4 Varieties of Cough to Be Mindful of This Winter: Effective Treatment Methods

Coughs tend to be more common in the winter season. Below are four different types to be mindful of, along with treatment strategies.

4 Types Of Cough To Watch Out For This Winter: How To Treat Them
4 Types Of Cough To Watch Out For This Winter: How To Treat Them

When you cough, you’re essentially expelling irritants or mucus from your airways. This natural reflex clears your throat and lungs and can be triggered by various factors, such as infections or allergies. The type of cough you experience can provide insight into the underlying cause and severity of your condition. Moreover, factors like the sound, duration, and overall impact of the cough can also provide valuable information. Here are four prevalent types of coughs to be aware of:

Dry Cough

Dry Cough

A dry cough occurs when there is no mucus or phlegm to expel, often accompanied by a scratchy or ticklish sensation in the throat. Common triggers for this type of cough include irritants like smoke, dust, or allergies, or it may signal viral infections like the common cold or flu. Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify a dry cough as a key symptom of COVID-19.

Wet Cough

In contrast to a dry cough, a wet cough, also referred to as a productive cough, is defined by the presence of mucus or phlegm. Individuals experiencing this type of cough often feel the urge to clear their throat frequently. It frequently signals an underlying respiratory issue such as bronchitis or pneumonia, as outlined by Medical News Today.

Furthermore, the duration of your cough can provide insights into its cause. While an acute wet cough typically subsides within three weeks, a chronic cough can persist for more than eight weeks, according to research findings.

Barking Cough

Barking Cough

The barking cough, also referred to as croup, is frequently observed in children. This condition involves an infection of the upper airway, including the nose, nasal cavity, and throat, resulting in a distinctive loud barking sound when coughing. Additionally, it can lead to symptoms such as a hoarse voice, fever, and breathing challenges. StatsPearls Publishing reports that approximately 3% of children aged between six months and three years are affected by this condition annually.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough

As per the CDC, pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a severe illness that can affect individuals of all ages but poses a significant risk to infants. It is a highly contagious infection, with an estimated 24.1 million cases worldwide annually, leading to over 160,000 deaths in children under the age of 5, according to the US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

The Mayo Clinic notes that it earns its name from the distinctive cough it induces, characterized by a series of hacking coughs followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that resembles a “whoop.”

Ways to Address Coughs

Ways to Address Coughs

Managing Coughs

The treatment approach for coughs varies depending on their root cause, but there are several strategies to alleviate symptoms:

  • Rest: Getting ample rest can help the body recover and reduce coughing episodes.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and herbal teas, helps keep the throat moist and soothes irritation.
  • Humidifiers: Using humidifiers in dry environments can ease dry coughs by adding moisture to the air.
  • Cough suppressants: Prescription cough drops or syrups containing cough suppressants can help alleviate persistent coughing fits.
  • Decongestants: Decongestants are useful for relieving nasal congestion, which may accompany coughs, particularly those caused by respiratory infections.


Coughs come in various types, each requiring tailored treatment approaches. Understanding their characteristics and pinpointing underlying causes is crucial. If your cough persists, it’s essential to seek professional guidance for thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.