How do you scratch an itch in your throat? Do you take a drink of water? Suck on a piece of peppermint, gargle with mouthwash, eat a piece of bread, take a dose of “Pepto Bismal” or clear your throat?
One of the most effective ways to scratch a throat itch is to cough. For those eye-watering itches coughing provides temporary relief when nothing else not even medication seems to work. Coughing is nature’s way to scratch the itch.
When you cough it moves the throat muscles in a spasm of contractions that mimics the way you would scratch your skin. The passing of air through the throat during a cough cools, calms and comforts an inflamed throat. You might think of it as blowing cool air on a minor burn that you got accidentally coming into contact with a hot pan.
You don’t have to be sick to have an itch in the throat. You might have a dry throat and get an itch or you might get an itch in the throat from a piece of food scratching it on the way down.
Cool or warm air can make the throat feel scratchy and set it up for coughing. Adjusting the temperature on the surface of the throat may be all that is needed to relief the cough. While calming the cough brought on by an itch could be accomplished by cough drops or cough medicine there are other alternatives in the way of stimulating the throat’s environment from the outside. Other alternatives are to gently and lightly rub arthritis creams, gels or rubs over the throat. This may help to change the surface temperature of the skin and allow the arthritis product to penetrate deep enough into the muscles to relax them. You can also breathe a vaporizer or dab a rub like “Mentholatum” under the nose. Changing the temperature of the surface of the throat can also be done through wearing a scarf to gently soothe it with warmth or you can chill the scarf briefly in the refrigerator for a breezy chill.
Buttoning or unbuttoning a shirt can warm or cool the throat. Also a buttoned shirt that feels a little too tight around the throat may irritate it and provoke coughing. If you are wearing a shirt that doesn’t have buttons pull it forward off of the throat if it feels too tight. Choking can definitely make you cough and you don’t want that.