You'll no doubt be familiar with that tell-tale scratchy tickle in the throat that marks the start of a dry, or tickly, cough. It occurs when the throat and upper airways become inflamed – due to virus particles from the common cold or an irritant such as dust or smoke. Quite simply the brain triggers the cough as a reflexive response to try and remove the source of irritation.
A relentless dry or tickly cough can be more than just annoying. It can cause the throat to feel sore, and make your back and chest muscles feel strained too. The good news is that this kind of cough isn't helping the body recover in any way, so you can feel free to suppress it.
Treating a Dry / Tickly Cough
Soothe the irritation with a hot drink. According to the Common Cold Research Centre hot drinks help because they coat the throat and relieve the irritation that causes coughing. They say that bitter flavours such as lemon and citric acid can be particularly beneficial.