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ITCHY THROAT AT NIGHT? HOW TO GET RID OF IT.

Oheneba Kwakye Omane
Oheneba Kwakye Omane

An itchy throat can be awfully irritating, very uncomfortable and can even make it difficult for you to talk or swallow due to physical irritation. There are many causes of an itchy throat, but allergies and infections are common reasons. You may also have an itchy throat after spending time around smoke, after talking for a long time, or simply getting dehydrated -which is the main culprit during the night! All potential causes of irritation result in the same thing: a throat that feels itchy, dry, and sore. Many causes of an itchy or sore throat resolve on their own, so treating your throat pain is a matter of reducing your symptoms. The best home remedies for itchy throat dry cough depend on the underlying cause.

Why Do You Have An Itchy Throat at Night?

Experiencing a dry, itchy throat at night is common. That’s because, throughout the day, your body’s natural reaction is to swallow frequently, which helps the nasal mucus drain down your nose and throat.

When we lie down, mucus in the nose and throat begins to accumulate, and in general, we find it more comfortable - when it does not become the only alternative for oral breathing. When they do, they dry and irritate the nerves in the back of the throat and begins the beat of uncontrolled cough and itchiness.

When you lie down in bed at night to go to sleep, it becomes harder for your body to clear your airways naturally, and mucus can build up in your throat. This usually forces you to breathe through your mouth, making it dry at the back of the throat. To treat your itchy throat, you have to first know the cause behind it. Along with dry air or breathing through your mouth, dry or itching throat can be caused by caffeine and alcohol consumption, smoking, allergies, acid reflux, certain medications, and other medical conditions.

Another factor that can contribute to you feeling worse at nighttime is your immune system. When you’re ill, your immune system is very active and triggers an inflammatory response. This response increases the blood circulation to the infected area which can worsen symptoms and raise the body’s temperature.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET RID OF THE ITCHY THROAT AT NIGHT AND IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF SLEEPING SOUNDLY?

The goal of treating an itchy throat is to reduce discomfort, irritation, and painful feelings in the affected area until the condition heals. Remedies for itchy and sore throats focus on decreasing inflammation and irritation of the throat, as well as secondary symptoms like coughing.

Keep your throat hydrated

Keeping your throat lubricated is the best way to keep it from getting dry, itchy and sore. Drink plenty of fluids each day, too. In particular, try to drink at least 8 to 10 cups of water a day. If you wake up in the morning with a dry throat, the steam from a hot shower could help hydrate and lubricate your throat.

Sleep on an incline position

Add some extra pillows under your head and let gravity do its job naturally. This adjustment particularly helps in clearing the mucus, which drips down the back of your throat. Try it even while resting during the day for a peaceful sleep.

Gargling With Saltwater

Saltwater gargles are most effective for sore or itchy throats caused by bacteria or viruses. Gargling with salt water can help because salt can help draw moisture from surrounding tissue, which in turn can lubricate your throat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 240 millilitres or 1 cup of warm water and gargle using the saltwater mixture several times daily. The heat may ease your throat irritation and the salt may help reduce mucus buildup and helps relieve discomfort.

Avoid smoking, caffeine or alcohol

If itchiness in the throat is caused by smoking, caffeine or alcohol, cut down on them, especially before bed.

Use a lozenge

Lozenges are designed to help relieve symptoms of a sore throat or mouth infections, by soothing, lubricating and killing bacteria that cause infection. Certain lozenges have a unique cooling formulation; which provides a cool mint sensation and effective relief from the discomfort of sore throats.

Maintain the humidity levels

If your itchy throat is a result of dry air or allergies, a humidifier can help. Increasing the humidity in the air keeps your throat from drying out as much when you breathe. It also helps keep mucus from drying and irritating the back of your throat, causing itchiness or coughing. If you do not have a humidifier, you can ‘create’ one yourself by putting a large bowl of water in your room especially during the harmattan or the dry season.

Hot Tea or Soup

Staying hydrated is important to help your body heal. Getting enough liquids can help keep your mucus membranes clear, preventing uncomfortable buildup in your throat. Warm temperatures can also help soothe the back of the throat for some people. Sipping on a comfortably warm drink is an easy way to stay hydrated and potentially reduce irritation in the throat at the same time.

Take some honey

Honey is another natural infection fighter. Because it is so thick, honey works well to coat and soothe a sore and itchy throat. Mix a heaping teaspoon of honey into a mug of hot water and the juice of half a lemon. This honey tea can calm coughing that is due to a sore throat and aids in healing.

When to See a Doctor

If your itchy throat does not go away on its own, let’s say after a week; it may be the first sign of something more serious, such as strep throat. Thus, if you are not improving with adequate hydration and avoidance of alcohol and caffeine and smoking, you should consult your primary care physician. Look in your mouth with a mirror and a bright light if you have a persistent itchy throat. Should you see white patches or a throat that looks red and swollen, you may have strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Talk to your doctor immediately so they can test you for strep throat and give you a prescription for antibiotics, if necessary.

References

Adrian White. What are the benefits of salt water gargle? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/salt-water-gargle Updated on March 24, 2021

Colleen M. Story and Ana Gotter. 12 Natural Remedies for Sore Throat. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sore-throat-natural-remedies on March 29, 2017

Jodi Helmer. 6 Tips for Sound Sleep When You Have a Cold. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/cold-relief-6-sleep-tips-to-help-you-breathe %0D%0Aeasier on November 12, 2015

John P. Cunha. Sore Throat Home Remedies. Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/sore_throat_home_remedies_and_treatment/article.htm on 2/7/2017

WebMD. Allergies, Cold, or Flu: Why Do You Feel Icky? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/allergies/qa/how-do-i-keep-my-sore-throat-moist

Oheneba Kwakye Omane

Medical Enthusiast and Futurist