The dry cough is non-productive, tickling and irritating. This kind of cough is not associated with excessive production of phlegm - the airways are not congested - and there is often a tickling feeling in the throat. A dry cough may develop into a cough with phlegm as the underlying illness progresses.
Dry cough has many possible causes. It can be triggered by allergies or chemical and environmental factors including cigarette smoke, dust or extremely dry air, such as in an air-conditioned building. Heartburn can sometimes cause dry cough. It can also be the sign of a beginning cold: a dry cough may later turns into a productive cough as the cold develops.
A dry cough can be quite painful as the repeated unproductive coughing can make the throat sore and strains the muscles of the chest and back. This kind of cough ought to be soothed effectively as it serves no beneficial purpose and puts an extra strain on the airways. A reliable, proven antitussive or cough suppressant medication may help - ask your medical professional for advice.