How to get rid of a dry cough

Written by liz jones Google
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How to get rid of a dry cough
(glass of water image by Artyom Yefimov from

Treating a dry cough is different from treating other types of coughs since dry cough is considered non-productive cough that should be suppressed, if possible. There are many reasons why a dry cough may develop. It's best to determine the cause of the cough so that you can embark on the right avenue for treatment. Some chronic illnesses have a dry cough as a symptom, and for these conditions the medicine your doctor provides should ease the cough as well. For other dry coughs, there are additional treatment possibilities.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cough suppressant
  • Humidifier
  • Cough lozenges

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  1. 1

    Determine why you have this dry cough. If it is disease-related, make sure your doctor knows your condition so he can prescribe medicine for the cough that will not interfere with other medication you may be taking.

  2. 2

    Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping your body hydrated goes a long way to reducing and ultimately getting rid of dry cough. Drinking six to eight 236ml glasses of water is recommended daily. While you are combating a cough, you may want to increase your hydration.

  3. 3

    Take an over-the-counter cough suppressant medicine. Do not choose a medicine with expectorant as these products make you cough to bring up the mucus that is causing the cough.

  4. 4

    Buy a humidifier to use in your bedroom. Use this nightly to keep the air moist so your passageways do not dry out overnight. Alternately, try a hot steamy shower and breathe in the steam.

  5. 5

    Suck on cough lozenges whenever you can. This will keep your mouth and throat moist.

  6. 6

    Quit smoking. One of the side effects of smoking is the "smokers cough," which is a dry hacking cough. Most of the time the smoker experiences coughing attacks first thing in the morning, but they can occur anytime.

  7. 7

    See a doctor if the cough persists for a few weeks. A dry cough can be a sign of a more serious condition.

Tips and warnings

  • It is normal to cough some of the time. Irritants in the air or strong odours will cause people to cough. The cough usually stops once the irritant has been removed.
  • Be sure to see your health care provider if your cough is persistent and lasts an extended period of time.

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