How to cure a dry, tickly throat

How to cure a dry, tickly throat

A tickly throat or cough can be annoying, particularly when it is impacting your entire day with no sign of going away anytime soon. The irritation may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and could cause you to have to clear your throat multiple times a day. But lucky for you, there are some things you can do to soothe that tickle. Firstly though, what can cause a tickly throat?

What causes a dry, tickly throat?

There are a number of causes of a dry tickly throat. If you can, you should try to rule out each one to find the true cause. If you’re unsure why your throat is dry and tickly, you could try out a few of the remedies discussed further down this article.


If you don’t drink enough fluid throughout the day, your body can become dehydrated. As our bodies are around 55 to 60 per cent water, it’s really important to keep these fluids topped up. If you’re a regular gym-goer or you sweat quite a lot, you should up your fluid intake to account for this. Dehydration can cause a dry, tickly throat, so even if you don’t drink a lot of water, you should try to take in fluids in other forms, such as tea, milk or fruit juice[1].


When your upper respiratory tract is inflamed, it can cause a tickling sensation in the back of your throat. This tickle may be so intense as to cause you to cough, which can make the tickle worse and result in a vicious cycle that’s hard to get out of – the tickle causes the cough and the cough makes the tickle worse. This inflammation is usually caused by a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, and so your tickly throat may come with other cold or flu symptoms, such as a runny nose, a cough or a fever[1].

A dry environment

A dry environment can cause your throat to dry out as you breathe, particularly when you have the heating on in winter. If this is the case, you may find that you often wake up with a sore throat in the morning, or that it’s more tickly at night. Even a change in temperature can cause this to happen too, so that will explain the dry tickly throat if you’ve just put your heating on[1].


Allergies can affect us more than we think. When you’re allergic to something and you come into contact with it, your body suddenly begins to produce antibodies against the substance you’re allergic to. This is what can cause a swollen throat, sneezing and watery eyes[2].

Acid reflux

If you ever experience acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), then a tickly throat may not be an uncommon symptom for you. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid comes out of the stomach and begins to go up your oesophagus. It often results in heartburn and a painful cough[3].

How to soothe a tickly throat

There are some things that you can do to soothe your tickly throat depending on the cause. If you believe that your tickly throat is caused by inflammation from a cold, you could try sucking on a Chloralieve mint throat lozenge. These not only soothe your dry tickly throat, but they can actively fight the infection too, meaning they’re not just masking the pain. Lozenges might also help if you’re suffering with a dry throat, as they could encourage saliva creation.

A tickly throat that’s caused by a dry environment can usually be solved by adding moisture to the air. You can do this by using a device such as a humidifier, or by simply placing a damp towel on a warm radiator. Either of these methods will create a little bit more humidity to keep your dry tickly throat at bay[1].

If you believe that your tickly throat is present because of an allergic reaction, you should do your best to stay away from the substance you’re allergic to. You may be unsure of what your allergy is, and so it may be a good idea to keep some sort of diary to note down when and where your symptoms appear. With some deduction, you may be able to pinpoint a certain food or substance that’s causing the issue. An antihistamine might be able to make your symptoms more manageable[2].

Finally, the effects of acid reflux can be lessened by watching what you eat, avoiding very acidic and rich foods, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, spicy foods and caffeine or alcohol. If you do find that you have severe heartburn after a meal, you could take a couple of antacids. Where possible, you should sleep with your head above your chest slightly and avoid snacks before bed[3].