Suffering from a cough can be uncomfortable and annoying. But the cause of the cough can sometimes be something other than a virus or bacterial infection. Not all coughs are created equal, especially a dry cough no fever.
A wet or productive cough will produce mucus, saliva, or other excretions often associated with a respiratory infection like the flu. Dry cough on the other hand, won’t bring up any secretions. Irritation is typically the cause of a dry cough no fever and can end up causing distress, thanks to continuous coughing.
Rather than an infection, most of the dry cough causes are thought to be allergies, acid reflux, asthma, or recent infection that you’ve recently recovered from that has left a lingering cough. With a lack of a fever, an active infection is unlikely.
Identifying and treating the underlying cause of your dry cough can help you get back to feeling normal. Here are some of the most common dry cough causes.
Dry cough causes
Including hay fever, allergies are one of the most common dry cough causes. If you notice that your dry cough typically appears during the months of late March to September, and experience other accompanying symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose, you’re more than likely suffering from seasonal hay fever.
Dry cough associated with allergies are caused by inhaling allergens that travel to the back of the throat. On top of that, allergies can also cause post-nasal drip, which is the feeling of mucus at the back of the throat. Both of these can combine to cause moderate to severe throat irritation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with allergies already, some of the best dry cough remedies for this are antihistamines or intranasal corticosteroids.
- Recent infections
Even after recovering from an infection, a dry cough can still linger long after other symptoms have cleared.
Thanks to sensitivity after an infection, the airways react very delicately to everything from cold to dust. In addition, any lingering post-nasal drip can irritate the throat further.
Unfortunately, this type of dry cough causes can linger for weeks at a time. It’s not harmful, but it can be extremely annoying, uncomfortable, and may interfere with sleep, exercise, or other habits.
Again, one of the best ways to help this is to use dry cough treatment such as antihistamines to help address post-nasal drip or an inhaler to reduce coughing.
There is also the option of at home dry cough remedies such as tea, using a humidifier, and staying hydrated, that can also soothe irritated throats/airways.
- Acid Reflux
Chronic dry cough at night or any other period during the day is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week.
GERD is when acid from the stomach creeps up the esophagus and irritate the trachea, or airway tube. This can lead to spams and a dry cough. This won’t be the only symptom of GERD however, other tell-tale symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation, nausea, hoarseness, trouble swallowing and chest pain.
In order to treat GERD effectively, a treatment plan will need to be discussed with your doctor. This might include over-the-counter medications like antacids and prescription only medicines like Esomeprazole, which reduces acid production.
Approximately 12% of people in the UK have been diagnosed with asthma. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled asthma can lead to a dry cough no fever. Someone who has asthma is more susceptible to inflamed and irritated airways, which leads to coughing.
Asthma causes other symptoms including; shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, wheezing, or symptoms that get worse during the evening such as a dry cough at night.
Again, like acid reflux, asthma will require a treatment plan so that it can be controlled effectively. This will likely include a bunch of different inhalers that contain albuterol and steroids, to relieve spasms and reduce inflammation.
- Smoking or vaping
Whether it’s smoking cigarettes or smoking via vaping, smoking in general increases the chances for a dry cough no fever to manifest.
Cilia are small hair-like projections that line the breathing tube. Smoking and vaping stop cilia from working, allowing all of the particles from vaping and smoking to accumulate, resulting in an irritated breathing tube and a cough.
Quitting smoking should spoken about with your doctor. They will be able to provide you with advice on how to quit the most effective way. Some of the advice may include gradually decreasing the amount you smoke, therapy, and avoiding possible triggers like alcohol.
How to get rid of dry cough
In order to find the correct dry cough remedies that will work for you, the underlying cause will need to be found first. It can be a number of different conditions, including any of the above. Most of the time it is a sign of nothing major, but very rarely it could be a sign of a more serious health condition.
Most dry coughs can be treated at home with over-the-counter dry cough medicine like cough suppressants and throat lozenges. There are several at home dry cough remedies that help promote healing, such as adding moisture to the air with a humidifier, or making sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids.
If your cough has lasted for more than 2 months and you want to know how to get rid of dry cough, or it is getting worse over time, contact your doctor.
It’s important to see a doctor straight away if you experience any of the following symptoms alongside a dry cough:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
You should also make an appointment with you doctor if any of these symptoms begin:
- A productive cough with phlegm and mucus
- A cough with blood-tinged or pinkish sputum
- Dry cough at night that keeps you awake
- Coughing with chest pain or pressure
- Coughing that causes hoarseness