We speak of dry cough when there is no production of mucus or phlegm.
In this case, cough is triggered by irritation and inflammation of the upper airways by viruses, bacteria or irritant substances.
It can be particularly distressing and generally occurs during the first stages of viral infections of the nose and throat.
In productive cough, there is an increase in production of mucus or phlegm.
Productive cough can be:
- an evolution of dry cough, when inflammation of the upper airways leads to production of denser, more viscous mucus which drips from the nose towards the pharynx, where it stagnates.
- a consequence of acute or chronic infectious diseases of the lower airways (trachea, bronchi and lungs) which cause production of mucus.