An itchy throat is the main sign of allergies, allergic reaction, or early illness. Inhaled irritants can aggravate your throat, causing it to feel scratchy and uncomfortable. Allergies are one of the most common itchy throat causes. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance called an allergen triggers an immune system response in your body.

Allergies can range from mild to severe. An itchy throat can indicate a milder, yet uncomfortable, allergic reaction. Inhaling pollutants such as can also lead to an itchy throat. Infections, such as a common cold or strep throat, can start as an itchy throat before progressing to soreness and pain.

What are the symptoms of an itchy throat?

An itchy throat may feel:

  • itchy
  • swollen
  • scratchy

An itchy throat feels uncomfortable, and it can feel as if you need to clear your throat frequently. It’s important to distinguish between the symptoms of an itchy throat and similar symptoms that may indicate other conditions. For example, an itchy throat does not feel rough or raw, or make you feel as if you can’t breathe.

Why do I have a Scratchy Throat?

A sore or itchy throat and cough are two of the most common symptoms that bring people to a doctor. These itchy throat causes occur together, as irritation that causes your throat to be sore can also trigger a cough.

A wide range of conditions can lead to cough and throat irritation, but the duration of these symptoms and the presence of other accompanying symptoms can help determine the underlying problem. A local infection is most common, but other possibilities include allergies, environmental irritants and certain long-term conditions.

Itchy Throat Causes

Itchy and scratchy throat

Itchy throat causes

The inner walls of the throat are covered with mucosal membrane containing nerves, which may be easily irritated by polluted air, food, inflammatory or allergic reaction.

Mucosal glands secrete mucus, which covers the throat walls, thus protecting them and allowing smooth passage of the air and food. When these glands do not secrete enough mucus, for example, due to dehydration, medications or dry air, throat nerves become itchy.

Allergies

These are one of the most common itchy throat causes and causes of cough. Inhalation of allergy-provoking substances such as pollen, mold spores or pet dander can trigger an immune response and cause your throat to feel itchy. Allergies also commonly inflame the lining of the nose and sinuses. Symptoms of this inflammation include a runny nose, nasal congestion and postnasal drip, which can irritate the throat and cause coughing.

An itchy throat and cough caused by allergies are often accompanied by itchy, watery eyes and runny nose but not by fever. All of these allergy symptoms can often be relieved with over-the-counter antihistamine drugs. If your symptoms have lasted longer than 7 to 10 days, it is more likely to be allergies than a cold. Allergy symptoms typically come on suddenly and are often seasonal.

Infections

Infections of the upper respiratory system frequently also are itchy throat causes. The common cold is often the culprit, it causes a runny nose and postnasal drip that irritates the throat and triggers a hacking cough. The symptoms of a typical cold peak in around 3 days and then gradually disappear within a week or so. Bacterial sinus infections have same symptoms, but they last longer and may be accompanied by fever and facial pressure or headache.

Throat infection can directly cause itchy throat, leading to discomfort and a dry cough as well. Most throat infections are viral, but the bacterial infection called strep throat is also a culprit. Acute bronchitis, which is an infection of the lungs, causes a persistent, hacking cough that can make the throat feel scratchy.

Irritants

Exposures to inhaled irritants are itchy throat causes too. A big number of airborne particulates and fumes can irritate the throat. Tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke, is a common example. Other irritants include factory emissions, traffic fumes, chlorine or other cleaning solutions. Inhaling these types of chemical irritants can inflame the lining of the throat and result in discomfort and itchiness.

Dry Throat

Dry throat often appears together with dry eyes, mouth and skin. Common causes are cold windy weather, sick building disease from excessive indoor heating or air condition, stuffed nose and breathing through mouth, acute or chronic throat inflammation, dehydration, Caffeine in coffee, sodas and energy drinks and alcohol. They are all itchy throat causes.

Loud speaking or Singing; Prolonged speaking, singing or yelling may leave you with sore itchy throat that may need few days to resolve. Abovementioned measures should be considered; pain killers are rarely needed.

Foreign Body

A piece of fish bone or a seed may stick in the pocket above the epiglottis, or a sharp piece of glass may be stabbed in the throat wall. Foreign body should be tried to cough out, or swallowed with the help of gargling water. Painkillers may be used to relieve pain from the itchy throat.

Psychological Causes

Repeating dry cough without apparent reason is an obvious sign of psychologically induced cough. The coughing person feels the need to attract attention. This act only is enough to cause itchy throat.

Itchy Throat due to Disorders of Near Organs

Sinusitis symptoms are blocked nose and pain in Para-nasal sinuses. Characteristic symptom in chest cold is pain under the breastbone during coughing.

Acute bronchitis may develop as a complication of a chest cold or flu and also is among itchy throat causes. Chronic bronchitis is common in smokers. In both cases, coughing results in dry itchy throat.

Bacterial pneumonia is severe infection of the lungs. Increased frequency of breathing and heartbeat, malaise, chest pain, productive cough and sweating are main symptoms. Treatment is with rest, antibiotics and fluid replacement. Treated pneumonia should resolve within a week.

