Category: 

What Causes an Itching Throat?

Article Details
  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Roughly one-fifth of the world's stock of gold - worth over $200 billion USD - is stored under the streets of London.  more...

September 30 ,  1949 :  The Berlin Air Lift ended.  more...

The most common causes for an itching throat are allergies, or hay fever, and environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals. An itching throat may also be caused by the common cold or other upper respiratory infections. In many cases, an itching throat may be the direct result of a cough. Smokers often suffer from itching throat, as do heavy drinkers. Talking for long periods or screaming may also cause these symptoms.

Air pollution may irritate sensitive mucus membranes that line the throat and pharynx. Particles of smoke, dust, and other debris that become airborne contaminants may cause irritation of the throat. This often leads to an itching throat and dry cough.

In addition, dry air often can cause a dry, itchy throat. This typically occurs during cold winter months, rather than summertime. The lack of humidity, especially in homes with central heating, may cause irritation in certain individuals. As dry air conditions become frequent, an insufficient production of mucus, which normally lines the throat and membranes, can cause an itching throat.

When a person is ill due to infection, he may become dehydrated. This can happen when he does not consume adequate fluids. Dehydration may reduce mucus production, thus causing a feeling of itchiness in the throat. The way to counteract this is by increasing fluid intake. There are throat drops or lozenges that may provide relief from an itchy throat, and drinking tea with honey may provide soothing relief as well.

Ad

Individuals who smoke tobacco products may suffer from chronic dry mouth and itchy throat. The nicotine in tobacco causes the irritation many people experience. The way to eliminate dry or itching throat due to tobacco use is to quit smoking. Quitting smoking will also reduce chances of developing other more serious health conditions, such as cancer or emphysema. Drinking alcohol and consuming excessive amounts of caffeine may also produce similar symptoms of scratchy throat and itchiness.

For some professional singers and public speakers, itching of the throat becomes a regular issue. This is generally due to straining the vocal cords, which often will cause hoarseness and itching of the throat. Coating the throat with honey is a remedy many people use to help ease associated discomfort caused by singing or speaking frequently.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

literally45
Post 3

@ddljohn-- Sometimes this sort of thing happens without infections or allergies. It happens to me often in winter. I work outdoors and the cold air can really get to me sometimes. Breathing it in is pretty tough on the throat. As soon as my throat starts itching in winter, I know I'm getting a sore throat because of the cold.

Like you said, the best thing you can do in this situation is sip on hot teas and use lozanges. Cough drops are great too but there are some herbal lozanges that work even better. They can actually prevent a sore throat if used when the itching starts. I love the ones with honey, very soothing.

SarahGen
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I'm not sure. It could be an infection, or allergies like the article described. It could even be irritation because of something you ate. I once swallowed a big piece of bread very quickly. The crust was quite tough and it hurt my throat. I had an itchy and irritated throat for a few days afterward.

If you don't have other symptoms that normally occurs with allergies like sneezing, runny eyes and nose, etc., it's probably not allergies. See your doctor if it continues.

ddljohn
Post 1

I've had an itchy throat for several days and I have no idea why. I keep clearing my throat because of it. It's very irritating. Sipping on liquids helps. I even wake up at night now to sip on water because of the itch. What could it be? Is it an infection coming on?

Post your comments

exception 'Exception' with message 'error writing captcha: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 'PRIMARY'' in /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/Captcha.php:44
Stack trace:
#0 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/controls/public/ControlDiscussionPostBox.php(324): Captcha->createCaptcha()
#1 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(104): ControlDiscussionPostBox->preRender(false)
#2 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): Control->render()
#3 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/tpl/default-nocustom-lu/pages/public/article/article.htm(526): Control->__toString()
#4 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(300): require('/ssd/www/wisege...')
#5 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(309): Control->requireTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom), true)
#6 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(131): Control->renderTpl('pages/public/ar...', Object(PageArticleCom))
#7 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/FormDataControl.php(87): Control->renderTemplate()
#8 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(109): FormDataControl->renderTemplate()
#9 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/ScriptPage.php(50): Control->render(false)
#10 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Control.php(149): ScriptPage->render()
#11 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/framework/classes/Page.php(97): Control->__toString()
#12 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(443): Page->processRequest()
#13 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/_core/classes/public/PublicFrontController.php(7): PublicFrontController->renderPage()
#14 /ssd/www/wisegeek/public_html/index.php(11): PublicFrontController::run()
#15 {main}