ZocdocAnswersI have a dry cough. How do I get rid of it?

Question

I have a dry cough. How do I get rid of it?

I have been coughing for a whole week and some days and I don't have a cold. It's like my throat is dry and nothing is in it I took some cold and flu medicine and it's still here what's wrong with me?

Answer

First, we have to figure out what is causing your cough. So I recommend that you speak with your doctor. Commonly, people will have a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URI) that will come and cause some reaction of the cough receptors. This cough will then persist for some time after the virus has gotten better, leading to a dry, nagging, cough. There are other things that can cause a cough, however. One of those that is not often recognized is post nasal drainage. Like a viral URI, post nasal drainage can sensitize the cough receptors so that they fire at the slightest signal. Treating the drainage can help the cough. Another common problem is reflux. Many people will suffer from reflux without having symptoms of overt heart burn. They will have phlegm in their throat that they are often trying to cough and clear, a froggy voice in the morning, and sometimes a bitter taste on awakening. Many times, over the counter preparations and lifestyle changes can help these people to moderate their symptoms. There are many other causes of a cough as well, including medications such as ACE inhibitors, which are notorious for causing cough. Finally, specific conditions such as heart and lung problems can cause cough. Please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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