Itchy Throat and Cough

2017-08-08 12:58:37


Itchy throat is a sensation of itchiness or irritation experienced in the throat due to a variety of causes. It often evokes a desire to cough and hence, itchy throat and cough are experienced simultaneously by people. Itchy throat and cough are often accompanied by other symptoms like the runny nose and headaches.


There is a protective sticky fluid covering the throat that helps in protecting it against foreign irritants. Sometimes due to certain reasons like the drying off of the mucus or inflammation, the nerves present in the throat get exposed and irritated. This results in itchy throat and cough. The following are the other causes of itchy throat and cough:


Common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is commonly found in people all over the world. Apart from itchy throat and cough, runny nose and sneezing are the other symptoms of common cold.


Influenza (flu) and common cold are often mistaken with each other as nearly all of the symptoms are similar. But there is a slight difference between cold and flu. Although itchy throat is also observed in the case of flu, the cough is non mucus producing. i.e., dry cough is observed.


Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria which affects the lungs. Extreme coughing is a symptom of tuberculosis preceded by itchiness of throat.


Air pollution is the greatest causes of itchy throat and cough in this century. Exposure to vehicle smoke, dust, industrial pollutants and gases also result in irritation of the throat. If it continues for a long time, it can even result in chronic cough or bronchitis.


Itchy throat and cough can also be due to an allergic reaction to any specific eatable or irritant. Most people are allergic to pollen, mites and molds. Similarly, food allergies can also cause itchiness in the throat.


Dry throat, shouting or singing loudly can also cause itchy throat. It is also one of the many symptoms of diseases like sinusitis or bronchitis.


Finding the cause for itchiness is very important before looking for the suitable remedy. Cough syrups and medications can be helpful if it is caused due to common cold or flu. On the other hand, antibiotics are needed in the case of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases. If the person is allergic to certain foods, it is better to avoid them completely. Antihistamines can also be used for treating allergies. Over-the-counter cough lozenges or sprays can also be helpful in treating itchy throat and cough.


On the other hand, there are several home remedies to cure itchy throat and cough. Gargling with lukewarm saltwater is the best home remedy, which has been used since a long time. Ginger tea or a mixture of lemon and honey in lukewarm water are other effective itchy throat remedies. Also, the age old chicken soup can also be equally effective. If symptoms of itchy throat and cough persist for a long time, it is better to consult the doctor.


Itchy throat and cough is rarely a sign of any serious medical condition, but it is always better to try to prevent it as much as possible. A simplest thing to remember is that a healthy diet helps in improving the immune system of the body and hence, in preventing the discomfort.


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张力平,IT行业资深分析师。Zhang Liping, aka Sevencastles,a senior analyst in IT industry and the owner of Seven Castles,'a Shanghai blog featuring news and views of great interest'.