An itchy throat can occur in most individuals from time to time. It is usually an indication of hay fever and other allergies or even an early indication of a viral or bacterial infection. In most cases, an itchy throat can be managed using simple over-the-counter measures and home remedies.
What are the usual causes?
- Allergic rhinitis or hay fever – this is one of the most common causes of an itchy throat
- Food allergies – a reaction generally starts within minutes or a few hours after ingesting the trigger food
- Bacterial and viral infections – strep throat due to bacteria can trigger an itchy throat as well as viral ailments such as the flu or common cold
- Drug allergies – certain medications such as penicillin and other antibiotics can trigger a reaction in some individuals
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Side effects of certain medications
Home care for an itchy throat
The measures used to deal with an itchy throat is dependent on the exact cause. Nevertheless, these are some of the effective remedies that are beneficial such as:
- Salt water gargles
- A spoonful of honey to coat the throat
- Nasal spray
- Lozenges and cough drops
- Warm tea with lemon and honey
Over-the-counter allergy medications as well as nasal sprays can be used to alleviate an irritated throat due to allergies. When it comes to common cold, an over-the-counter cold medication can be given.
- Cessation of smoking
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
- Increased intake of fluids
- Regularly wash hands during the flu and cold season
- Avoid opening the windows and going outdoors during the allergy season
When to consult a doctor
Consulting a doctor is not always required for an itchy throat. Generally, an itchy throat can be managed well with self-care measures in most cases.
It is best to consult a doctor if the indications persist longer than 10 days, becomes worse or do not respond to self-care measures.