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Itchy Throat and Cough

Madhura Pandit
Itchy, dry throat accompanied with cough can be a symptom of common cold, flu, allergy, respiratory disorders, etc. As it is usually not a severe condition, it can be treated with home remedies, in most cases.
Itchiness and irritation in the throat often evokes a desire to cough and hence, these symptoms are experienced simultaneously. These symptoms are often accompanied by other symptoms like runny nose, fever, and headache. However, viral or bacterial throat infection is not the only cause for a throat infection. There can be many other reasons for the same.
➡ Causes

Mucus, a protective sticky fluid, is present in the throat in order to protect it against foreign irritants. If the mucus gets inflamed or dried, the nerves present in the throat get exposed and irritated. This causes itchiness and dry cough.
Common Cold
Common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. As the name suggests, it is commonly found in people of all age groups, all over the world. Runny nose, congestion, and sneezing are the other symptoms of common cold.
Influenza (flu)
Influenza (flu) and common cold are often confused with each other and used interchangeably, because of their common signs and symptoms. But, there is a difference between the two. Although itchy throat is also observed in case of flu, the cough is non-mucus producing and dry.
Respiratory Disorders
Severe respiratory disorders like bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis can also cause throat irritation, followed by severe cough. When suffering from these diseases, other symptoms like fever, chest pain, weakness, fatigue, etc., are also observed.
Exposure to Smoke/Industrial Pollutants
Air pollution is another significant reason for chronic throat irritation. Exposure to vehicle smoke, dust, industrial pollutants, and gases lead to itchiness or irritation in the throat. If it continues for a long time, it can even result in chronic bronchitis.
An allergic reaction to any particular food type, smoke, dust, or irritants can lead to these symptoms. Allergies to pollen, mites, and molds are quite common. Similarly, food allergies can also cause itchiness in the throat.
Dryness in the throat due to dehydration, shouting, or singing loudly for a long time, sinusitis, chronic pharyngitis, etc., are some other causes of itching throat and cough.
➡ Treatment

Cough drops, lozenges, cough syrups, and other medication helps in treating cough caused due to viral and bacterial infection. In case of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases, antibiotics and other drugs are used. Respiratory disorders are severe and hence, require medical treatment. Antihistamines can also be used for treating allergies.
If any other symptoms are observed, or if you experience discomfort for more than a couple of days, then you should consult the doctor.
➡ Remedies

There are several home remedies to cure sore throat and cough. They loosen the mucus and soothe irritation.

► Gargling with lukewarm saltwater is the best home remedy to treat throat irritation. Add ½ teaspoon salt to 1 cup of lukewarm water and gargle twice or thrice a day.
► Hot drinks like tea soothe an irritated throat quickly, without any side effects. You can have herbal tea, green tea, lemon tea, black tea, or your regular tea with milk. Adding 1 or 2 slices of ginger to the tea while brewing will provide additional benefits.
► Lemon and honey have analgesic properties. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon honey to 1 glass of lukewarm water and have it once or twice a day.

► Similar to tea, other hot drinks can also provide relief from sore throat. Chicken soup or spicy vegetable broth are equally effective in providing relief.
► Turmeric is also a natural herb with several medicinal properties. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric to a glass of warm milk and have it in the morning or at night every day.
➡ Prevention

✔ Improving your immunity is the best measure that can be undertaken to prevent sore throat and cough. Including vitamin C rich foods like lemons, oranges; honey, etc., in your daily diet will be helpful.

✔ Having milk with honey or turmeric regularly also helps in prevention of throat infection and many other minor infectious diseases.
✔ If irritation in throat is caused due to exposure to dry air, you can install a humidifier.

✔ It is recommended to consult the doctor and check if you suffer from any allergy. In that case, make sure that you avoid the allergen as much as possible.
✔ You should stay away from people suffering from flu or other infectious respiratory diseases as they are contagious.

✔ Dehydration can be prevented by having adequate amounts of water every day.

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.
The simplest thing to remember is that a healthy diet helps in improving the immune system of the body; which in turn, prevents several diseases and disorders. Take care!

Disclaimer: This story is meant only to provide information and should not be substituted for proper medical advice.