What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

Allergies are one of the most common causes of an itchy throat. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance called an allergen triggers an immune system response in your body. Examples of common allergy triggers that can cause an itchy throat include:

  1. dust
  2. foods, such as peanut butter, dairy, or strawberries
  3. mold
  4. animal dander
  5. pollen, found in trees, grass, or ragweed

Allergies can range from mild to severe. An itchy throat can indicate a milder, yet uncomfortable, allergic reaction.

Inhaling pollutants can also lead to an itchy throat. These might include:

  1. cleaning products
  2. chemicals
  3. tobacco smoke or vapor
  4. pesticides

Infections, such as the common freezing or strep throat, can start as an itchy throat before progressing to soreness and pain.


An itchy throat is a classic sign of allergies, allergic reaction, or early illness. Inhaled irritants can aggravate your throat, causing it to feel scratchy and uncomfortable.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

How can I prevent an itchy throat?

Avoiding known allergy triggers can assist prevent an itchy throat. Take steps to prevent infection, including washing your hands frequently. This can assist prevent itchy throat caused by common colds, strep throat, or other infectious causes.


Irritated itchy throats can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Likely causes of an itchy throat include the following:

Allergic rhinitis

Also known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis may be one of the most common causes of an itchy throat. As numerous as 40 to 60 million Americans are affected by it.

Allergic rhinitis happens when the body overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance, releasing a chemical called histamine that causes these overreactions.

Common triggers include pollen, dander, dust, and irritants such as cigarette smoke or exhaust fumes.

Food allergies

Allergic reactions to food happen when the body reacts to certain things we eat as if they were going to harm the body.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

Reactions generally develop within minutes or a few hours after consuming the trigger food.

The allergy may be mild with symptoms stopping with an itchy throat or mouth. However, they can be life-threatening.

Common trigger foods include peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, and wheat.

Drug allergies

Numerous people suffer from allergies to certain medications including penicillin and other antibiotics. The severity of the allergy will range from mild to life-threatening.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

Symptoms of a drug allergy can include an itchy throat that starts shortly after taking a new medication.

Bacterial and viral infections

Strep throat or bacterial cases of tonsillitis may start with an itchy throat before progressing to a more severe sore throat.

Viruses such as the common freezing or the flu virus can both cause an itchy throat.

If it is just a freezing, the itchy throat is unlikely to progress past being mildly sore. If a person has a flu infection, their throat soreness will be more severe and accompanied by fever, body aches, and chest discomfort.


Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in. It is common during boiling weather, after exercise, or during illness.

Dehydration can cause a dry mouth, a temporary condition where the mouth and throat don't own enough saliva. This may cause an itchy feeling in the throat.

Acid reflux

Also known as heartburn, some people with chronic acid reflux experience throat problems.

Acid reflux happens when stomach acid backs up from the stomach into the food pipe.

An itchy or sore throat is unlikely to be the only symptom of reflux. However, some people own a condition called silent reflux and may only notice a chronic, itchy throat as a symptom.

Medication side effects

Some medications may cause dry coughs and itchy throats that are not due to allergic reactions.

People taking ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure should be aware that ACE inhibitors may cause an itchy throat and dry cough.

Most often, these symptoms start shortly after starting an ACE inhibitor and are not accompanied by other symptoms commonly experienced with an itchy throat.

When to seek medical help

While an itchy throat isn’t typically a medical emergency, it can be an uncomfortable symptom.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

If your itchy throat gets worse and is accompanied by wheezing, difficulty breathing, or painful swallowing, get immediate medical attention. Also seek medical care if your symptoms don’t improve with time or home remedies.

A doctor will diagnose the condition causing your itchy throat by first asking about your medical history. They’ll also enquire what occurs when you experience an itchy throat.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

For example, if your itchy throat occurs after going exterior, it could indicate an allergy to outdoor dust or pollen.

If your doctor suspects a food allergy, they may enquire you to hold a food journal. In the journal, you’ll track the foods you eat and any symptoms you experience after eating them.

Your doctor also may recommend allergy testing.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

This can involve exposing the skin to little amounts of known irritants. If the skin reacts to a specific irritant, this indicates an allergy.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

Some allergy testing can also be done through blood tests.

Common irritants include:

  1. molds
  2. grasses
  3. pollen
  4. pet dander
  5. dust

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may also examine your throat for:

How do I care for an itchy throat?

At-home methods for treating your itchy throat include drinking plenty of fluids. You may also desire to gargle with warm salt water and baking soda, which can assist relieve inflammation.

Create the gargling solution by adding 1 teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of warm water.

Using lozenges or throat sprays that own a numbing effect on the throat may also provide relief.

These products contain athletic ingredients including:

If your itchy throat is caused by an allergen, avoiding that allergen can typically improve symptoms.

What to do for scratchy throat from allergies

What to glance for

An itchy throat may feel:

An itchy throat feels uncomfortable, and it can feel as if you need to clear your throat frequently.

It’s significant to distinguish between the symptoms of an itchy throat and similar symptoms that may indicate other conditions. For example, an itchy throat doesn’t feel rough or raw, or make you feel as if you can’t breathe.