Dry Cough

Dry Cough

A dry cough can have many causes, and in some cases this problem can be persistent. You may find yourself coughing at all times of the day or night, without feeling like you’re clearing anything from your throat or chest. This can be exhausting, and may keep you (and possibly your partner) up at night. Another side effect from all that coughing can be a sore, dry throat. You might find that it hurts to swallow, talk, eat and drink. If a sore throat caused by a dry, persistent cough is dragging you down, you don’t have to put up with it. There’s an effective way to ease the pain – and fast. Try our range of Ultra Chloraseptic throat sprays for relief from the pain and irritation of a sore throat within seconds.

What is a dry cough?

A cough is a reaction to an irritation or foreign substance in the throat. When people talk about a dry cough, they are referring to a cough that doesn’t produce any phlegm or mucus and feels tickly in the throat. This kind of cough is also known as a nonproductive cough. In contrast, a wet or productive cough produces phlegm that can help to clear the airways.

What causes a dry cough?

Most coughs clear up without treatment within three weeks. However, if you have a cough that lasts longer than this, you should see a doctor to investigate the cause.

A wide range of health problems can trigger a dry cough. Here are some possible causes:


Upper respiratory tract infections

Upper respiratory tract infections can affect the throat, sinuses, airways or lungs. Symptoms can include a sore throat, sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, headaches, a fever, breathlessness and muscle aches. Most upper respiratory infections are self-limiting, meaning they will clear up without treatment. However, sometimes you may need to see a doctor. These infections usually last for a week or two. To speed up your recovery, get lots of rest, drink plenty of water, and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring your fever down and relieve aches and pains. If you have difficulty breathing, or your breathing becomes noisy, throat sprays should not be used.


Asthma is a common, long-term condition affecting the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. It affects people of all ages and can cause occasional breathing difficulties. People with asthma may experience a dry cough that keeps returning. It is often worse early in the morning or at night. They may also experience coughing outbursts that are difficult to control. Other symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, chest tightness and a whistling sound when breathing (wheezing). While there is currently no cure for asthma, the condition can be controlled by inhalers, tablets and other medicines.


An allergy is an immune response by the body to a substance, such as pollen, fur, dust or a certain food. It’s estimated that allergies affect one in four people in the UK at some point in their lives. Allergies can begin in childhood or adulthood, and they can be life-long or short-term. Most allergic reactions are mild and can be kept under control. However, while it is uncommon, they can be severe. Allergies can cause a cough in many cases. Sometimes the cough is accompanied by wheezing. Other symptoms can include sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, watery, itchy, red eyes, a rash, or worsening of eczema. The main treatment for allergies is antihistamines. Decongestants, lotions and creams, and steroids are sometimes used too. Rarely, immunotherapy is used to control severe and persistent allergies. People at risk of anaphylaxis as a result of allergic reactions are provided with injectors containing adrenaline. These injectors are designed for use in emergencies.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux refers to the process of stomach acid travelling up towards the throat. The main symptoms of acid reflux are a burning feeling in the middle of the chest, which is known as heartburn, and a sour taste in the mouth. This health problem can also cause a dry cough that keeps returning, bad breath, bloating, nausea and a hoarse voice. Acid reflux can be triggered by a variety of things, including being overweight, smoking, pregnancy, stress, certain medicines and certain foods and drinks, for example rich or spicy foods, coffee and alcohol. To prevent or ease symptoms of acid reflux, you should avoid triggers, eat smaller, more frequent meals, maintain a healthy weight and elevate your head while sleeping – you can do this by raising the top of your bed by 10 to 20cm. If you keep experiencing acid reflux, you may have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

When To Seek Expert Medical Help

Dry coughs can have many causes. It is very rare that a cough is a sign of a serious problem like lung cancer. However, any cough that lasts more than three weeks should be investigated by a doctor. You should also see your doctor if you’re coughing up blood, experiencing difficulty breathing or getting sharp stabbing pains in your chest when you breathe.

How Our Anaesthetic Sprays Can Help

Unfortunately, even mild dry coughs can lead to a sore, dry throat. If you’re experiencing the pain and discomfort of a sore throat caused by a dry cough, help is at hand. Containing the local anaesthetic benzocaine, which gets to work in seconds, Ultra Chloraseptic throat sprays are not a dry cough or dry throat treatment, but they offer fast and effective relief from throat pain.

Adults can soothe their sore throats with just three quick sprays. Under adult supervision, children between the ages of six and 12 can also experience relief from a painful throat with a single spray. Use your spray for up to a maximum of three consecutive days. If you’re still experiencing throat pain after this time, see your doctor or pharmacist for advice.