A tickle in the throat is also regarded as postnasal drip which is mainly due to dry, polluted air and inhaling cold. If you are often coughing due to external factors then you should inspect the quality of the air before leaving your house. Itchiness in the chronic throat could also be a potential sign of having a medical condition. If you feel uncomfortable in the throat then this is known as a tickle in the throat.
This is due to the imbalances in the mucous membranes of the throat or the trachea and oesophagus. A tickle throat generally indicates a medical condition or some issues in the environment you are thriving in. Some symptoms can be felt due to the presence of extra mucus in the throat. Sometimes it is due to an irritant that comes from outside like smoke.
Although most of the time a tickle in the throat gets normal on its own. When the condition is severe and the tickle doesn’t stop you should consult a doctor for the medical diagnosis and proper treatment.
Why do we feel a tickle in our throat?
There are multiple causes for a tickle in the throat. Some of them are detailed below:-
- External factors:-
Sometimes a tickle in the throat happens due to outside environment like:
- Dry air
- Air pollution due to smoke, factory pollutants and traffic
- Second hand smoke from the cigarettes
This condition occurs due to a sore throat. When the pharynx is inflamed this condition crops up. One of the common reasons for it is when a bacteria or virus enters into the body resulting in cold or d or group A streptococci
You might be experiencing a tickle in the throat due to laryngitis. Some people even lose their voices due to laryngitis. The occurrence of this condition is possible due to the straining of the vocal cords by screaming or yelling in a loud environment.
#3. Common cold
Common cold indicates some issues in the upper respiratory tract which includes your throat. Due to the common cold, you can feel trickles in the throat as a result mucus would run down to the backside of the throat. The symptoms mostly last between 7-10 days. Although a severe cold at times indicates conditions like sinusitis or influenza.
A host of different allergies could be one of the reasons for the tickle in the throat. Allergies are often the result when antibodies are released by the body as a defence from the foreign substance. You might have an allergic reaction due to stings of the insect, foods, mould, pollen, medicines and pet dander.
A tickle in the throat is often due to postnasal drip or sinusitis if it is accompanied by:
- Nasal congestion
- Chronic Cough
- Pain in the face
This is also regarded as a sinus infection. This condition usually gets back to normal after several weeks or months. The beginning of sinusitis might be from a viral infection but over time, might also develop a fungal or bacterial infection. If your common cold lasts more than a week or two then this could be due to sinusitis.
#6. Acid Reflux
Many people are not aware that stomach acid can cause a tickle in the throat. If you are experiencing acid reflux or GERD which is gastroesophageal reflux disease then the acid present in the stomach can enter the oesophagus. This further results in a tickle in the throat.
This often takes place when the opening between the oesophagus and stomach fails to close properly. This can take place due to overeating, consuming too much junk food, lying or sleeping just after eating.
Many people often experience this and treat it accordingly in the home. Although the frequent acid reflux should be treated as well as diagnosed by the doctor to avoid any further consequences.
#7. Throat Cancer
A tickle in the throat could be due to more severe conditions such as throat cancer. Your chances are quite high if you consume alcohol or smoke often. Individuals who have human papillomavirus can also have throat cancer. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Loss of the weight
- Lump near the throat
- Changing of the voice
You should consult a doctor as soon as possible if you are facing such symptoms.
How to treat tickles in the throat at home?
This could be treated at home if it is not that severe. Although you should consult a doctor if you are experiencing other severe symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, high fever etc.
Most people take the help of cough drops to deal with itchiness or soreness in the throat. Although cough drops constitute menthol which can increase the itchiness in your throat in the long run.
Well, tickle in the throat is not the only problem that we face in our daily life. Crick in neck has several issues as well. Check out this article to know more about the same.
According to the study, it is found that through daily consumption of too many mentholated coughs drops an individual would cough very often.
Although some of the home treatments are as follows:-
#1. Gargle with saltwater
Take a glass of water and add half a teaspoon of salt to it. You should gargle it in the mouth for 5-10 minutes. Spit out the water in the washbasin after you have gargled.
#2. Suck throat lozenge
Some lozenges, as well as hard candies, stimulate the production of the saliva which would increase the moisture in your throat and would stop the tickle. You can also try an OTC which is over the counter medication to relieve your pain.
#3. Take extra rest
It is recommended to avoid pushing the body too hard if you think that the tickle is the result of your body defending the virus. You should have a proper 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
#4. Consuming clear liquids
You should drink more and more water and even warm beverages such as herbal tea. You should avoid consuming alcohol as well as caffeinated beverages. You can experience dryness in the throat and dehydration.
#5. Addition of the moisture and heat to the air
Dry and cold air can make your throat feel uncomfortable. You can even add your humidifier to the room and bump the thermostat to the normal temperature of the room.
