Dry Cough And Chest Tightness: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Alex James
dry Coughs

Often, people catch a cold and start coughing all of a sudden. This occurs primarily in the winter when there is a season change. That sis why elders will ask you to take care of your health when there is a seasonal change. However, when you catch a cold, it can be highly irritating and sometimes take you off the regular course of life.

This difference in coughing is because of the way the infection has arrested you. The moment you catch a cold most people complain of acute coughing and chest pain. There can be several causes of coughing, chest tightness and chest pain. Sometimes you might take off without the production of any mucus. Although coughing can remove the irritants from your throat, keeping it untreated is not a wise decision.

In most cases, we have noticed that people are not aware of the causes and symptoms of dry cough and chest tightness. So, we have come up with a blog on the same. You can have chest pain and dry cough due to many conditions. It is necessary to find out the appropriate cause to get the right treatment. In this blog, we will share with you the possible causes of dry cough, its symptoms and treatment. Therefore, without further delay, let’s get started with the details of a blog.

What is a dry cough?

When you cough without the production of any mucus it is known as a dry cough. Since there is no mucus blocking the lungs and airways, no mucus comes out.  The lack of phlegm or mucus makes it an unproductive cough.

What is the difference between a dry cough and a wet cough?

Many people tend to consider dry coughing and wet cough as synonymous. You start coughing to clear the irritants from your lungs and airways so that you can breathe better. However, there is a slight difference between the two.

Generally, you start coughing when you have a problem with the respirator system. When you cough up the mucus, it is known as a wet cough. In the medical field, doctors consider the wet cough to be a productive one as it releases mucus from the airways and lungs. When there is excessive flame built up in the lungs, you run short of breath. This leads to severe COPD problems. On the other hand, in a dry cough, you will not see any production of mucus. So, it is known as an unproductive cough as it does not get into the Airways and lungs.

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Symptoms of dry cough

When you have a dry cough, you feel a tingling sensation in your throat. Due to this irritation, you try to clear the throat by coughing rigorously. So, your throat becomes dry and irritated due to expelling air forcefully. Again, due to forced coughing, you tend to develop a sore throat. Sometimes, it can break your voice as well.

In an unproductive dry cough, primarily, you cough up air. This coughing can become chronic if it lasts for more than three weeks. As a result of this chronic coughing, it can strain the muscles of your chest and lungs and you may develop chest pain soon. When you have a dry cough, you experience a feeling of tightness in the chest. Sometimes, you may feel a pressure or squeezing sensation in the chest. To speak simply, you might feel a heavy weight kept on your chest.

Causes of a dry cough

The conditions that cause a dry cough can range from short-term conditions to long-term health issues. So, the treatment of dry cough will vary from person to person and he is pending on the factors that have caused it. If you are suffering from a dry cough, make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Never depend on the treatment that your friend has undergone because the causes of dry cough might differ. Given below is the list of causes that develops a dry cough:

  • Asthma

When you have inflammation in the lungs which tends to narrow down the Airways it is a sign of asthma. When you have asthma, you may experience both productive and dry cough, depending upon the severity of the disease. Some of the other common signs of asthma include pain and tightness in the chest, shortage of breath and wheezing. Due to some foods or behaviours, your asthma can be triggered. These are cold viruses, excessive physical exercise, some foods, allergens, etc.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux disease occurs when you have acute Acid Reflux. This acid moves backward into the oesophagus. Since Acid Reflux creates problems in the oesophagal sphincter, it can lead to heartburn, a sourness in the mouth and a dry cough. If you leave the gastroesophageal Reflux disease untreated for a long time, it can damage the oesophagal sphincter.

  • Respiratory infection

When you have a bacterial or viral infection in the respiratory system, it can be understood from any symptoms. For a better understanding let’s take a few examples here. When you have a cold, you suffer from a runny nose, a dry or wet cough, sore throat and little fever. With each passing day, the viral or bacterial infection tends to worsen. During the recovery process, you may experience a dry cough. However, this is a part of the healing process and you need not worry about it.

  • Environmental irritants

Often you will come across people who tend to cough the moment they are out of their homes. This coughing starts due to environmental irritants. Generally, environmental irritants result in dry coughing and tight chest. Some of the environmental irritants that trigger a dry cough are dust, pollen, and smoke. Sometimes, extreme cold or dry air can further result in a dry cough. Here, the best solution would be to use a mask to avoid environmental irritants.

  • Collapsed lungs

When you have a collapsed lung in medical terms it is known as Pneumothorax. This happens when you suffer from a severe injury caused due to an accident. It can also be a result of a lung disease or a heavy sport. It can even occur when experiencing changes in air pressure. Some of the symptoms and signs of a collapsed lung are shortage of breath, pain in the chest and a dry cough. A collapsed lung can get cured on its own provided it is a minor injury. However, we suggest you undergo medical treatment with the assistance of a doctor.

  • Lung cancer

Another severe cause of dry cough can be lung cancer. When you have lung cancer you tend to cause blood sputum. Also, you experience a calf that lingers and versions with time. Sometimes, there is chest pain leading to extreme coughing and deep breathing.


There can be several causes of chest pain and dry cough. It is better to go here and get yourself treated to find the root cause of the dry cough. Besides, we recommend you not keep the dry cough and get treated especially if it is lingering for a long time.

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