Dry Cough Causes and Home Remedies for Dry Cough
Chronic (persistent) dry cough is a respiratory symptom of chronic hyperventilation and low body O2. Dry cough is common in people with asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, numerous lung conditions and during respiratory infections. It often gets worse during sleep or at night, on exertion, and after meals.
During normal breathing at rest the air travels though the nasal cavities at a speed of 8 km/h. When we cough through the mouth, the air rushes out through the airways at 120-160 km/h. This causes mechanical stress (irritation) and sudden CO2 losses with the following effects of alveolar hypocapnia (low CO2 levels in airways): bronchospasm (constriction of airways); irritable state of the cough receptors; and greatly increased mechanical friction in airways due to strong air flow. Later, due to reset in the breathing center, overbreathing and irritation of airways become chronic.
First of all, hundreds of scientific publications have proven that hyperventilation causes reduced body-oxygen content due to alveolar hypocapnia (low CO2 levels in the lungs). Furthermore, decades of medical research have proven that low CO2 over-excites nerve cells making them irritable. This effect (over-excitement of nerve cells) also takes place with the nerve cells that control the urge-to-cough reflex that usually appears due to some additional irritation (or trigger) in the chest or upper airways.
Bouts of coughing cause
(see references below):
- irritable state of cough receptors in the tracheobronchial tree and larynx due to hypocapnia (low CO2 in these nerve cells)
- constriction of airways due to hypocapnia (since CO2 is a bronchodilator)
- chronic respiratory infections and inflammation due to suppression of the immune system caused by cell hypoxia and other effects caused by hyperventilation.
Coughing through the mouth creates a
huge air pressure graduate that can easily damage or even rupture
alveoli, our tiny air sacks, which make gas exchange in the lungs
possible. Coughing is particularly dangerous for people with bronchitis
or emphysema. Hence, due to purely mechanical effects, coughing causes:
1) damage and rupture of tiny and fragile air sacks (alveoli) due to very large pressure gradient and sudden change in air pressure in the tissues of the lungs (lungs tissue is very weak and is easily damaged due to mechanical over stimulation caused by coughing)
2) mechanical irritation of the constricted and inflamed airways due to large movements of air and excessive friction due to sudden changes in pressure.
Hence, the more you cough (especially through the mouth), the more CO2 you remove, and the worse your symptoms become.
Natural Home Remedies for Dry Cough
Over 180 Russian medical doctors (practicing the Buteyko breathing method) developed simple breathing techniques to reduce coughing and eventually eliminate and get rid of all types of coughing symptoms, including dry persistent cough. These remedies can be found here: Persistent Cough Remedies: 3 Easy, Proven Breathing Exercises.
These doctors also discovered that this symptom usually disappears when the patients slow down their automatic breathing and get over 20 s for the body-oxygen test. This is the ultimate home remedy for dry cough.
- Get Rid of Cough - This is a
simple breathing exercise to stop bouts of coughing by raising CO2
level in the airways and body cells
- Persistent Cough Remedies: 3 Easy, Proven Breathing Exercises
- Stop Coughing At Night - Another breathing technique and exercise to get rid of chronic or persistent coughing and fall asleep faster
- Best Cough Treatment - There is a simple body-oxygen test that is a criterion and guarantee that, if you keep your body oxygenation above a certain level, you will be free from dry cough.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Mar;48(3):343-5.
The role of cough and hyperventilation in perpetuating airway inflammation in asthma.
Singh V, Chowdhary R, Chowdhary N.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur-302 016, India.
Air flowing through a pipe exerts frictional stress on the walls of the pipe. Frictional stress of more than 40 N/m2 (velocity equivalent of air 113 m/s) is known to cause acute endothelial damage in blood vessels. The frictional stress in airways during coughing may be much greater, however, since the velocity of air may be as high as speed of sound in air. We suggest that high levels of frictional stress perpetuate airway inflammation in airways which are already inflamed and vulnerable to frictional stress-induced trauma in patients with asthma. Activities associated with rapid ventilation and higher frictional stress (e.g. exercise, hyperventilation, coughing, sneezing and laughing) cause asthma to worsen whilst activities that reduce frictional stress (Yoga 'Pranayama', breathing a helium-oxygen mixture and nasal continuous positive airway pressure) are beneficial. Therefore control of cough may have anti-inflammatory benefits in patients with asthma.
Jpn J Physiol. 1991;41(6):879-91.
Influence of central respiratory activity on the cough response in anesthetized dogs.
Suzuki H, Kondo T, Yamabayashi H, Kobayashi I, Ohta Y.
Department of Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Japan.
Cough responses evoked by mechanical stimulation of the tracheobronchial mucosa in anesthetized and tracheostomized dogs were studied... Coughing could be evoked when the dog was made apneic either by hyperventilation or by the Hering-Breuer reflex...
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2009;(187):263-76.
Clinical cough I: the urge-to-cough: a respiratory sensation.
Department of Physiological Sciences, Box 100144, HSC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
Cough is generated by a brainstem neural network. Chemical and mechanical stimulation of the airway can elicit a reflex cough and can elicit a cognitive sensation, the urge-to-cough. The sensation of an urge-to-cough is a respiratory-related sensation. The role of the respiratory sensation of an urge-to-cough is to engage behavioral modulation of cough motor action. Respiratory sensations are elicited by a combination of modalities: central neural, chemical, and mechanical. Stimulation of respiratory afferents or changes in respiratory pattern resulting in a cognitive awareness of breathing are mediated by central neural processes that are the cognitive neural basis for respiratory sensations, including the urge-to-cough. It is proposed that the urge-to-cough is a component of the cough motivation-to-action system. The urge-to-cough is induced by stimuli that motivate subjects to protect their airway by coughing...
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