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Types of Coughs

Coughing starts when part of your breathing passage becomes inflamed or irritated by matter such as dust, smoke or mucus. A cough is simply a reflex that tries to remove the irritant and to clear the airway.

Broadly speaking there are two main types of cough:

Productive coughs which produce excess mucus or phlegm, which can be described as 'mucus' or 'chesty'

Unproductive coughs which produce no mucus or phlegm, which can be described as 'dry' or 'tickly'

For more details on the different types of cough please click on the cough types below.

BENYLIN® chesty cough


When you have a chesty cough, phlegm is produced to help clear your airways, and you may cough up mucus or phlegm.

Read More about Chesty Coughs

BENYLIN® mucus cough


When you’ve got a mucus cough, it can feel as if your cough is wet. A mucus cough is a productive cough which means mucus is produced to help clear your airways.

Read More about Mucus Coughs

BENYLIN® tickly cough


If you have a dry & tickly cough, your cough may feel tickly and you won’t produce mucus or phlegm.

Read More about Dry & Tickly Coughs

BENYLIN® dry cough


A dry cough doesn’t expel any mucus or phlegm from your throat or airways. A dry, hacking cough can be irritating and may leave your chest muscles aching.

Read More about Dry Coughs

BENYLIN® Children’s cough


Coughing helps clear away phlegm from the chest or mucus from the back of the throat. If the child is feeding, drinking, eating and breathing normally and there’s no wheezing, a cough isn’t usually anything to worry about.

Read More about Children’s Coughs


NHS Guidance of when to see a GP is:

  • you have had a cough for more than 3 weeks (persistent cough)
  • your cough is very bad or quickly gets worse – for example, you have a hacking cough or cannot stop coughing
  • you feel very unwell
  • you have chest pain
  • you're losing weight for no reason
  • the side of your neck feels swollen and painful (swollen glands)
  • you find it hard to breathe
  • you have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or diabetes

See a GP urgently if you're coughing up blood.