Atypical pneumonia is caused by viruses or other microbes, such as Mycoplasma pneumonie or Chlamidia psittaci. Insidious onset, low grade fever, dry cough, vague chest pains, and prolonged course are main symptoms. Treatment is with avoiding hard work, and treating the cause.

Tuberculosis, lung parasites, like Echinococcus, or any other lung disease with cough may cause itchy throat.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease, marked by excessive secretion of saliva, sweat and dense bronchial and gastrointestinal secretions. Repeating lung infections and constant productive cough are characteristic. Many children die before adulthood. Treatment includes clearing of airways and fighting with infections.

In pericarditis, inflammation of the heart sac, this may press upon the nerves that innervate the throat and thus irritate it. The same may happen in aneurysm or dissection of the thoracic aorta.

Throat Itch in Systemic Diseases; Throat may be affected in systemic connective tissue diseases, like Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE or vacuities which all are itchy throat causes.

Tumors – Tumors in the pharynx or larynx may cause itchy throat. Small benign tumors are common in singers or other people who speak loudly a lot. Malign tumors are common in adult smokers after 50 years of age. Treatment is by surgical removal of a tumor.

Lymphomas, metastases in neck lymph nodes, or cancers in the neck and chest may also trigger cough.

Disorders in the Neck

Enlarged thyroid or lymph nodes, abscess, tumor, dislodged tissues after an injury, or fibrous tissue after a surgery may press upon the throat from outside and are itchy throat causes as well.

GERD

In gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid from the stomach comes up into the throat and irritates it, causing itching and burning feeling known as heartburn.

Treating of hyper-acidity with anti-acid drugs, or proton pump inhibitors is essential. Eventual underlying infection of the stomach with bacterium has to be considered.

Vomiting

After vomiting, the throat may itch due to irritation by gastric acid. If vomited content is inhaled, it may cause inflammation of the larynx and lungs.

Itchy Throat and Ears at Night

Itchy throat and ears causes

Itchy throat and ears

Itchy throat, ears or eyes are quite common symptoms that most people would experience some time in their life. In most cases, these might indicate allergies of some sort. Usually similar symptoms will strike the nose also because the respiratory system is the front line of defense for the body and, when it gets exposed to potential invaders, it will react with defenses of inflammation more often at night.

There can be other causes for these symptoms, however. Inflammation and itching can accompany exposure to seriously harmful chemicals. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses may cause symptoms too. People with allergies are more sensitive to all reactive chemicals and pathogens.

How to Deal with Itchy Throat and Ears

The treatments for itchiness of throat, ears and noses depend on the underlying causes. If your symptoms are due to common cold, it may go away several days without any treatments. However, if allergy is the case, then measures should be taken to help the condition.

  • Allergy medications: Your physician may advise the use of medications for treating allergies of the respiratory system. Typical prescriptions include antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants, and medications which inhibit leukotrienes.
  • Treating underlying causes: Other inflammatory issues can contribute to symptoms of rhinitis. Eczema and asthma will worsen nasal allergies. Inflammation tends to be generalized in the body, so other diseases could be making your symptoms worse.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots): Your physician will, by injection, expose you to small amounts of the substance to which you are allergic to and gradually desensitize you to the allergen. This therapy is highly effective and practical, especially for allergies to dander from cats, dogs or other pets and pollen allergies.
  • Sinus rinsing: Rinsing out the sinuses with a distilled, sterile solution can be an effective home treatment. You can get a Neti pot, which is widely available in health food stores and pharmacies, or use a squeeze bottle. But either way, make sure to use distilled or thoroughly filtered water and clean any nasal irrigation device you choose to use.
  • Stay away from allergens: It might be impossible to avoid allergens completely, but the symptoms of itchy throat and ears can be greatly reduced if you stay away from the allergens in the table below.

Why is my Throat Itchy and Making me cough?

An itch in the throat may seem to be a small problem, but it can be extremely irritating when it becomes very frequent. You may feel like scratching your throat because it tickles and itches from inside but no matter how many times you swallow or how much you scratch from the outside, the itch and the discomfort do not seem to pass.

An itchy throat causes become worse even with cough. No matter what you do, getting rid of such an itch can be very difficult as also very frustrating. If the tickling in the throat becomes prickly, it is most usually because of dryness in the throat. Although it is a little annoying, it can be got rid of by keeping the throat moist.

An itchy throat and cough can both be addressed by using the same remedies. Since itchy throat with cough are caused by dryness in the throat, keeping the throat moist can work well for both of them. For a tickle in the throat along with coughing at night, drink a cup of warm ginger tea slowly before you go to bed. Ginger can soothe the throat and can also help with the tickling in the throat and the cough. When you drink this tea, you can be sure of a good night’s sleep.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, a tickle in throat with cough and allergies warrant a visit to the doctor. In such a case, do not try to self-treat. Instead, go to a doctor to get a full check-up done.

How do you get rid of Scratchy Throat?

