Tickling cough or persistent cough – what is the difference?

You want to get rid of your cough, what now? Coughing can be very annoying, especially if you don’t know what exactly you can do about it. Everyone knows it, you go to the drugstore or pharmacy to get a drink against your cough, and then the saleswoman asks: “Do you have a tickle or a persistent cough?” We often don’t know the difference between the two, and is a tickly cough also the same as a dry cough? And is a persistent cough the same as a productive cough? Below you can read which cough you have, how to recognize it, what you can do about it and when to call the doctor.

What is a persistent cough?

With a persistent cough there is tough mucus in the airways, this mucus is too tough to cough up properly. Because your body has difficulty coughing up the mucus, the itch remains. That is why there is often confusion with a persistent cough and tickly cough because a persistent cough can also be very itchy in the throat.

How to recognize a persistent cough?

A very simple rule here is, are you coughing up phlegm? Then you have a persistent cough. Stuck cough is often accompanied by shortness of breath and a tight feeling in the chest. A persistent cough also often occurs with a cold. A productive cough is actually comparable to a persistent cough, the difference is in the coughing up of mucus, with a productive cough the mucus is easier to cough up than with tough mucus, sometimes a cough syrup can provide that extra push. to give.

What can I do about a persistent cough?

If you have a persistent cough, you can try the following tips:

  • Buy a cough syrup based on bromhexidine or acetylcysteine
  • Place half an onion next to your bed, this will open the airways
  • Apply a cold balm to the chest
  • Avoid dairy products, which often make the mucus tougher
  • Steam with warm water (NOTE: Do not use boiled water as you may burn your face)
  • Do not take cough suppressants such as codeine or noscapine, as this will ensure that you do not cough and therefore remain short of breath.


What is a tickly cough?

Coughing cough, also called dry cough, is constant coughing because the throat is irritated, but by coughing you irritate the throat more. And so you end up in a vicious circle.

How do you recognize a tickly cough (dry cough)

With a tickly cough (dry cough), the throat is completely dry and there is no mucus in the throat. The throat feels raw and irritated. This cough often occurs due to, for example, dry air, smoky rooms or the flu.

What can I do about a tickly cough?

If you have a tickly cough, you can try the following tips:

  • take a cough-stimulating drink based on codeine or noscapine
  • Drink tea with honey
  • Keep the air moist by placing containers of water on the heater
  • Sucking on licorice and/or throat lozenges
  • Avoid smoking, which can irritate the throat more


When to go to the doctor?

  • If the cough does not go away within two weeks
  • If the cough keeps coming back
  • A doctor’s visit is recommended for the elderly and infants
  • If you cough up blood.
  • If you cough up mucus that is green in color


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