Difference Between Dry Cough And Wet Cough

The difference between a dry cough and wet cough is easy to understand once we learn its characteristics:

Difference Between Wet Cough And Dry Cough

Wet Cough

Dry Cough

Also Called

Productive cough

Non productive cough

Mucus

A wet cough almost always brings up mucus from the respiratory system (hence called productive cough)

A dry cough does not bring up mucus (hence it is called non-productive cough)

Primary Causes

Wet coughs are usually caused by common cold or the flu.

A dry cough is usually a gag reflex often caused if there is an inflammation or irritation in the respiratory tract. However, upper respiratory infections are also known to case dry coughs.

Other Causes

Other conditions that can cause a wet cough include pneumonia, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, and acute bronchitis

Other causes of dry cough can include acid reflux. As stated above, air-born pollutants and irritants such as smoke and dust can also induce dry coughs. It can also be caused due to sore throat, tonsillitis, croup, sinusitis, allergies, and GERD. Moreover, current studies have shown that dry cough is a common symptom of COVID-19.

Symptoms

A wet cough is often accompanied by symptoms such as a runny nose/ blocked nose/ or fatigue.

Depends on the underlying condition. (For example, dry cough can be a symptom of COVID-19 – and this illness has a host of other symptoms such as loss of smell or taste)

Duration

Wet coughs can either be acute or chronic. Acute wet coughs can last anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks. Chronic wet coughs tend to last longer than 8 weeks (4 weeks or more in children)

Dry coughs usually last for a few weeks after you recover from a flu or common cold. If dry cough is caused by an irritant or inflammation in the lungs, it will be persistent until the respiratory tract is clear.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dry Cough and Wet Cough

What is a dry cough?

A cough which does not bring up mucus is called a dry cough. It is also called a non-productive cough.

What is a wet cough?

A cough that almost always brings up mucus from the respiratory system is called a wet cough. It is also called a productive cough.

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

As the name indicates, a dry cough does not bring up mucus while a wet cough does. Moreover, a dry cough is usually a gag reflex often caused if there is inflammation or irritation in the respiratory tract (if you experience a tingling sensation in the back of your throat, this becomes more apparent). On the other hand, a wet cough is usually the result of the common cold or flu.

Explore more differences between articles, or other fascinating concepts – from the morphology of flowering plants to the anatomy of the human body only at BYJU’S Biology.

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