Irritating cough, causes, symptoms & treatment


From protective to painful – irritating cough can be distressing.

Coughing is a protective function of the body: If foreign objects enter the trachea, they are quickly transported outside through the cough reflex. But even without a foreign body, the cough reflex can be triggered. The main cause is a cold, at the beginning and end usually an unproductive, so without mucus ejection, and painful dry cough is – the so-called irritating cough. The irritating cough owes its name to the fact that the cold-induced inflammation of the mucous membranes irritates the cough receptors, although no mucus is present which can be coughed up. This makes the coughing attacks ineffective, exhausting and very painful. At night dry cough irritates us particularly strong, as dry heating air and stuffy noses additionally irritate the inflamed mucous membranes, so that the coughing stimulus is constantly triggered.


Unproductive, dry and painful

Irritable cough is an unproductive, dry cough caused by irritation of the cough receptors on the lung mucosa. In addition to inhaled foreign bodies, inflammation of the airway mucosa is the main cause of irritation coughing. Coughing is thus a faithful companion of various respiratory infections such. influenza, bronchitis, or throat and throat infections. Stimulus cough usually occurs before the body has removed the pathogens with the help of mucus and thus productive cough.

But even if the cold is already on the decay and no mucus is present, it can happen that the mucous membranes continue to try to eliminate pathogens and thus trigger a dry dry cough. This can take up to eight weeks – everything in addition speaks for a chronic irritant cough, which must always be clarified by a doctor.

The most common symptoms and side effects of irritating cough include:

  • Dry, unproductive (= without sputum) cough
  • Frequent coughing
  • Cold symptoms such as runny nose, headache, throat and body aches
  • An aggravation mostly to the night
  • Maybe fever

Cold course with cough

Coughing during a cold

1) Dry

Dry dry cough
2-3 Days

2) Productive

Productive cough
about 7 days

3) Dry

Healing phase with dry irritated cough
up to 8 weeks

Once started, irritating coughing continuously picks up speed. The acquired pathogens irritate the bronchial tubes, these become inflamed, the coughing reflex sets in. However, since no mucus has yet formed for defense, the cough can not perform its proper function and clean the bronchi by ejection. The irritating cough continues to scratch fruitlessly on the bronchi – the coughing attacks get worse, barking to painful, robbing them of sleep at night. An irritating cough usually develops at the beginning and end of a cold: before the mucus formation and afterwards, when the mucus is coughed, the lower airways are still sensitive. Contagion is usually via a droplet or smear infection, e.g. is coughed or shakes the unwashed hands of a victim and even then does not wash his hands. In the cold period you should therefore pay attention to good hand hygiene. Depending on the pathogen, the incubation period varies between 24 hours and 5 days. As a rule, one remains infectious one week after the onset of the first symptoms. Dry cough at the end of an infection is therefore usually no longer contagious to others.


Silent night, relaxed night – A cough suppressant ensures peace

Different types of cough require different treatment. It makes no sense to take an expectorant if no mucus has formed. Only when the cough becomes productive, ie when it is accompanied by expectoration, Bronchicum ® with its expectorant action can support healing. In case of irritating cough, on the other hand, a cough suppressant is recommended. This relieves the tormenting coughing stimulus and thereby reduces the number of coughing attacks. Especially at night, when irritated coughing permanently interrupts sleep, the cough suppressant becomes an important helper. Monapax ® with its unique combination and a. Sundew is a natural cough suppressant for the whole family – reliable and very well tolerated.

Further treatment options

In addition to suitable drugs such. Monapax ®, the irritated airway mucosa can be additionally calmed with the following home remedies and relieved the pain.

Take plenty of fluids to keep the mucous membranes moist

Particularly suitable for protecting the mucous membranes from drying out are warm teas. Thyme tea is known to restore the natural mucus layer of the mucous membranes and so relieve the pain and the coughing. The situation is similar with the tea from plantain whose mucilage is like a protective film on the mucous membranes and so relieve coughing and pain.

Inhalation of hot vapors and essential oils

The essential sage oil soothes and soothes the pain in the throat and is thus particularly well suited for irritating cough. For inhalation therapy pour over a handful of fresh or dried sage leaves in a bowl with hot water. After the water has cooled off a bit, then inhale the warm vapors with a towel over your head.
Attention! Do not use essential oils in infants and toddlers! suffocation!

Increase the humidity – especially at night

Especially at night dry dry cough torments especially, because he lets neither the coughing nor his fellow humans sleep in peace. In addition to the afore-mentioned aids should therefore be provided for moistening the mucous membranes always for a sufficient supply of fresh air and a high humidity in the room – either by frequent Stoßlüften or through a bowl of warm water or damp towels over the heater.

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Christina Cherry
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