Unproductive Coughing During Daytime

Q: I am 56 years old male. When I sleep I don’t cough. As soon as I stand up I have an unproductive cough that goes on and off all day. Any thoughts.  Thank you for your help.
-By: Bob


Looks like there are some factors relevant only in the day time that are causing cough. 

Some of the causative factors may be as follows:

  • Your cough may be allergic in nature. Many people are allergic to certain environmental pollutants or pollens (which are plenty in this season). The body may respond to these allergens by coughing them out. Allergic cough are often dry. Usually, some chest tightness may also be felt with this cough.
  • Dry air is another factor that can cause unproductive, off and on cough. Ideally, the air to be breathe should be a bit humidified. If you feel that the air around is dry these days, try moistening it with a humidifier.
  • Certain medications can cause a dry cough. They include angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers. These medicines are used to regulate blood pressure. If you are currently taking any of these medicines, talk to your doctor about your cough.
  • Post Viral Cough– It is common to have a dry cough for a few weeks after a viral infection. Such cough get alright on their own.


You may take the following measures to minimize your cough:

  • Avoid going to heavily polluted areas for some time. If you have to go, you may cover your nose with a soft cloth.
  • Try steam inhalation at least thrice a day. This will moisturize the inner lining of your respiratory tract and reduce the cough reflex.
  • Taking a teaspoon of honey before bedtime is usually beneficial in cases of unproductive coughs.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.