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Respiratory Physiotherapy Tips for Dry Cough related to mild and moderate COVID-19

What to do to relieve dry cough when you have Mild and Moderate COVID-19 ?

Mirella Veras, Physiotherapist, PhD


Many people are asking me about physiotherapy techniques for reliving the symptoms of COVID-19. The most frequent symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and fatigue, and you may feel like you have a flu or cold. Cough is also present in around half of people infected by COVID-19.

Considering that COVID-19 irritates the lungs, the cough is usually dry and persistent. Others symptoms also are shortness of breath and muscle pain (I will write another blog about what to do if you have these other symptoms).

A dry cough is a cough where no phlegm or mucus is produced and a wet cough is

also known as a productive cough, is where cough produces sputum (phlegm or mucus from the lungs or sinuses). The cough may sounds soupy and may come with a wheezing or rattling sound and tightness in your chest.

A dry cough usually is triggered by a tickle in the back of your throat and the sound is similar to a barking or hoarse sound. This happens because the airway is not constantly changing with the cough.

Currently, there are no medically proven ways to reduce a dry cough from COVID-19, but here are some tips to relive it:

1. If you feel that you have a persistent dry cough, you can try to control it by swallowing, taking sips of water, or breathing through it.

2. Take steamy showers, which helps thin the mucus building up in the nose or nasopharynx. The steam created by a warm bath or shower can help ease coughing by adding moisture to the air.

Note: In the case of dry cough, taking deep breaths and coughing is unlikely to help

Precautions when you cough:

1. Cough and sneeze without contaminating others. Remember to wear a protective mask if you are coughing or sneezing around other people. The mask will help to prevent contaminating others people or objects around you.

2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, but If you don't have a tissue, you can cough or sneeze into your elbow or on your upper arm.

3. Throw the tissue in the garbage in a closed trash can.

4. When coughing or sneezing, immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer.

5. Remain at a safe distance from others.

Also remember Stay Home and follow your health care provider’s instructions.

Continue to monitor your health and if your symptoms are getting worse or severe or you feel like you need medical attention, call back your healthcare professional.


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