Having a persistent (or chronic) dry cough is a sure indication of hyperventilating as a habit. Dry cough is prevalent for people with bronchitis, asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and numerous conditions of the lungs. Coughing for these individuals occurs more following physical exertion, during sleep and after meals.
Ari moves through the nasal cavities at the speed of 8 km/hour during normal breathing at rest. Air is rushed through the airways at 120-160 km/hour, though, when one coughs through the mouth. Such a forceful exhalation causes the person to have immediate CO2 losses and mechanically stresses the airways.
This removal of CO2 from the airways brings about a condition called alveolar hypocapnia. Following is bronchospasm (constriction of the airways), an irritable state of the cough receptors, and an increased mechanical friction in the air passages from intense air movement. Later, the breathing center resets to lower values and the irritation of the airways and overbreathing becomes chronic.
How does this happen? First, hyperventilation causes one’s body-oxygen content to be reduced due to alveolar hypocapnia, being a CO2 deficiency of the lungs. This has been proven by hundreds of scientific publications. Also, decades of medical research have proven that CO2 is important for calming nerve cells, making them less irritable. The urge-to-cough reflex is presents itself in part due to this effect of a CO2 deficiency, in addition to some stimulus in the upper airways or chest (e.g., the presence of mucus).
– chronic inflammation and infections of the respiratory system because of immune system suppression brought about by hyperventilation, with hypoxia being a key negative factor
– airway constriction following hypocapnia (because CO2 is a bronchodilator)
– in the larnyx and tracheobronchial tree, an irritability of the cough receptors (because these nerve cells are deficient in CO2).
When someone coughs through the mouth, extreme movements of air easily rupture or otherwise damage tiny air sacks in the lungs called alveoli, which are responsible for gas exchange in the lungs. Those with emphysema or bronchitis should especially avoid coughing.
Solely because of mechanical effects, coughing brings about:
1) physical irritation of the inflamed and constricted airways because of too much friction from sudden differences in pressure and huge air movements
2) because of quick changes in air pressure in lung tissue (the lung tissue being very weak), destruction of tiny fragile air sacs (the alveoli).
The more one coughs, the worse his symptoms will be, due to a lack of CO2.
Dry Cough Home Remedies
Practicing the Buteyko method, over 180 Russian doctors developed easy breathing exercises to lessen the desire to cough and ultimately remove coughing altogether, including bouts of dry coughing. The (simple) solutions can be found here: Stop Your Cough At Night.
When individuals slow down their automatic breathing so as to get 20 seconds or more for the body oxygen test, it was noticed by these same doctors that such people do not have a problem with coughing at all. Taking such an action (slowing down one’s basal breathing pattern) is the ultimate Dry Cough Home Remedy.