What is Dry Cough? Experts Explain the Coronavirus Symptom

A dry cough is one of the very common types of cough. It starts with a parched feeling in your throat and eventually gives a tickled sensation that leads to coughing and can be extremely painful at moments.

This type of cough is often without mucus and does not bring any kind of slimy or greasy fluid with it. People often try to curb it with simple or lukewarm water with some natural herbs mixed in it that actually work in the initial condition.

Like every other mild or major ailment, Dry Cough too has two conditions; one that is normal and treatable with a little care and second is Chronic cough that might lead to fits like in people with asthma and respiratory disorders.

What Causes a Dry Cough?

There can be many causes that can lead to it. Two major reasons behind a dry cough are; 

  1. Your ordinary flu. It happens right after you recover from influenza or flu and it goes away shortly after it. Like it takes a couple of days or probably a week to completely disappear. 
  2. Secondly, it happens due to several Allergies. Some particular objects and conditions can trigger nagging coughs such as dust, pungent fragrances or pollen. It can bother people with seasonal sensitivities and weather allergies. 

There are anatomic conditions also that give way to dry coughs such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and cardiac issues. Although the relation between GERD and cough has been a debate in medical vicinities for many years several health experts quote an existing-non-existing relationship between the two, as established in a debate by Peter J Kharilas, Jaclyn A. Smith & Peter V. Dispinigaitis:

Along with upper airway cough syndrome (formerly, postnasal drip syndrome) and eosinophilic airway inflammation (asthma, nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is generally considered among the most common etiologies of chronic cough. Indeed, cough management guidelines published by numerous respiratory societies worldwide recommend evaluation and treatment of GERD as an integral component of the diagnostic/therapeutic algorithm for the management of chronic cough. However, a significant number of patients with chronic cough presumed due to GERD do not report improvement despite aggressive acid-suppressive therapy.

Some of these refractory cases may be due to the recently appreciated entity of nonacid or weakly acidic reflux. Further contributing to the controversy are recent studies that demonstrate that patients with chronic cough do not have excessive reflux events relative to healthy volunteers. Although a temporal relationship between cough and reflux events has been suggested by studies utilizing impedance-pH monitoring of reflux events and objective cough recording, consensus is lacking in terms of whether this temporal relationship proves a causal link between reflux and cough. The fourth American Cough Conference (New York, June 2013) provided an ideal forum for the debate of this issue between two internationally recognized experts in the field of reflux and chronic cough.

Reference link :- https://doi.org/10.1007/s00408-013-9528-7

Dry Cough: Symptoms

It is not very easy to differentiate a dry cough from ordinary cough but here are some ways to recognize if it is your regular cough or a nagging

  1. When a cough exceeds one week and shows no signs of getting any better. Instead, it is gradually increasing in its intensity and regularity.
  2. When cough brings shifting pain in your bust area and causes sternness in the chest. A persistent cough can cause pain in the lungs mostly affecting sensitive bronchi and leaving oesophagal pipe with a sour wound like sensations. 
  3. Sometimes a mock cough happens due to a wrong sleeping position and you can have mild cough sessions during deep sleep. It usually happens because of the distorted position of the air pipe.  
  4. Itchy throat can be another symptom. If you feel itchiness or partial dryness now and then and it does not go even after taking water, you might be going to have a Dry Cough.

Dry Cough: Reasons

It all starts with a low level of O2 in the body that leads toward a weak immune system and opens up a human’s body towards many respiratory issues. Other prevalent reasons could be: 

  • Chain-smoking
  • Excessive use of tangy eatables
  • Asthma
  • URTI especially Bronchitis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)  
  • Elongated cough sessions during a triggered Sinusitis
  • Pleurisy that is swelling of lining around the lungs 

In half of the people, It’s because of undiagnosed asthma. In the other half, the cause is typically post-nasal drip (particularly common in those 60 or older) or acid reflux, says Jeffrey Weiland, MD, a pulmonologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Chronic or persistent cough

A chronic cough is the one that extends the period of three weeks and usually goes up to 8 weeks without showing any signs of recovery. Most of the times, smokers complain about having dry cough fits on a daily basis especially during the night or immediately after dusk.

Three main reasons that lead towards it are

  • Allergic sinusitis or rhinitis causing clogging in the throat that is called Post Nasal Drip in medical terms.
  • GERD in which stomach fluids/acids flow backwards and cause a rash in the throat that eventually turns into a cough.
  • The last most common reason is Asthma.

What you should do? 

