What Are the Different Types of Coughs and How To Treat Them

A cough is your body’s reaction to the presence of an irritant in your respiratory system. When your body detects a foreign substance in your airway, your nervous system triggers your chest and abdominal muscles to expel a burst of air to force out the intruder.

While many cases of coughing are relatively harmless, they can be indicative of mild illness or possibly a severe condition. Evaluating the type of cough you have can help determine the cause and appropriate treatment options.

Identifying Your Cough

The type of cough you have can be ascertained using the following descriptors:

  • Pattern: Does your cough occur at a particular time of day? Is it linked to a specific activity such as meals or exercise?
  • Characteristics: Does your cough produce a distinctive sound such as a barking or whooping noise? Is there mucus?
  • Related Symptoms: Is your cough connected to other symptoms such as nasal congestion, vomiting or heartburn?
  • Duration: How long has your cough lasted? Is it sporadic or persistent?
  • Degree: Is your cough mildly annoying, moderately disruptive, or severely debilitating?

These distinguishing features will help narrow down the different cough types to accurately identify which one you have. The most commonly diagnosed types are:

Dry Cough

A dry cough does not produce any mucus. It often gives the sensation of something stuck in the back of your throat which results in relentless hacking fits. Dry coughs are predominantly caused by upper respiratory infections or exposure to allergens and environmental irritants.

Wet Cough

Also called a productive cough, a wet cough pushes mucus out of your respiratory system. It sounds phlegmy and is often accompanied by symptoms such as a runny nose, fatigue, and post-nasal drip. Cold and flu are the most common culprits of a wet cough.


A viral infection that typically affects children ages 5 and under, croup is characterized by a “barking” sound akin to that of a seal. Children may also experience breathing difficulties or rapid breathing.

Paroxysmal Cough

This type of cough is associated with pertussis (whooping cough), a bacterial infection that causes violent and uncontrollable coughing fits. Because of the intensity, individuals with a paroxysmal cough may struggle to breathe and may even vomit.

Finding Relief for Your Cough

Depending on the underlying cause, most coughs will subside on their own, though there are ways to relieve coughs at home. Here are commonly used remedies to ease discomfort from coughing:

  • Drinking hot tea with honey
  • Using a humidifier
  • Hydrating with water
  • Using cough drops and lozenges
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Breathing in the steam from a hot shower
  • Taking cough suppressants or mucus reducers

Brillia Cough Control

Homeopathic cough suppressant tablets are a safe alternative to many prescription drugs and over-the-counter products intended to treat coughing and related symptoms. They are dissolved easily and do not cause drowsiness, harmful side effects, or drug interactions.

When dealing with a cough, seek relief from cough control products that manage your symptoms safely and effectively.

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