Causes and Remedies for Allergy-Related Throat Itchiness

When you talk or swallow, an itchy throat can feel scratchy, ticklish, and uncomfortable. It's possible that this could lead to a sore throat, but there is relief available.

The itching in your throat could be due to a number of different things, but allergies are a common one1.

While our immune system effectively wards off potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses, it can develop an allergy to otherwise harmless substances2. Symptoms, such as an itchy throat, can be triggered by things like pet dander and pollen.

Treatment for an itchy throat could involve any of these approaches, depending on the underlying cause:

  • Take a table spoon of honey
  • Soaking your mouth and throat in salt water
  • Consuming lemon-and-honey-flavored hot drinks
  • Inhalers for the nose
  • Cough drops and lozenges.

On the other hand, these may not always be useful. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments available for itchy throats and allergies.

What Caused My Itchy Throat

An itchy throat can be brought on by a number of different things, many of which are common and harmless.

Some of the most typical explanations for a scratchy throat are:

  • Itchy throat is a common symptom of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), which affects 40-60 million Americans3.
  • Itchy sore throats are a common symptom of viral infections like the common cold, the flu, and others.
  • Throat itching can be a symptom of a bacterial infection, such as the more serious case of strep throat. If your throat pain gets significantly worse, you may have strep throat.
  • You can become dehydrated if your body loses more water than you replace through drinking and eating. An itchy throat can develop in a warm, dry environment due to a lack of saliva in the mouth and throat.
  • Medications can cause unwanted side effects such as dry coughing and a scratchy throat. Furthermore, a medication allergy is a possible contributor.
  • Irritation of the throat is a common symptom of acid reflux, also known as heartburn, which occurs when stomach acid travels backwards up the food pipe. More episodes of this condition may occur when the patient is lying down5.
  • Inhaling smoke from cigarettes, other people smoking, or a campfire can irritate the throat.

Causes of a Scratchy Throat and Allergies

Having trouble understanding why your allergies make your throat itch Toxins, bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted visitors are dealt with by your immune system, which then uses antibodies it produces to flush them out of your system. Antibodies also attack harmless substances and irritants, which can cause allergy symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing, and an itchy throat.

Common allergens that can cause a scratchy throat include:

Knowing the typical signs of an allergic reaction can aid in diagnosing the problem and selecting the most effective treatment. If you also experience any of the following with your itchy throat, it could be an allergy symptom:

Common symptoms of rhinitis include a stuffy or runny nose, as well as an itchy throat. Histamines produced by the body in response to an allergen cause blood vessels to swell, resulting in nasal congestion and an increase in mucus, both of which contribute to a runny nose5.

A sore throat and a case of the sniffles

An itchy nose and sneezing are common symptoms of allergy irritation. Sneezing is a defense mechanism that attempts to expel foreign particles from the nasal passages after the immune system alerts the brain to their presence (such as pollen or dander). Examine the factors that cause your sneezing when exposed to pollen.

A runny nose and itchy eyes

You may also feel a burning sensation in your throat and experience watery or itchy eyes6. Histamines are released in the body during an allergic reaction, and this includes the eyes, the nose, and the throat if they are affected by the allergen. This may cause irritation and/or tearing in the eyes.

Fixing an Itchy Throat

Knowing the root cause of your itchy throat can help you find lasting relief. If you suspect allergies are to blame, there are measures you can take to alleviate your itchy throat7.

  • Don't risk it; instead, keep an eye on the pollen forecast and stay indoors if it looks bad. If you have allergies, it's best to avoid being around smoke or animals.
  • Maintain a healthy environment by paying attention to your home's indoor air quality. Allergens in the indoor air can be reduced by using air conditioning with high-efficiency filters.
  • Remove and launder outdoor clothing, vacuum with a HEPA filter, and wipe down surfaces to reduce allergen exposure.

A number of common household items can be used to alleviate the discomfort of an itchy throat:


Tea made from herbs like lemon balm and ginger root may help ease your sore throat.


In order to clean the air and reduce allergy symptoms


You could try a tablespoon of sugar to calm your scratchy throat*.


Just mix a half teaspoon with eight ounces of water, gargle for 10 seconds, and then spit it out.


It's possible that a saline solution rinse or steam inhalation from a hot sink or bath will alleviate your symptoms.


*Honey shouldn't be given to infants under 1 year old.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications come in a variety that can help relieve an itchy throat caused by allergies.

Antihistamines, which prevent your body from producing histamines in response to allergens, are the most commonly used medication of this type.

The antihistamine cetirizine is found in ZYRTEC® products and can be taken orally. Try one of these remedies to see if it helps your condition.

When a Doctor Visit Is Necessary for a Scratchy Throat

You should see a doctor if you have an itchy throat and any of the following symptoms:

  • Challenges in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Extreme throat pain
  • Fever
  • Tough Time Swallowing
  • Hives
  • Puffiness of the cheeks


When a person asks, "How long does a sore throat last,"

An itchy throat could have a number of potential causes. A tickly throat due to a viral infection can linger for up to 10 days. Depending on the severity of your allergies, the duration of your itchy throat, and any treatment you undergo, could vary greatly.


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