SymptomsDry-scratchy throat in itself is a symptom; however, a person might experience other symptoms as well, such as:
- Extreme itching in the throat
- Throat pain
- Swollen tonsils
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Hoarse voice
- High fever
- Pain in the ears
- Tightness while swallowing
- Blood in phlegm
- Difficulty breathing
CausesStrain: One common reason for sore throat is straining of the voice box. Talking loudly in a noisy bar or cheering during a sporting event for long can strain your throat. This mostly tends to result in scratchy, dry throat along with a hoarse voice.
Cold and Flu Infections: One of the common symptoms of viral infection like cold and flu is sore throat. Apart from this symptom other common symptoms, include nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, etc.
Post-nasal Drip: PND or post-nasal drip occurs when there is excessive mucus production. This mucus builds up at the back of the throat and nose. This is not a medical condition but rather a symptom pointing towards other conditions like sinusitis, GERD, or other infections.
Unhealthy Habits: Smoking is another common cause that can lead to dry, itchy throat. Also, eating hot and spicy food and eating cold food can result in this condition. Hence, making lifestyle changes can help to get rid of this condition.
Allergies: Allergies can be caused by various allergens like pollens, dust, certain food, certain climate, etc. Hence, it is important that you avoid coming in contact with the allergen to prevent throat disorders.
Strep Throat: This is a bacterial infection. Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria is responsible for this infection. Apart from a sore throat, other signs and symptoms of this condition include throat ache, fever, headache, difficulty to swallow, fatigue, etc.
GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a digestive system disorder. There is a backward flow of stomach acids and occasionally bile towards the food pipe. This causes irritation in the lining of the food pipe, which results in scratchy throat problem.
Habitual cough (psychogenic cough) mostly observed in children is dry cough that can irritate the throat. Also, dry air is a common culprit of dry-itchy throat.
Home RemediesGargling: Salt-water gargling is one of the most effective remedies, and is often suggested by doctors to cure a sore throat. To try this remedy, boil 2 glasses of water with 2 tablespoons of common table salt. Wait till the solution gets lukewarm, and use it for gargling and then spit out the solution. This remedy kills the bacteria in the throat and soothes the throat. You can use this remedy as many times in a day as you feel the need to, but use it at least twice a day.
Lemon-Honey Tea: To make lemon tea, boil 1 cup water for a minute, add 1 teaspoon of green tea to it, and cover it with a lid for a minute. Strain the tea in a cup, add juice of 1 lemon and a spoon of honey to it. Repeat this remedy at least twice a day. Honey will coat the throat and soothe it and reduce the scratchy sensation, and antioxidants in lemon and tea will give a boost to your immune system.
Chicken Soup: You can have clear chicken soup or flavor it with garlic, turmeric, and parsley. The steam from the soup will help clear the congestion and breathe better. Also, chicken soup broth has anti-inflammatory property, which helps soothe the dry and itchy throat.
Licorice: You can buy licorice root from a herbal store. Wash and clean the root. Boil a cup of water and infuse few pieces of the root for a minute. Drain the tea and slowly sip it. It will help to soothe the irritated throat.
Garlic: This scratchy sore throat remedy is not suitable for people who can't digest hot food. To try this remedy, chew and swallow 2 cloves of garlic. If you find the taste of garlic too hot, take it with a teaspoon of honey. Garlic is antibacterial and will help to cure the throat infection.
Cough Syrup: Cough syrups provide good relief from cough. There are many types of cough syrups available over-the-counter, you can select cough syrups which are sedative or non-sedative. There are also specific cough syrups available for children and adults. So, read the label properly on the bottle before buying the cough syrup. You can take 1-2 tablespoons of cough syrup, twice a day.
Antihistamines and Painkillers: This remedy is suitable only for adults, and is to be taken if you are suffering from allergies. Buy antihistamines OTC, and take 1 tablet twice in a day. You can also consider taking an OTC pain pill if the throat pain is unbearable.
Lozenges: You can buy some throat lozenges and suck on it for instant relief. There are different flavors of lozenges available. These can easily be carried in your pocket or purse.
Myrrh Gargle: Myrrh is antimicrobial, and soothes the mucus membranes. This remedy also helps to get rid of dry cough. Add ½ teaspoon of Myrrh to 2 cups of lukewarm water, and then gargle with this water and swallow it. Repeat this remedy 3-4 times in a day, till you get better.
- Drink lots of water and drink around 2.5-3 liters daily. The water will flush the body, and help to heal the infection faster.
- Load yourself with vitamin C, you can either eat vitamin C-rich foodstuff, or take supplements. There are chewable vitamin C tablets available which you can carry with you and eat anytime you want. A rich source of vitamin C is amla (Indian gooseberry) - consume it daily to ward off cold and flu infections.
- Along with water, you can also take fruit juices, the best one is pineapple fruit juice blended with a piece of ginger root.
- Avoid eating any spicy, oily, or cold foodstuff to prevent further aggravation to the throat.
- Give your throat a rest and avoid taking too much. This will prevent the throat from getting further irritated.
- If you tend to smoke, consider quitting.
- Install a humidifier if the air in the house is dry.
- Wash your hands clean with soap and water whenever required.
- Use a tissue when sneezing or coughing. In case, there is no tissue available, sneeze on your elbow (Dracula sneeze).
- Avoid contact with people when they are ill.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.