Discomfort in the throat, unpleasant scratching sensations that make you want to cough – this is the minimum manifestation of pain . They mean that something is wrong.
Fortunately, this is usually not too dangerous.
Where does a sore throat come from
Here are the most common reasons.
1. You breathe dry air
This happens especially often in winter, when windows are closed in the rooms and at the same time batteries or heaters are turned on. In such conditions, the humidity of the air decreases rapidly.
The mucous membrane of the throat also loses moisture, and this process makes itself felt with slight irritation – a feeling that it is tickling in the throat.
The same effect occurs if you breathe air that is dry for any other reason – for example, frosty or dry hot wind.
2. Smoke or other irritants around you
Tickling and scratching in the throat can be from tobacco smoke, smog, car exhaust, dust, the smell of chemicals – for example, bleach or some other caustic household product. Sometimes even the aroma of someone’s perfume leads to irritation if you are sensitive to their components.
3. You breathe through your mouth
This is another way to quickly dry out the mucous. Air entering through the mouth, without prior moistening in the nasal passages, accelerates the evaporation of moisture from the inner surface of the throat.
Usually a person begins to breathe through his mouth for two reasons:
- He was out of breath – for example, because he was walking or running too fast. In this case, we try to grab as much air as possible and swallow it, including through the mouth. If the air is dry at the same time (let’s say you were moving in the cold), the tickling can be so strong that it will cause an attack of dry cough .
- Stuffy nose. This happens with a cold or allergies. However, these conditions can provoke a sore throat on their own.
4. You caught a cold
Usually, ARVI pathogens attack a person through the respiratory (respiratory) tract. And the body, in order to protect itself, increases the production of mucus – this is how a runny nose occurs.
If too much mucus is secreted, it begins to drain in the so-called post-nasal route – along the back of the pharynx. This can lead to irritation of the throat and the appearance of unpleasant scratching sensations.
5. You are allergic
For example, seasonal – on plant pollen. Or off-season – for dust, mold, pet dander.
In this case, the allergen substance, entering the respiratory tract, causes irritation, which is manifested, among other things, by a sore throat.
6. You have heartburn
Heartburn is a condition in which the contents of the stomach rise up the esophagus. This process is also called acid reflux (reflux is the reverse movement compared to normal). Sometimes it is so strong that the stomach acid reaches the throat. And it irritates its walls, causing a sensation of tickling.
7. You have a bacterial infection
Sinusitis , tonsillitis, laryngitis, other inflammatory processes of the nasopharynx caused by bacteria (the same chlamydia) can also affect the condition of the throat. More often it hurts, but the violation can make itself felt and a feeling of dryness, perspiration.
What to do if itching in the throat
Usually, you can get rid of the discomfort with simple methods. Here is what Cleveland Clinic (USA) experts recommend :
- Drink a glass of water, tea, compote. This will moisturize the mucous membrane of the throat and generally help prevent dehydration.
- Turn on the humidifier. Either put a large, damp cloth on the radiator or place an open jar of water on the window. These are ways to return the microclimate in the room to normal.
- Take a warm shower. This will also help moisturize the mucous membrane.
- Don’t breathe through your mouth.
- If your nose is blocked, try to get rid of this problem as soon as possible. How – we wrote in detail here . In general: use saline moisturizing nasal spray and, if necessary, vasoconstrictor drops.
- If you suspect that a scratchy throat may be a reaction to smoke, polluted air, or allergen substances, move to fresh air, in a well-ventilated place where there is no irritant.
But if your throat tickles for 2-3 weeks in a row, although you humidify the air, don’t breathe smoke and are almost sure that you don’t have colds, allergies, or heartburn, or if the tickling is accompanied by high fever and sore throat, you should contact doctor. For starters, the therapist. He will ask you about the symptoms, lifestyle, look into the throat, and conduct an examination. Maybe he will give you a referral for tests. And according to the results of the examination, he will recommend how to get rid of unpleasant sensations. Or refer you for an additional consultation with a specialist.
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