Coughing is a method used by the body to expel mucus and protect the airways. Unfortunately, it can become persistent and irritating, leading to more discomfort than relief. A dry cough is particularly frustrating; the lack of mucus can make it seem impossible to get rid of a dry cough. There are several cough syrups and medications that experience varying success at relieving the issue, but the simplest and often most successful courses of action lie in a few home remedies or removing the cause itself.
Often, a dry cough can be the result of the simplest explanation. Dehydration can be a precursor to a dry cough as a lack of available fluids can irritate the throat. A simple home remedy for a dry cough is to get and stay well hydrated. The average person needs eight or more glasses of water per day.
Honey can be very effective at soothing a sore throat. Whether taken with tea or just hot water, honey is an effective home remedy to get rid of a dry cough. A study by Penn State University found that honey is more effective than common over-the-counter cough medications. This may be due to a combination of antioxidant properties and stimulation of salivation which can deal with the dryness.
Cough drops or hard candy can also help to get rid of a dry cough. Like with honey, the primary benefit of this comes from stimulating the salivary glands and easing a dry sore throat. These should not to be used by young children due to choking hazard.
Dry air can be a major throat irritant leading to a dry cough. To get rid of a dry cough caused by dry air, the National Institutes of Health suggest using a humidifier overnight or taking a hot shower to increase the level of moisture in the air.
Smoking is notorious for creating chronic bouts of coughing. If smoking is behind a dry cough, quitting the habit is the only way to truly deal with the issue. According to the University of Michigan Health System, along with cigarette smoke, frequent exposure to certain chemicals and dust can cause or exacerbate a dry cough. If outside irritants like these are the cause of a persistent and long-lasting dry cough, relief will not come until exposure to the irritants is curbed.
Coughing is a useful mechanism for ridding the body of unwanted substances, but a persistent cough is a nuisance. A dry cough can become very irritating, but there are a few home remedies for dry cough that can ease the irritation and relieve a sore throat. Always consult a doctor before beginning any medical treatment or using any treatment on a young child.