat this two to three times a day for 5 to 10 minutes.
2 . Eat a tablespoon of honey
According to research, honey is more effective than over-the-counter drugs. Honey is a high-viscosity natural analgesic that covers and soothes the surface of irritated mucous membranes. Honey has antibacterial properties due to its natural enzymes. This helps to shorten the period of coughs that are rooted in bacterial problems.
To use honey in the treatment of dry cough, take one tablespoon of natural honey one to three times a day. If coughing bothers you at bedtime, drink a tablespoon of honey before bed. Do not forget that honey consumption in children under two years of age is dangerous because of the possibility of botulism (a rare, deadly disease that causes paralysis of the organs).
3 . Ginger and mint syrup
Ginger is known as a laxative and helps to soften and remove mucus from the lungs. Also, it stops the annoying itching of the back of the throat, which is the root of many dry coughs. Peppermint also relieves itching caused by coughs. (12 Useful Properties Of Using Ginger + Its Side Effects)
To make ginger and mint syrup, you need three tablespoons of chopped ginger, one tablespoon of dried mint, four cups of water, and one honey cup. Chop the ginger and add it to four cups of water along with the mint. Let the mixture boil until it reaches half its original volume. After it cools down a bit, mix a honey cup with it and stir until the honey is completely dissolved in it. Then pour the resulting syrup into a bowl and set aside. Take a tablespoon every few hours to relieve your cough. You can keep this syrup in the refrigerator for three weeks.
4 . Liquorice root tea
Liquorice root is a sedative and expectorant that relaxes the mucosa and relieves congestion. Liquorice root also reduces inflammation that irritates the throat. To make Liquorice tea, first, boil water. Then pour 225 ml of water into a cup and add two tablespoons of dried Liquorice root. After about 10 to 15 minutes, drink all the contents of the cup. Repeat this twice a day. (16 Medicinal Plants That You Can Grow At Home)
5 . Gargle with saltwater
A well-known way to treat a sore throat is to gargle with saltwater. Saltwater reduces the discomfort caused by coughing and helps to treat sore throat. To make the brine solution, mix a teaspoon of salt with 225 ml of lukewarm water and stir well to dissolve. Gargle some of it for 15 seconds and keep doing this until the saltwater is gone. Finally, rinse your throat with water.