Tickling of the Throat: 8 Potential Causes and Home Remedies

What Causes Tickling in my Throat? Causes, Treatment and FAQs

by Saima
Tickling of the Throat

Tickling throat (itching sensation) can be due to an infection in the upper respiratory tract, inflammation in the body, or environmental irritants. It feels like a persistent dusty or prickling sensation that may or may not accompany coughing. The tickly throat may also induce a scratch-like feel at the back of your throat.

Knowing the root cause of the constant itchiness can help eliminate the annoying throat tickle. Let’s dive deep to explore the symptoms, causative agents, treatments, and home remedies for the tickly throat!

What is meant by a Tickling Throat?

The tickly throat is an infectious disorder caused mainly by sore throat, inflammation of the voice box, or sinusitis. It can also indicate a viral and bacterial attack or may result from environmental allergens.

Symptoms of a Tickling Throat

You can feel constant tickly throat alone, or it may come with other symptoms such as:

  • The urge-to-cough
  • Tickling in the throat with persistent dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Hoarseness
  • Obstruction in breathing due to nasal congestion
  • Inflammation in the upper respiratory tract
  • Facial stress
  • Fever and chills
  • Dripping sensation at the back of the throat

What Causes Tickle in my Throat?

There’re various reasons behind the tickling sensation of the throat. Usually, respiratory tract infections, environmental irritants, or inflammation in the nasal cavities are the most common reasons for the itchy throat. Let’s explore more about the potential causes of throat tickle!

Adult-Onset Allergies

Hypersensitivity to certain irritants in the environment may cause allergies. The hypersensitivity signals the immune system to respond to these irritants in the form of sneezing, itching, tickly throat, runny nose, or trouble breathing.

Dust, pollens, latex, certain foods, or pets are common allergens that can lead to tingly throat and coughing. Approximately, 30-56% of US adults suffer from environmental allergies at some stage of their lives, and about 29% of people have to avoid some foods that they believe trigger their allergy problems.

Sometimes, traveling to a different geographical region can also trigger allergic reactions. Similarly, genetics or family history may also contribute to causing allergies.


Usually, inflammation of the throat or pharynx can result in pharyngitis or sore throat. It may also feel like stiff hair in the throat and swelling accompanied by a dry cough. Certain bacterial or viral infections can cause pharyngitis resulting in a dry, scratchy, tickly throat and difficulty swallowing.


Laryngitis is the inflammation of your voice box or larynx due to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections or environmental pollutants. Hoarseness and painful throat are the most common symptom of laryngitis.


Asthma can be a hereditary disease or may be caused by certain environmental pollutants. Chronic infection or inflammation of the airways can cause asthma with symptoms of chest tightness, tickling cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. About 7.8% of people have asthma in the US, and more common in women and children (aged 5 to 14 years). The highest prevalence of asthma is at the age of 15 to 34 years.

Environmental Irritants

Some environmental allergens such as smoke, dust, pollens, toxins, or chemical substances can trigger the allergic response. These causative agents may cause Type-1 Hypersensitivity involving breathing problems, scratchy throat, tingling of different body parts, inflammation, skin lesions, or lips sensitivity.

Learn more: What Causes Tingling in the Body

Protecting yourself from allergy-triggering factors is the safest way to prevent allergic responses. For this purpose, identify and avoid all the environmental irritants that may cause recurring infections.

Sinusitis and tickling of the Throat

Tickling at the back side of your throat may be caused by sinusitis, pressure on facial regions, nasal congestion, constant headache, and chronic cough. Sinusitis occurs due to viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. Usually, sinus infection issues can appear at any time, but this problem can trigger due to seasonal allergies or environmental toxins.

Is Tickling a Sign of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include itchy throat, trouble breathing, fatigue, fever, dry cough, loss of smell and taste, and severe muscle cramps or pain. However, symptoms of Coronavirus disease may vary from mild to severe depending on the strength of the immune system, age, and health of sufferers.

When you test positive for COVID-19, the first thing to do is quarantine yourself to protect other people in your surroundings from infection. If your symptoms get worse with time, you should consult with a medical emergency as soon as possible.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD is a more serious condition of acid reflux and heartburn. This problem occurs due to the weakening of the esophagus muscles causing acid reflux from the stomach to the esophagus or back side of the throat. Persistent attacks of GERD may severely damage the esophagus line causing bleeding in the esophagus or a burning sensation and pain in the chest area.

How to Get Rid of Tickle in Throat?

Throat tickles can be treated by following some home remedies; however, you must consult your health care advisor in case of severe infections such as COVID-19, high fever with chills, and breathing problems. A few tips are mentioned below for quick ease of this prickling sensation:

  • Over-the-counter medications can also help to relieve the pain; however, they might have temporary effect. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines can help reduce sore and tingly throat.
  • Gargling twice daily with lukewarm water by adding around a quarter teaspoon of salt provides a soothing effect to the inflamed and painful throat area.
  • Throat lozenges can help to temporarily relieve the stiff, prickly feeling in the throat because medicated lozenges improve lubrication of your throat by increasing saliva production.
  • Plenty of Rest is another excellent way to calm your body while fighting disease. Ensure sleeping 6-8 hours to prevent excessive body stress.
  • Herbal Tea and Beverages can help eliminate toxins from your body and proved to be fantastic for relieving dry tickling cough. You can use honey water (one tablespoon of honey in one glass of lukewarm water) for quick relief. Hot ginger tea, turmeric milk, and herbal tea (chamomile, licorice, ginkgo, stinging nettles) are the most effective home remedies for itchy throat and persistent cough.
  • Identify the allergens triggering your health problems if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies. You should know the types of foods, environment, medicines, or other household products that worsen your allergy. Preventing these irritants can be much more effective for tickling sensations in the throat and other associated health problems.

Why Won’t Tickle in My Throat go away?

Generally, the causative agents for tickly throat can take a long time (maybe up to 4-6 weeks) for a complete cure. Moreover, if the reason is seasonal allergies, then you may get relief after the end of that particular season or environmental allergen. Moreover, some respiratory infections may also take a few weeks to recover.

Read the article: Causes of Tickling Feet

Persistent Cough with Tickly Throat

Tickling is an infection of the upper respiratory airways caused by specific allergies or diseases. Some coughs are viral, while others may be due to smoking or surrounding pollens. You can suffer from persistent coughing whenever exposed to these irritants.

Is Adult-onset Allergy and Common Cold Same?

Usually, an adult-onset allergy or new-onset seasonal allergies may be confused with the common cold, but they’re quite different. Adult-onset seasonal allergy is not as easy to diagnose and treat as the common cold (can also get better without medication). Moreover, seasonal allergies can’t be treated completely, but you can manage or control their symptoms with care. Nasal sprays, antihistamines, and immunotherapy can significantly reduce the painful symptoms of adult-onset allergy.

Concluding Remarks

Tickling in the throat could have a variety of causes. It could be triggered by a minor issue, such as a cold or an allergen. Sometimes, it might indicate a more severe disease like throat cancer or GERD.

You can try home remedies to stop the tickling. However, you should immediately visit a doctor if the problem persists with more severe symptoms.

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