How to get rid of itchy throat

Over-the-counter painkillers

A scratchy throat can be a royal pain in the throat. Like blinking, we never notice how much we swallow until we start paying attention to it, and when it hurts. It is kind of difficult not to pay attention. But before you go getting down about how long you’re going to have to suffer with it, consider taking some action-relief may be close than you think.

Throat Lozenge

Most throat lozenges have methanol, an element that’s able to quietly numb your burning throat. Throat lozenges can offer short-term relief from the itchiness and scratchiness. If you’re experiencing a scratchy throat and cough, consider using cough drops and candies. They keep the throat lubricated by raising your saliva production. However, cough drops and candies do not offer a long lasting relief and you may require relief again soon after using them.

OTC Pain Killer

The Center for Disease Control points reveals that, viruses are to blame for the majority of sore throat cases. Antibiotics cannot treat viral infections, rather, the virus runs its full course in you and that’s why over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are important. OTCs like Aleve and Advil can help minimize the soreness and irritation in your esophagus.

Keep Your Body Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is crucial when you want to get rid of itchy throat causes. In fact, keeping your throat hydrated is the main goal of most scratchy throat remedies. Dehydration makes your body produce less mucous and saliva than is sufficient to sustain ample natural lubrication to your throat. This worsens the swelling and irritation.

Having a sore throat should prompt you to taking more fluids in order to relieve the prickle. Dehydration causes an already painful situation to be more problematic. Water is great, and so is a warm soup and warm tea.

Switch on the Humidifier

Staying in a dry environment is one of the most common itchy throat causes, particularly when it’s stinging. Turning on the humidifier will add moisture to your room, making the air bearable to the soft throat membranes that need the moistness to remain healthy and make you feel better.

Dry Cough Itchy Throat Home Remedies

You’ve probably had to deal with a dry itchy throat causes at one point in your life. Itchy throats aren’t normally a telltale symptom of a severe condition, more so when it is a combination of scratchy throat and cough. Having a scratching and burning throat can be utterly depressing. Here are ten effective ways to get rid of a scratch throat without immediately rushing to your physician

Gargle Warm Salt Water

When our throats hurt, regardless of what causes it, it’s because the cells in the mucous membranes have become swollen and inflamed. By gargling with salt water you decrease the swelling, as salts primary function is to draw out water, which in turn shrinks the swollen cell and eases the pain. It also helps wash away the excess mucous and allows your stuffy nose to drain properly.

Honey and lemon

Typically a Hot Toddy helps a sore throat -particularly one accompanied by a cold- for 2 reasons. The honey and lemon soothes your throat, while the alcohol helps you sleep. I personally leave the alcohol out of mine as my mother did when she made her version for me growing up. Whether or not you use it is up to you, but keep in mind that steering clear of alcohol when you’re under the weather is usually best.

Mix up an ACV drink

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is probably right up there with garlic but some people swear by it. Its high levels of acidity can kill bacteria quite efficiently, and when mixed with honey it can soothe the soreness in your throat as well.

If you don’t want to swallow it (and it does have a strong taste) try 2 tablespoons of ACV and mix with ½ cup warm water. Gargle once a day.

Suck on Garlic

Garlic is a natural remedy that can kick a sore throat right in its painfully swollen. The reason lies in the garlic’s allicin, a compound that can kill the bacterium that causes strep and fight the germs causing pain and irritation.
Place 1 piece of garlic in your cheek and suck it like a cough drop. Occasionally crush your teeth against it to release the allicin- there’s no need to actually bite it. Try this once daily.

Honey

Itchy throat home remedies

Using honey to get rid of itchy throat

Enjoying a drop of honey is another remedy for a dry scratchy throat. Taking warm tea that’s honeyed is another way of soothing itchy throat causes. Additionally tea offers another benefit of hydrating your body, which goes a long way to treating an itchy throat. Brew up some tea, your throat needs it.

You can never go wrong with honey when you’re suffering from scratchy throat and cough or other sickness. Research has it that honey is a highly effective cough suppressant and it’s comparable to prescription cough medications.

Steam Shower

A humidifier is not the only thing that can give you moistened air. Giving yourself a steam shower and taking deep breaths of the steam can cool off the swelling membranes, and lessen the scratchiness of your sore throat.

Get Enough Rest

Getting up early and staying up late into the night in order to fulfill the day’s obligations can deny your body precious time to recover. You certainly don’t want that itchy throat to develop into a full-blown flu, right? Then give your body ample time to rest. Apart from taking plenty fluids and eating healthy, also consider staying indoors in the night rather than going out.

Know When to See Your Physician

When you experience serious pain as you swallow, or you start nauseating, or you start to vomit, or if the sore throat progresses into a high fever, then it would be prudent that you pay a visit to your doctor. The dry scratchy throat could be a symptom of a serious condition.

More references

  1. Causes of an itchy throat:
  2. Itchy throat causes and treatment:
  3. Causes of itching throat and cough:
  4. Itchy throat and ears causes:
  5. How to get rid of tickling throat:
  6. Getting rid of scratchy and itchy throat: