What causes dry cough and stuffy nose?
probably infectious etiology
since both of you have respiratory symptoms, the most likely cause is an infection. The stuffy nose implies a viral infection, particularly since you haven't mentioned fever. Infections cough may become prolonged and last for even up to 2 months after the infection (post-infectious cough). Such cases are difficult to treat. The usual means are not effective in most patients. I'll mention some treatment options...
- cough suppressants, is the most obvious choice but they are not usually very effective particularly for post-infectious cough. Besides the common suppressants, some more potent ones can be chosen. These drugs contain opioids.
- antibiotic treatment with macrolides may treat some - not very common - bacterial infections that cause protracted cough like pertussis for example.
- ipratropium inhalers have been shown to be effective in some patients with post-infectious cough but the majority won't experience any improvement.
Your doctor has an important part in determining the best treatment for you. First of all, the doctor has to exclude the most serious causes of cough by clinically examining you, including heart failure, pulmonary embolism, etc and some usually less serious (but requiring different treatment) like allergic reactions, bronchial asthma, etc. A chest X-ray might be required depending on the findings.
So in conclusion, the aforementioned options may provide some relief to selected patients but not all patients will benefit from them. It's up to your doctor to select the appropriate option for you and also to exclude the most important cause of your symptoms.
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