An itchy throat can be quite irritating, but if it’s causing you trouble you’re not alone – in fact, a scratchy or itchy throat is a very common ailment. More often than not, an itchy throat isn’t too serious, but it can be symptomatic to other ailments, which may require medical attention.
Here we will outline the common causes for an itchy throat along with the natural and home remedies you can try in order to obtain relief.
What causes itchy throat?
Infections are the most common cause of itchy throat, so oftentimes it is a primary symptom. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and can occur in any individual – healthy or not.
Inhaled particles or even food allergies can result in an itchy throat. Itchy throat due to allergies can also be accompanied by watery eyes, runny nose, and shortness of breath. If you consumed something and your throat feels tight or you are unable to breathe, seek medical attention immediately.
When inhaled, pollution and chemical irritants can contribute to an itchy throat. Firsthand and secondhand smoking are also common causes of itchy throat.
Singing or shouting
Excessive use of the vocal cords either due to singing or yelling can result in itchy throat.
Gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD)
Acid reflux that comes up into the esophagus as a result of GERD can contribute to itchy throat.
Sometimes, our throat can become dry. Some causes of dry throat include cold windy air, excessive indoor heating or air conditioning, breathing through the mouth, dehydration, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Treatment for dry throat can help itchiness.
If a foreign object gets stuck in the throat, such as a small bone or even a piece of glass, it can cause irritation and itchiness. Coughing up the object or even gargling salt water may help to dislodge it.
A psychologically-induced cough can cause the throat to feel itchy even if there is no apparent cause for the itchiness. A person may also do this for attention.
Many disorders that affect other organs may also cause an itchy throat. Some of these disorders include sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, pericarditis, and lung parasites.
Disorders of the neck can also contribute to an itchy throat. These include an enlarged thyroid, enlarged lymph nodes, abscess, tumor, or even an injury.
After vomiting, you may notice an itchy throat due to acid that has come up from the stomach.
Treatment options for itchy throat
Medical treatment options to help relieve throat itchiness depend on its cause. Some common treatment options for itchy throat include painkillers, cough medicine, corticosteroids, antihistamines, antibiotics, and antifungals. It’s important to keep in mind that many of these treatments may result in side effects, so always use prescribed medications as directed.
Home remedies for itchy throat
Aside from medications, there are home remedies you can try to ease an itchy throat. For starters, it is recommended that you drink water, as your throat may simply be dry. Here is a list of other effective home remedies to help an itchy throat.
- Gargle salt water
- Eat some honey
- Make a honey, lemon, or ginger tea
- Drink apple cider vinegar – you may wish to dilute it in water
- Use a humidifier
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid talking too much, singing for prolonged periods of time, or shouting
- Know and avoid your allergy triggers
- Use throat lozenges
If the cause of your itchy throat is more serious, speak to your doctor right away.