  • Seek medical help as early as possible 
  • Get your chest X-rays done to check if it is something serious or not
  • For first aid, try any of the Ayurvedic or herbal remedies we have mentioned below.

Peak Time of Dry Cough

During Night, all of the above-mentioned causes, reasons and symptoms are more likely to occur fluently that’s why people facing this issue, most of the time get disturbed by it during the night; immediately after going to their beds.

It is not related to sleep. You can have a severe cough whether awake or enjoying a deep sleep.

Dry cough Vs Wet Cough

Though there is not a far fetched difference between the two, there is just a difference between their effecting factors. 

Dry cough can have multiple infectious, bacterial or elaborated medical reasons i.e. Cardiac issues, Lung diseases. On the other hand, Wet Cough that involves secretions commonly called mucus mainly happens due to bacterial or viral infections.

Is Dry Cough an Allergy?

Similar hints have been given previously about its being an allergy or just a non-allergic thing. It is partially an allergy when triggered by outside factors but it is a disease also if stretches over the limitations of a normal cough.

Dry Cough: Is There Something to Worry About?

Normally there is not much to worry about in the beginning but Yes there are conditions when you should start taking a note on it. Usually, it is better to curb it first hand but if it gets serious or troublesome; consult your physician as soon as possible.

Here are a few instances when you should start considering proper medication

  • If you notice any signs of bleeding from your throat due to coughing so hard and for an extended period.
  • If you notice any bad smell
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Serious dehydration and muscle sternness 
  • Chills and consistent shivering 
  • Raised body temperature, mostly if it is above 102 and extends beyond three days   

8 DIY Ayurvedic Remedies for Dry Cough

Influenza, Cough, Fever, Measles and stomach issues have always been there with humankind since the very beginning. So there has been a variety of remedies and Homemade medicinal treatments too since then.

Following are some most workable and authentic Ayurvedic remedies to treat your Dry Cough.

Here is a list of some must-haves if you or someone else in your family have this issue 

Ginger and Honey Tea

Boil a cup of water, add a few drops of Ginger juice and 1tbsp of honey. Take it twice or thrice a day. In case of an infant under 1 year of age, avoid ginger juice as it may cause bloating or other gastric issues. This remedy is sufficient once in a day for infants who are above the age of one. 

Turmeric and Cinnamon sticks

Turmeric is said to be the finest natural antibacterial element to treat inflammation, remove blood impurities and has several healing properties. As any type of cough mostly happens due to viral or bacterial infection so Turmeric works exceptionally well in the case.

If you want to double the results, use Cinnamon sticks or powder along with turmeric.

There are two ways of utilizing them for your dry cough.

 Method 1

Boil a cup of water with one or two cinnamon sticks, once cinnamon starts shedding a little bit of its colour, turn the stove off. Strain the water, add a half teaspoon of turmeric powder add a few drops of lemon juice for taste and consume it like a tea twice a day. It works best if takes immediately before bed.

Method 2 

Heat a pan thoroughly, place a few cinnamon sticks and raw turmeric (a piece of 1 and a half inch is ideal) on the heated pan. Burn both of them to the extent where they start showing signs of smoke. Place a towel on your head just like when you take steam and inhale the smoke. It will kill all the bacterial and fungal components from your respiratory tract, leaving it clean and healthy. Clove can also be used in the same way to treat cough, irritation, nasal drip and sinusitis.


It is not quite beneficial for kids under the age of 10-12. 

Eucalyptus essential oil

For dry cough is caused by air pollutants and dry air so it is better to treat it with things that leave your throat lubricated. There is a long history behind using eucalyptus oil to treat bad breath, several types of coughs and oral infections. 

For humidifying your dry throat, add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil into boiling water and take steam. It will soothe pain caused by constant coughing and open up you nasal blockage as well besides just giving you relief from cough. 


As a strong immunity booster, ashwagandha helps you fight viral infections and increase your body’s resisting power towards rapidly advancing germs.

You can boil Ashwagandha leaves and use it as a tea or you can use Ashwagandha powder instead.


Dry Cough is a very common problem that results in the medical conditions and some other severe factors. It is best to solve this problem by using home remedies. In this Articlemany of the What is Dry Cough? Experts Explain about this Coronavirus Symptom provide you the significant relief, you should try these before going to the doctor. As the best defense is a strong offense.

So if you want to avoid the problem of Dry Cough then you should try the home remedies which we have mentioned above.

Stay Fit, Eat Healthy, Stay Happy ! 

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