Persistent dry cough, which usually worsens at night, despite having several causes, is more common to be caused by an allergic reaction and, in this case, the best thing to do is to fight the allergy, with the use of an antihistamine remedy, like Loratadine, for example. However, one must discover the cause of the allergy and avoid exposure to the cause.
If the cough continues for more than 1 week, if it gets worse or if it is accompanied by other signs such as thick phlegm, presence of blood, fever or difficulty breathing it is very important to go to the hospital or consult a pulmonologist, a family doctor or a clinician general, to identify the cause and initiate the most appropriate treatment.
The most common causes of persistent dry cough are:
Allergy to dust, pet hair or flower pollen causes irritation in the throat, causing coughing to occur until the cause of the respiratory allergy is identified and eliminated.
2. Gastroesophageal reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux can also cause a dry cough after eating spicy or highly acidic foods. Learn more about gastroesophageal reflux .
3. Heart problems
Heart problems like heart failure, which causes fluid to build up in the lungs, can also cause coughing. See more about respiratory failure .
4. Cigarette and pollution
The use and smoke of cigarettes and pollution cause irritation in the throat and can also stimulate the cough reflex.
Asthma causes symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing or noise when breathing and coughing, especially at night. Learn how to identify and treat asthma.
It is important that the person who has a dry and persistent cough drink plenty of water to keep the throat hydrated and avoid dry environments. Dry and persistent cough can also be caused less frequently by side effects of medications, psychological conditions, stress and anxiety, as some people have an increased respiratory rate when they are in stress or anxiety situations, which stimulates coughing.
The person suffering from persistent dry cough should make an appointment with a general practitioner or pediatrician so that he can order tests to identify the cause of the cough and indicate the best treatment.
How to treat persistent cough
Treatment for persistent dry cough should be targeted to address its cause. In the case of allergic dry cough, in addition to the use of medications prescribed by the doctor, it is important to:
- Drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day, because the water helps to keep the airways hydrated and reduces throat irritation;
- Take 1 tablespoon of carrot or oregano syrup about 3 times a day. These syrups have antitussive properties, reducing coughing fits. Here’s how to make these syrups .
- Drink 1 cup of mint tea, about 3 times a day. Mint has a calming, antitussive, mucolytic, expectorant and decongestant action, helping to relieve cough. To make the tea, just add 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh mint leaves in a cup of boiling water and let it stand for 5 minutes, then strain and drink;
- Take medicine for persistent dry cough under medical guidance, such as Vibral, Notuss, Antuss or Hytos Plus, for example;
- Avoid dust inside the house, as contact with animals and cigarette smoke can cause persistent dry cough.
Cases of persistent dry cough for more than 1 week deserve more attention, especially if the individual has asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis or any other chronic respiratory disease. It can mean a worsening of the condition and the need to take antihistamines or corticosteroids.