Why Does My Throat Itch? How Do I Keep It From Itching? Cheap Household Tips and Tricks
Everybody has experienced itchy throat sometime in their lives. It can be described as a dry, irritating feeling experienced in the gullet that may develop to cough.
The sore throat is a common illness, so you should definitely not worry. In many cases, throat itches are not dangerous but it may be an indicator of a more serious medical condition. They can be accompanied by other symptoms such as, but not limited to, runny nose, headache, fever and pain when eating or speaking.
From the probable causes to the most effective remedies, all will be summarized here.
Leading causes of itchy throat
To start to comprehend what causes throats to itch, one has to have at least a basic understanding of the basics in throat biology. Throats have inner walls covered with mucosal membrane that contain nerves, which can be affected by a certain food, air that is polluted or allergies.
On the same wall are mucosal glands that secrete natural, body-made mucus. This thick fluid is for the protection of the throat wall and the smooth passage of air, food and liquids though the throat. The normal function of the mucosal glands can be hampered by factors such as dry air, dehydration, and certain medicine among others. Here are the common causes as below:
1) Throat overuse
Excessive and forceful use of your throat throughout the day can also lead to a dry throat. This occurs after singing loud, incorrect pitching, prolonged speaking, shouting, excessive laughter, coughing or after long periods of breathing through your mouth due to certain illnesses.
2) Throat infections
Infections are the most common cause of itchy throat. The throat infections varies from unnoticeable to severe. Usually the itches are an indicator of upper respiratory tract infections. Itchy, sore throat can be caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
Viral infections that lead to throat itches include, but is not limited to, common cold, infectious mononucleosis, flu, measles and mumps. They affect the upper respiratory tract, namely the pharynx and larynx. They can lead to serious dry coughs caused by a sore throat.
Transmitted from birds or poultry, bird flus can be the cause of itchy and dry cough. Bird flu can be life-threatening when it gets to your lungs.
Other viral related conditions that can trigger throat itches include Herpes simplex, which can be contracted from direct contact to humans infected and Dengue fever from mosquito bites.
The condition can also be started by bacterial infections. Bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza are often the cause of strep throat (infection of the tonsils) or infection of the epiglottis (more common in children). Other bacterial infections such as anthrax and diphtheria are some of the prevalent causes of throat itches In Africa and South America. It is also common in South Asia.
Bacterial infection can stay for long lengths of time and can lead to formation of abscesses beneath the mucosal layer in pharyngeal wall. This, in turn, results to fever and dry coughs caused by severe sore throat.
Fungi may cultivate in your mouth and throat leading irritation in the throat. These types of fungi often minute and hard to see. This is common among people with weaker immune systems. Fungal growth in the mouth and throat is assisted by cancer, diabetes, and chemotherapy among other causes.
3) Allergies to certain food and other allergens
Allergic reactions have been linked to throat itches based on studies. Other symptoms of allergies accompanying include itchy lips, hives and swelling face.
Some persons can be allergic air-borne allergens such as pollens, pet dander, molds, and dust mites. Such allergen can cause irritated, pink and watery eyes, runny nose and dry throat.
Also, when you suffer from asthma, breathing through your mouth can trigger it and cause the throat to itch.
4) Dry throat
The drier your throat is, the more likely it is to itch. This ailment usually occur along with dry mouth, eyes and skin. Common triggers so far for dry throats include dehydration, excessive indoor heating, low-humidity air, clogged sinuses and under-active salivary glands especially in aged persons.
More conditions that can lead to dry throats include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Excessive intake of salt
- Drinking soda and coffee
- Medicine like urine treatment drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants etc.
5) Alien bodies in the throat
Occasionally, the itches might be due to foreign bodies sticking on the epiglottis or on the throat walls. Common foreign materials like fish bones, hard rice, pieces of glass or metal from food containers and other dangerous objects on the throat wall can be the cause of excessive coughing and sore throats
6) Itchy Throat after vomiting
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when gastric juice or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your esophagus. The backwash or reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD. This will lead the itching and burning sensation known as heartburn.
Heartburn can also be commonly experienced after vomiting. Vomited content containing stomach acid from your stomach will pass through your throat making it itch. It is also good to be aware of the effects inhaled vomited content. If vomited content is inhaled, it can lead to irritation and inflammation of larynx and lungs.
