Skip to Content
Home > Health Information > Health Library > Dry Coughs
Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems.
Some people start coughing when they breathe very dry, heated air. This can be caused by environmental irritation or allergies. This type of cough may be more noticeable when you first turn on your furnace in the fall, because dust and other irritants that have collected over the summer are blown into the air.
Chronic dry coughs are usually caused by irritation from cigarette smoke, environmental irritants, allergies, postnasal drip, or asthma. Several chronic lung diseases also cause a dry, hacking cough. Some people cough out of habit for no clear reason.
Gastric reflux may also cause a chronic dry cough. Usually you will also have other symptoms, such as heartburn, burning in the throat, or increased saliva.
Less common causes of a dry cough include:
A doctor can evaluate your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment.
Current as of: June 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
June 9, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
See important information from Billings Clinic on Non-discrimination and Interpreter Services.
Billings Clinic is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action (EOE/AA) e-verify employer.