Dry throat is a condition where your throat feels itchy, rough, and scratchy. It is a common condition that usually occurs during the winter season. It happens when the mucous lining your throat dries off. 

A dry throat is often accompanied by cough, hoarseness of voice, difficulty in breathing, or a sore throat. It can occur due to different reasons which can be physical, environmental, or even health-related.

Let’s take a look at the causes of a dry throat in detail:

Health Factors

A dry throat can be a symptom of various health conditions which can include the following:

  • Allergies. Allergies usually occur when your immune system reacts to an irritant or an allergen. Common allergy triggers include pollen, dust, pet dander, and certain food. Dryness and irritation of the throat are common symptoms of allergy.

  • Strep Throat. It is a condition that occurs as a result of bacterial or viral infections. Strep throat is characterized by pain, itchiness, and irritation that worsens while you swallow.

  • Cold or Flu. A dry throat can be a symptom of viral infections such as the common cold or flu. It is common and it can make the person’s throat feel dry, itchy, or sore.

  • Acid reflux. It is a condition when the contents of the stomach travel up towards your food pipe. The acid content from the stomach can cause dryness and a burning sensation in the throat. 

Lifestyle factors 

Certain unhealthy habits that you follow can be a reason for developing a dry throat such as:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Excessive consumption of alcohol can dehydrate you, drying up your mouth and throat. Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation. 

  • Cigarette smoking. Smoking is harmful to your health in many ways. The smoke that is inhaled can irritate your throat over time and can lead to a dry throat. Regular smokers often deal with throat irritation, dry cough, and chest pain. Quitting smoking is the best way to deal with this.

  • Excess of Caffeine Intake. Excess caffeine intake in the form of tea or coffee can reduce your salivary secretion, leading to a dry mouth and throat.

  • Shouting or Yelling. Shouting or yelling can put excess strain on your throat. When it continues for a long duration, you are likely to experience throat irritation and dryness.

Environmental Conditions

Certain environmental factors can also lead to problems irritation and dryness in your throat:

  • Pollution. Certain environmental irritants and pollution can cause throat irritation and chronic dry throat. A dry throat, burning eyes, itchy skin, and breathing problems are common in individuals who live in a polluted environment.

  • Climate changes. Climate changes can also be the cause of your dry throat. Throat problems are common in the winters. Cold air can dry out the throat tissue and cause irritation. 

Some other physical factors that can cause dry throat include mouth breathing (breathing through your mouth) and snoring. 

Managing Dry Throat

A dry throat can be managed with the help of medications and home remedies.

Medical Treatments

The following medications can effectively treat dryness and irritation of the throat:

  • Medications such as antihistamines can relieve the symptoms of allergy.

  • Nasal decongestants that contain corticosteroids can help relieve throat irritation and dryness.

  • Allergy immunotherapy aims at making your immune system tolerant to allergens over time.

Home Remedies

The following home remedies can be helpful in managing dryness of the throat:

  • Try dietary remedies such as adding ginger, garlic, and onion to your diet to treat a dry throat. 

  • Gargle with saline water to soothe your throat and relieve dryness.

  • Suck on lozenges to keep your throat moist and prevent dryness.

  • Drink warm liquids such as green tea or clove tea to fight infections that can cause throat problems.

  • Use a humidifier to increase the moisture content in the air and to prevent a dry throat.

Dry throat is often not a serious condition and happens as a result of climate changes or an unhealthy lifestyle. It can easily be managed. If the symptoms worsen you will need to consult a doctor.

Disclaimer: This article is written by Practo for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.