Experiencing a tickling sensation in your throat can be extremely annoying, especially if it has been going on for weeks. And while the sensation can be manageable during the day, it usually becomes unbearable when you lie down to sleep. Not only can the tickle keep you up at night, but the constant coughing can irritate your throat even further.
But without any additional symptoms, it can be quite hard to track down and treat this annoying problem. Fortunately, this article’s here to find out what causes a tickle in your throat and how you can get rid of it.
Tickle in Your Throat: 7 Possible Causes
There are a lot of potential causes of throat tickles, with some being easier to treat than others. Let’s check them out!
1. External Factors
Sometimes, a throat tickle is the result of exposure to something that occurs outside your body. By avoiding contact with the following factors, you can drastically reduce the chances of developing a throat tickle:
• Dry, cold air
• Smoke from cigarettes
• Air pollution caused by smoke, chemicals, or traffic
Laryngitis is a condition that occurs if you have strained your vocal cords by raising your voice, yelling, or talking for a long period of time. Besides losing your voice, laryngitis can cause a throat tickle, which can be very annoying. Keep in mind that viral and bacterial infections can also lead to laryngitis.
Pharyngitis is the medical term for a sore throat and is the result of an inflamed pharynx. However, pharyngitis itself is usually caused by a virus or bacteria, like a cold or group A streptococcus. Those suffering from pharyngitis will experience throat tickles, especially during the night.
4. Common Cold
Common colds can cause symptoms in your upper respiratory tract, including in your throat. In fact, one specific symptom of common colds is postnasal drip, which can cause mucus to run down the back of your throat. Eventually, your throat will get irritated and start to tickle. Please note that if the symptoms persist for more than 10 days, you might be dealing with sinusitis or influenza.
If your throat tickle is accompanied by nasal congestion, chronic cough, and pain or pressure in your face, you might suffer from sinusitis. This condition can last for weeks and may reoccur multiple times a year. And while it may begin as a viral infection, it can also increase the risk of developing fungal or bacterial infections.
Even though symptoms of allergies can vary, tickles in the throat and itching are common for food allergies or allergic rhinitis. If you believe that you are suffering from an allergic reaction, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might experience a loss of consciousness or fainting.
7. Throat Cancer
Last but not least, a throat tickle could be a sign of throat cancer. Other symptoms of this serious condition include weight loss, lumps near your throat, and voice changes. However, while the main cause of throat cancer is unknown, it’s believed that alcohol and tobacco can increase the risk.
How to Get Rid of It
Generally speaking, you can treat throat tickles at home if you believe that they aren’t a symptom of a serious disease. Here’s what you could do about it:
• Take an over-the-counter medication: From throat sprays to OTC pain relievers, there are all sorts of over-the-counter medications that you can rely on.
• Get some rest: Getting more sleep can help your body fight off a virus that could cause the throat tickle.
• Drink clear liquids: Try to drink more water and warm beverages like herbal tea to soothe your throat. And remember to avoid substances that could dry out your throat, such as caffeine and alcohol.
• Gargle with salt water: Add ½ teaspoon of salt to almost 8 ounces of water and gargle it in your mouth. That way, you will get rid of bacteria or viruses, getting rid of and even preventing throat tickles.
• Avoid triggers: As previously mentioned, exposure to certain elements can cause throat tickles. Therefore, the most effective way to deal with tickling is to avoid triggers like dust and pollen.