What Causes a Dry Cough?


Quick Answer

An airway infection (usually after a cold), whooping cough, asthma, empyema and congestive heart failure, can cause a dry cough, claims Healthgrades. Lung cancer, collapsed lung and certain medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), can also cause a dry cough.

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Viral and bacterial infections, such as the common cold, Legionnaires’ disease, whooping cough, croup, tuberculosis and empyema can lead to a dry cough, claims Healthgrades. A cough that persists may signal that an individual is suffering from whooping cough or a chronic condition, such as asthma or emphysema. Whooping cough is more common in adults than in infants, as resistance to vaccinations is proportional to time.

Coughing persistently can be a symptom of respiratory and digestive systems problems, states Healthgrades. The common problems resulting in dry cough include asthma, allergies, airway irritation and obstruction, aortic aneurysm, smoking. Lung cancer, congestive heart failure, collapsed lung and tumor of the larynx are additional possible causes of dry cough. Inflamed lining around the lungs and chest can also lead to a dry cough.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are prescribed to treat high blood pressure, can cause dry cough in patients undertaking the medication, according to Healthgrades. Use of moist air and anti-inflammatory medications curb dry cough. Individuals should seek professional medical attention if the cough persists.

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