#6. Know your triggers
Many people don’t know that a few elements can cause a tickle in the throat. Some of them are allergens such as dust or pollen.
Many people consume hot tea with honey to deal with cough and it is also effective in treating sore throat. Consumption of plain honey is recommended to get effective and immediate results. It is recommended to take two teaspoons of honey to treat different types of cough it also provides relief from the tickling sensation.
Although it is advised to never give honey to the babies since it can lead to botulism which is a kind of an illness that occurs due to food poisoning.
#8. Ice creams
While warm drinks help in treating sore throat for many people but some people find comfort in consuming cold stuff to treat the itchiness in the throat. The consumption of ice chips, popsicles and cold drinks can be very helpful. Such stuff would also keep your body hydrated and also reduces the pain as well as itchiness in the throat
When should you see a doctor?
Any kind of infection related to upper airway irritation demands a consultation from the doctor. Moreover, some of the chronic conditions which cause inflammation in the upper airway demand a proper evaluation as well as treatment by the doctor. If you feel irritation in your upper airway or cough for more than seven to eight weeks then you should immediately seek medical treatment from the doctor.
- Imaging – A doctor might instruct you to have a chest x-ray for assessment of all the causes which are irritating your airway.
- Intranasal steroids – Sometimes the allergy causes a tickling sensation in the throat. Your doctor might recommend you to take an intranasal steroid spray such as fluticasone.
- Inhalers – Sometimes you feel irritated due to the obstruction in the airway then the doctor would advise you to take an inhaled corticosteroid for effective results.
- Antibiotics – Sometimes an individual feels irritated either because of an acute or chronic bacterial infection that is present in sinuses or the airway. The doctor might advise you to take antibiotics.
- Acid Suppressants – One of the common reasons behind irritation is due to acid reflux. You might be advised to take acid suppressant medication for improving your condition.
- Change of the medication – Sometimes there’s a problem in the airway due to some side effects from the medication, then the doctor would change your prescription. Although it is recommended to never change or stop the medication without the advice of the doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Why do I often feel a tickle in my throat during the night?
A: One of the common reasons behind a tickle in the throat is irritation in the upper airway. The reasons could also be due to numerous different infections or certain inflammatory conditions. This irritation is mostly regarded as postnasal drip which takes place due to an infection in an upper airway that can be felt for a few weeks. If severe, you should consult a doctor.
Q2. Why sometimes the tickle in the throat does not stop on its own?
A: The irritation in the upper airway can be experienced for 6-8 weeks along with the other symptoms. Sometimes the irritation in the airway is caused by the irritants or allergens present in the environment. Until and unless you get away yourself from the allergens you would feel the symptoms. GERD also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease and COPD which is chronic obstructive airway disease are two of the common chronic diseases which can be responsible for irritation in the upper airway.
Q3. Why do I cough while feeling a ticklish sensation in the throat?
A: Due to various infections, allergies and other environmental factors irritate the upper airway. This is why you feel a tickle in your throat which later leads to coughing. Some of the common reasons are asthma, sinusitis, chronic obstructive disease as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Q4. How long does it take a tickle in the throat to heal?
A: Usually the irritation in the airway due to the viral infections usually heals within 6-8 weeks. The cough persists after an infection gets cleared due to the irritation in the upper airway. Although the presence of cough does not mean that there’s still infection. When the cough is because of a chronic condition or an allergy it may be experienced after the removal of an allergen or if the condition is cured.
Q5. Does lying down after eating the food can cause a ticklish sensation in the throat?
A: The presence of excessive mucus in the throat can lead to soreness, irritation as well as itching. When a person lies just after eating the food the post nasal drip tends to increase. During the night or just after waking up in the morning this condition might worsen. Exposure to various allergens during the night might worsen the condition of the sore throat.
An itchy throat is considered to be a condition where an individual finds difficulty in talking or swallowing because of physical irritation. There are various causes of tickles in the throat but among them, allergies, as well as infections, are popular reasons.
You might have itchiness in the throat due to excessive smoking, yelling or simply being dehydrated. Almost every cause of irritation results in this. Your throat would either become dry, itchy or sore.
Most of the symptoms of a tickle in the throat or sore throat gets back to normal within a week or two. If it doesn’t become normal then you should consult with a doctor to know about the problem.
The concern of treating tickles in the throat is to reduce painful feelings, irritation, as well as discomfort in the area which is mainly affected until the condition, is properly healed. The treatments of itchy as well as sore throats focus on decreasing the irritation in the throat or decreasing the inflammation.
Due to the risk of Covid-19 virus, tickle in the throat can also arise due to the virus. It is important to check for all the symptoms related to Covid-19. Therefore, check out this article to know whether you are diagnosed with the same or not.