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Scratchy Throat

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

What is a Scratchy Throat?

The mere act of shouting loudly would make you end up having scratchy throat. A scratchy throat is something that we may casually experience. You may have scratchy throat while talking to a friend over the throat or when you are delivering a speech in public. There can also be other culprits for the development of scratchy throat. For instance, when you drink extremely hot or cold fluids you may also suffer from scratchy throat. A sudden shift in season would even cause you scratchy throat. More often than not, a scratchy throat may only have minor causes and would just eventually go away with minimal interventions. However, when a scratchy throat continues to pester you for over three days then it’s about time to see a specialist. You may not only be suffering from a simple case of sore throat. You should see a doctor to further evaluate your condition as well as determine the exact cause of the scratchy throat.

Symptoms of Scratchy throat

That scratchy feeling on your throat isn’t the lone symptom that you would experience. Other symptoms may also be present with a scratchy throat and these include the following:

  • Burning sensation over the throat
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pains
  • Painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Throat pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble eating/drinking

These are just a few of the commonly noted symptoms associated with a scratchy throat. When there’s an alteration in the level of consciousness of an individual, difficulty of breathing and other danger signs are noted, immediately go to the nearest emergency department.


The causes of a scratchy throat may vary from the very mild ones to the more serious ones. Have you also experienced a scratchy throat? The following could be the possible culprits:

Irritation – Your throat is sensitive just like the most of the other parts of your body. This can get easily irritated due to a number of things such that when you yell loudly at someone or gulp overly warm or cold liquids.

Allergy – The presence of allergens in the environment (i.e. dust, pet dander, pollen) would also cause that scratchy feeling on your throat.

Infection – When you are infected by bacteria, fungi and viruses, you would still end up suffering from the same condition. Aside from a scratchy throat, there’s also a high likelihood that you would experience other symptoms like fever and chills, joint pains and easy fatigability.

Throat surgery – A scratchy throat may also be a possible effect after undergoing a throat surgery.

Keep in mind that simple cases of scratchy throat may be remedied even at home. When your condition is unresponsive to these then you better consult a doctor.

Home Remedies

The uncomplicated cases of scratchy throat may have favorable response to home remedies. When you’re having scratchy throat you may try resorting to the following home remedies:

Saline Gargle – This may be something that your grandmother has taught you. It’s nifty to create a saline solution. All you need are three cups of water and four tablespoons of salt. Add the salt to the water and bring the solution to boil. You may then use the saline solution for gargling. Be sure that the water isn’t too warm or you’ll burn your throat. Lukewarm would already do. You may repeat this procedure three times daily for it to be more effective. This works effectively for all age groups.

Cough Syrup – There are also over-the-counter cough syrups that would provide instant relief for a scratchy throat. There are some precautions though when taking this stuff. Some cough syrups would cause drowsiness so you should avoid driving or operating heavy machineries to avert from undue accidents.

Ginger/Honey Tea – Another effective remedy for scratchy throat is a ginger and honey tea. This also works speedily to give you that instant relief. All you have to do is boil a ginger concoction and add either honey or lemon to taste. Adults may have 3 cups a day and children with half a cup twice daily.

Garlic – Garlic is also an excellent remedy for a scratchy throat as this has that antibacterial property. Nevertheless, people who cannot stand spicy foods should take some considerations before using garlic as a remedy for scratchy throat.

Chicken Soup – A dose of chicken soup can also do a lot of wonders for a scratchy throat because this has that infection-fighting property. So when your throat is feeling kind of scratchy, just take a sip of a warm chicken soup. As the old aphorism goes, “feed the cold and starve the fever”. Not only do you enjoy the food but also get to soothe that scratchy feeling.

The above mentioned remedies may be helpful. However, it would still be ideal if you get a consultation from your healthcare provider.

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