Common causes of dry cough
A dry cough does not produce sputum. This is the reason why it is sometimes called nonproductive cough. A dry cough often develops at the end of a cold (infection). It can be a reaction to an irritant, such as dust or smoke. Numerous chemicals are used in medical research to trigger cough in experimental animals.
In humans, there are several causes of a dry nonproductive cough, such as:
– viral infection (such cough may last more than 2-3 weeks and the symptoms often get worse at night)
– bronchospasm (a dry cough, particularly at night, leads to additional CO2 losses and cause spasms in the bronchial tubes (bronchospasm) due to hypocapnia or low CO2 in the airways)
– allergic triggers (due to pollen, dust, fumes, perfume, various other chemicals and so forth)
– some medical drugs, eg, ACE inhibitors which contain captopril, lisinopril, and enalapril maleate
– asthma (due to chronic inflammation in airways with accompanying wheezing, shortness of breath, and a feeling of tightness in the chest
– blockage of the airways by an object, such as food, powder, or a pill
Why could dry cough become chronic?
There are many negative effects due to chronic coughing or coughing attacks. It reduces boxy oxygen levels due to losses of CO2 in the arterial blood. Traditional coughing (through the mouth) is a form of hyperventilation. As a result, low CO2 levels in the lungs causes more problems with oxygen delivery. Indeed, according to the laws of physiology, when we breathe more air at rest, we get less oxygen in body cells. In addition, low CO2 in the airways causes over-excited states of urge-to-cough receptors since CO2 is a powerful calmative and sedative of nerve cells. High or normal CO2 levels keep nerve cells calm, while low CO2 levels makes them irritable. This means that CO2 losses due to coughing cause more coughing.
Dry cough home remedies
There are several dry cough home remedies (or breathing exercises) invented by Russian medical doctors practicing the Buteyko breathing technique. These exercises have been successfully tested on thousands of asthmatics and other cough-sufferers.
Home Remedy No. 1. Learn how to cough only through your nose (ie, with your mouth being closed all the time). This exercise will help you to reduce inflammation of airways and bronchospasm, and increase oxygen levels in the brain and body cells.
Home Remedy No. 2. After your mastered the first exercise, learn how to cough with both, your mouth and nose closed. How could this be done? When you get an excuse to cough, keep your mouth closed and your nose pinched. You will get more CO2 in airways and increase your body and brain oxygen levels.
Most people can reduce duration of coughing attacks due to these 2 exercises. However, you can achieve even more success, if you use the most effective anti-coughing home remedy that is called “reduced breathing”.
Home Remedy No. 3. Sit down in a comfortable position. While having the bout of coughing, relax and at the end of your usual exhalation, pinch your nose and hold your breath (your mouth should be closed all the time) but until you experience mild distress (or air air).
After this breath hold, when you get a mild air hunger, take only a small (or short) inhalation (one small sniff) and do it only through the nose. After this small inhalation, you need to focus on relaxation of all body muscles, especially in the upper chest and shoulders. Do not exhale air forcefully. You need to relax the muscles in order to exhale slowly.
If coughing is present, your goal is to restrict the gas exchange to very small inhalations followed by natural and easy exhalations. Then take another short inhalation (a small sniff of air) and again completely relax for the exhalation.
You should maintain medium level of air hunger while relaxing all body muscles. Your breathing pattern can be quite frequent during this reduced breathing exercise (frequent short inhalations and short exhalations), and this is normal.
If you do this exercise correctly, you will breathe about 25-40% less air, while being completely relaxed, and you will notice 2 positive signs:
– Your arms and feet will get warmer in about 1 minutes after starting this exercise (due to improved circulation)
– Your nasal travels will become more open and moist within 1-2 minutes.
This dry cough home remedy can also be used during night sleep since it will help you, in addition, to fall sleep much faster. Just remember to avoid supine sleep: sleeping on one's back is worst for coughing, asthma, heart disease, children, elderly people, pregnant women, and all other situations and conditions tested in clinical trials. In order to achieve success, sleep on your chest or the left side.
Permanent remedies for persistent dry cough
After testing thousands of their sick patients, these Russian medical doctors found that dry cough is possible only in those people who have less than 20 seconds for the body oxygen test. As a result, the permanent remedy for dry cough is to slow down the unconscious or automatic breathing pattern and get more than 20 seconds for the body oxygen test. Oxygen Remedy, Amazing DIY breathing device, and Frolov respiratory device are some of the options to get more oxygen in body cells.