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Itchy Throat: : What Can It Be And What Can Be Done?

Itchy throat can arise in various situations such as allergies, exposure to irritants, infections or other situations that are normally easy to treat.

In addition to the itchy throat, coughing is also very frequent, which in most cases is a defense of the body to this irritating stimulus, although other symptoms may occur, such as swelling in the throat or a runny nose, for example.

The most common causes generally include:

1. Dehydration

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Dehydration is an insufficient amount of water in the body, due to factors such as insufficient fluid intake, diarrhea, vomiting, heat stroke or excessive sweating. Dehydration can be accompanied by symptoms such as itchy throat, thirst, dry mouth, dry skin and eyes, decreased urine output and blood pressure, and in more severe cases, increased heart rate and dizziness.

What to do: the treatment consists of ingesting isotonic drinks and solutions with salts for oral rehydration, which are found in pharmacies, or making a homemade serum at home by mixing 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 coffeespoon of salt in a liter of water and after cooling down, drink throughout the day. In addition, water-rich foods such as watermelon, orange or pineapple can also be eaten. 

2. Allergic rhinitis

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose, caused by an allergic reaction, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, dry cough, and itchy nose and throat. This disease usually appears after contact with allergic substances such as dust, animal hair, pollen or some plants, and is therefore more frequent during spring or autumn.

What to do: allergic rhinitis has no cure, but it can be treated with the use of antihistamine drugs such as loratadine, cetirizine or desloratadine, for example, in addition to nasal washing with saline and avoiding contact with as much as possible. substances that cause allergy. 

3. Food allergy

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Food allergy is an exaggerated inflammatory reaction to a specific substance present in food, which can manifest itself in different regions of the body such as the skin, eyes, nose or throat. In addition, swelling may also occur in various parts of the body, reaching the mouth, eyelids and tongue and causing severe breathing difficulties.

Drug allergy is very similar to food allergy, however it is easier to identify the allergen, as the allergic reaction occurs shortly after taking the specific drug.

What to do:  the treatment consists of administering antihistamines such as loratadine or cetirizine, or corticoids such as prednisolone, but in case of a severe reaction, it may not be enough and for this reason, the emergency room should be immediately followed, because the allergy can progress to anaphylactic shock. 

It is also very important to take a food allergy test in order to avoid the foods that are causing the problem.

4. Exposure to irritating substances

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Exposure to irritating substances, such as tobacco smoke or car exhaust, cleaning products and other toxic or irritating substances, can irritate the throat and can also cause itching and coughing in the area.

What to do:  Avoiding exposure to substances that cause itchy throat is the most effective measure. However, if this is not possible, you can use calming tablets that have honey, lemon or ginger in their composition, or gargle with solutions based on water and salt.

5. Tonsillitis or cold

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Some respiratory infections such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, or a cold can make the throat itchy before progressing to more severe symptoms such as pain or inflammation at the site. Symptoms may also include a runny nose, cough, fever, itchy ear, chills and discomfort.

What to do:  The treatment depends on the type of infection, and generally, in the case of tonsillitis or bacterial pharyngitis, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics such as amoxicillin, erythromycin or penicillin, and analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and inflammation, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. 

In the case of a flu or viral pharyngitis, treatment consists of treating symptoms such as inflammation, pain and fever, with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin or novalgin.

In addition, it may also be necessary to use dry cough medicines such as Dropropizine or phlegm cough medicines such as Mucosolvan and antihistamines to alleviate allergic symptoms such as desloratadine or cetirizine.

6. Gastroesophageal reflux

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Gastroesophageal reflux is the return of stomach contents to the esophagus towards the mouth, causing pain, unpleasant taste and in some cases itchy throat due to irritation caused by the acidic contents of the stomach. This happens when the muscle that is supposed to keep stomach acid from getting out of the stomach doesn't work properly.

What to do: The treatment for reflux consists of taking antacids that neutralize the acidity of the stomach, preventing burning in the esophagus, or prokinetics, which speed up gastric emptying, thus reducing the time that food remains in the stomach. 

7. Side effects of medications

Itchy throat: what can it be and what to do

Some medications can cause itchy throat as a side effect and should not be confused with an allergic reaction, which is very common in people who take IECAS for example, which are medications used to lower blood pressure.

What to do:  This side effect usually diminishes over time, however, if it persists and causes a lot of discomfort, it may be necessary to replace the medication. In addition, taking a spoonful of honey, gargling with salt and water solutions, or drinking a tea with ginger and lemon can all help alleviate the itchy throat.

(Reference -

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