Most coughs are usually caused by a cold or flu. Other causes of coughs include smoking, heartburn, allergies such as hay fever and environmental allergens such as dust & pollution.
A cough is an important defensive mechanism that protects the body from irritants. There are two types of coughs that usually accompany a cold and include a chesty or wet cough or a dry cough.
A wet or chesty cough typically brings up mucus and is commonly a result of colds and may often be accompanied by other symptoms such as a runny nose or post-nasal drip. If a chesty cough continues to be problematic for 3 weeks or more, please consult your GP.
A dry cough is a cough that does not bring up any mucus. A dry cough feels like a tickle at the back of the throat and occurs because of inflammation or irritation to the throat; since mucus is not present, nothing comes up and the irritation can often result in long fits of cough. A dry cough may take several weeks even after a cold has gone. Other causes of a dry cough include allergies, GERD, asthma and pollutants.
There are many natural cough and cold remedies for at home use that will help to ease the symptoms quickly and without side effects such as drowsiness or a dry mouth often associated with conventional medications.