7) Cancers or tumors
Extreme cases of inflamed throats can also be due to tumors present in the larynx or pharynx. Many singers and people who speak louder than average do bear small tumors. Older adult smokers age 50 and above also often develop malign tumors. Throat itches are common in people with lymphomas or neck/chest cancer.
8) Disorders of neighboring organs
Occasionally, disorders of other organs or muscles near the throat can be the reasons for itchy throats. Sore throats can be the side effects of lung, heart, kidney or pancreas disorders. These disorders may include:
- Chest cold
- Atypical or bacterial pneumonia
- Bronchitis (The inflamed bronchial tubes produce a lot of mucus)
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium)
- Cystic fibrosis (inherited disease of the secretory glands)
- Ozena (chronic inflammation mucosa in the nose or throat)
- Tuberculosis (disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis)
Home Remedies and Simple Preventions That You Can Do Right Now
A) Cheap Household Remedies
There are plenty of home remedies that can relieve your symptoms. It will depend on the severity of the underlying cause of the throat itch. It should be understood that, for severe cases of sore and throat itches, a consultation to a doctor should not be ruled out. Though usually effective, it is usually a good idea to find the root cause of the itchy throat.
Common house remedies that were proven effective are as follows:
- Gargle salt water
- Drinking a solution of horseradish
- Try to eat some honey
- Drink apple cider vinegar
- Drinking turmeric with milk
- Drinking an ample amount of water every day
- Prepare a solution of honey, lemon and ginger then drink
- In case you are living or sleeping in dry environment the try and use humidifier
These natural remedies form the best cure for this condition since they help to lubricate and soothe the walls of the throat. Some of them also limit the bacterial growth in your throat.
B) Throat protection
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes. One must be knowledgeable of various habits and activities to keep your throat from itching.
- 1. Revert your bad habits to good ones.
As we have seen, there are a myriad of factors that can lead to your throat itching. Such factors are known to cause dehydration that can result to sore, throat itches and the condition can be severe if there won’t be a proper reaction. Here are some tips that can help avoid it:
Try to stop or limit drinking alcohol and smoking. Plan ahead so that you will not be in the mercy of withdrawal symptoms if you are addicted to such substances. Remember these itches due to these two factors can be very serious not to mention towards your overall health. Moderation in everything is key.
You should also consider avoiding drinks such as coffee, soda and other over-flavored drinks that lead to dehydration. Such drinks can lead to throat itches because of their taste and sugar content.
- 2. Acquire allergy medicine
Allergic reaction to certain foods, medications or pollen grains can lead to symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing and throat itches.
In such circumstances, you should identify all the substances you are allergic to. You can easily go to your doctor and ask for an allergy test. You can then ask for information regarding allergies if the test would come out as positive. You can ask how to prevent allergic reactions and be cautious in what you digest and touch.
Antihistamines can also be used to treat allergic reactions. You can also purchase regular medicine to ingest to prevent violent allergic reactions.
- 3. Use your voice in moderation
As mentioned, excessive use of your voice such as shouting, singing loud, too much laughing and breathing through your nose for a length of time can cause the itchy throat. So if you have confirmed that one of these can be the reason for your condition, please give your throat a break. Give your throat ample rest by not talking, singing, or laughing after a straining your voice.
There are also jobs that call for a lot of talking. If your job is in this nature then make sure you always have a bottle of water to maintain your throat lubricated in order for it not to get dry and for your throat muscles to move comfortably.
You can get medical treatment for your itchy throat and cough over-the-counter while other medicine can only be acquired through a doctor’s prescription. The kind of medicine your doctor will prescribe for you will depend on the underlying cause of the itches you are experiencing.
Some of the over the counter medicine for dry cough and throat itches include decongestants, cough drops, antihistamines, gargle mouthwashes, and throat sprays. In case of the itchy throat due to bacterial infection, antibiotics can be the best remedy. Though it must be used with caution because misuse may cause the bacteria to develop a resistance to the antibiotic. Antihistamine is another effective medicine for this condition connected to allergies.
When to see a Doctor
If you have exhausted the list of household remedies above and your throat itch still persists, please see your doctor immediately. Remember such throat itches could be a symptom of severe medical conditions. Your doctor will carry out a proper procedure to know what it is causing your cough and then recommend the best treatment for your particular case.