Itchy Throat Remedies: What Causes It & 6 Ways to Make it Stop

December 11, 2023

An itchy throat is a common symptom that can have a variety of causes. It can make daily living uncomfortable as it’s difficult to talk or swallow with an irritated throat. Explore itchy throat remedies that can help soothe symptoms from allergies or other itchy throat causes.

Causes of an Itchy Throat

A number of factors can cause an irritated throat. Allergies and viral infections are the most common. Some of the other common itchy throat causes include:

  • Allergies: Your throat may become itchy if you’re allergic to something in your environment, like pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander.
  • Viral Infections: Viral infections like the common cold or flu can cause an itchy throat.
  • Dry Air: When the air is dry, your throat may become irritated and itchy. This can also happen when you become dehydrated.
  • Acid Reflux: Also known as heartburn, acid reflux is when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. The acid can irritate the throat and make it feel itchy.
  • Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections like strep throat can cause an itchy throat.
  • Inhaling Pollutants: Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can cause an itchy throat. Also, inhaling an overabundance of chemicals, cleaning products, or pesticides can irritate the throat.

Sometimes an itchy throat is a sign of a more serious condition like cancer, thyroid problems, asthma, HIV or AIDS, or an autoimmune disorder like lupus. That’s why if the symptoms persist for longer than a week, it’s important to see a doctor.

Itchy Throat Remedies

Fortunately, you can try several home remedies to relieve an itchy throat.

  1. Gargle With Salt Water: Gargling with salt water can help soothe an itchy throat and reduce inflammation, especially if bacteria or a virus is causing the irritated throat. The salt reduces mucus buildup in your throat, which causes irritation.
  2. Drink Warm Liquids: Drinking warm liquids like tea or broth can help soothe an itchy throat. This also helps keep you hydrated and prevents uncomfortable mucus buildup in your throat.
  3. Use a Humidifier: Using a humidifier helps moisten the air, which keeps your throat from drying and causing irritation. It’s especially beneficial if your sore throat is from allergies. A humidifier also helps prevent mucus from drying in your throat and making it itchy. A hot shower with steam can produce similar results to a humidifier.
  4. Cough Drops or Lozenges: Most cough drops have menthol, eucalyptus oil, or honey in them. Menthol relieves sore throats and chest congestion, while eucalyptus oil helps clear airways, and honey coats and protects the throat from irritants.
  5. Avoid Irritants: If you’re experiencing an itchy throat due to an allergy, you’ll want to understand what you’re allergic to and avoid it. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting or at least avoiding smoking until your itchy throat subsides.
  6. Over the Counter (OTC) Medicines: Many OTC medicines can provide relief from an itchy throat from allergies. The most common medications for this are antihistamines, such as Zyrtec.

When to See a Doctor

If your itchy throat persists for more than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or a rash, it’s important to see a medical provider. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and determine the underlying cause of your itchy throat. Then, depending on the cause, they may recommend treatments like antibiotics, antihistamines, or corticosteroids.

Let AFC Help

Whether you need seasonal allergy treatment or have a virus causing the itchy throat, American Family Care medical providers are here to help you find relief. We offer extended and weekend hours, so you can come whenever it’s convenient for you. Plus, there is no need to make an appointment. Just find your nearest AFC location and walk right in.

We look forward to helping you find relief.

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