- Oral Health
Reasons why some People Experience Itchy Throat
Reasons for itchy throat
Causes of itchy throat
Every now and then, we all have a roommate who is annoying for many reasons including: snoring, coming in late, playing loud music, eating your pre-packed lunch in the refrigerator without your express permission, and making very funny sounds in his or her throat, which suggest that either his ears, nose or throat are itchy.
As far as an itchy throat is concerned, not checking the condition could mean ignoring an underlying condition whose effect can be far worse than annoying and petty. Today I’ll explore the various reasons why some people experience itchy throat with you, and, possibly, some ways of treating the condition. But before we begin, let’s examine what the throat is.
What is the throat?
The human throat, also known as pharynx, is the part of the body starting from the back of the nose to the voice box, also known as larynx. Therefore, the throat is divided into three parts: the nasal part, the oral part and the larynx part.
The nasal part of the throat, also called nasopharynx, is the part responsible for receiving air that has been moistened by the nose.
The oral part, also called oropharynx, is responsible for receiving food that has been masticated and mixed with saliva in the mouth, and passing it to the esophagus, which passes it to the stomach.
The larynx part, also known as laryngopharynx, is credited with carrying inhaled air into airways that eventually lead to the lungs. The larynx is also responsible for our ability to make sounds or speak, as it contains sound-making tissues. Usually, when we mention throat, it is this part and the oropharynx that come to mind.
What is an itchy throat?
Now let’s consider what an itchy throat is, and why some people experience itchy throat at times. An itchy throat is a condition whereby any or all parts of the throat feel scratchy. Thus, if you could split open the frontal part of your neck, you would just insert your hand and scratch the region. Or, if you could make your way to the back of your nose, you would scratch that region. Interestingly, unless via a medical procedure, we can’t split parts of the throat, and this is why most people make funny sounds in an attempt to scratch their throat.
We feel an itchy sensation in the throat because its walls are covered with linings that contain nerves; which make us feel whenever something irritable gets to it. Normally, the linings secrete a sticky fluid, which protects the walls, thus allowing a smooth flow of air and food. However, when the linings don’t secrete enough sticky fluid, the walls become exposed, causing us to feel an itchy sensation.
Causes of itchy throat
In the ensuing paragraphs, we will look at some of the reasons why some people experience itchy throat and some treatment options available to correct the situation.
Itchy throat can be caused by singing for long period
Speaking or singing for long period of time
Itchy throat can be caused by speaking or singing loudly for long periods of time. The reason why we are able to make meaningful sounds at all, when speaking or singing is because the vocal chords in the larynx allow us to do so.
Since these vocal chords are also muscles, they get tired from working for long periods; just like your legs and arms feel sore after swimming from one end of the gym’s swimming pool to another for four times (100 yards). This causes you to have a rough voice, as if there are cockroaches in your throat.
To recover from this condition, all you have to do is to refrain from rigorous talking or singing for a day or two, as the condition tends to correct itself. You could also take some lozenges or chamomile tea to sooth the area.
Infections, be they bacterial, viral or fungal, can also cause your throat to itch. Let’s take the example of streptococcus pneumonia, a bacterium that is responsible for what is commonly known as strep throat. These bacteria can be picked up from infected surfaces, or transferred from one person to another via close contact; this makes strep throat easily spread in areas where there are lots of people in close proximity.
The streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, through their activities, cause the walls of the throat to be inflamed, making it extremely painful to swallow anything. In addition to the swelling, you may feel a scratchy sensation as well. To bring relief, the doctor may prescribe a hefty dose of antibiotics to eradicate the underlying bacteria.
Symptom of underlying problem
An itchy throat may be a symptom of an underlying problem with certain parts of the body. When this happens, it is important that such problems are identified as early as possible to prevent dangerous escalations.
An example of an underlying problem that may cause itchy throat is Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease in which the body produces unusually thick mucus that can end up blocking the intestines and air passageways, leading to respiratory infections.
Clearing the air passageways and prescribing medicines to counter ensuing infections can arrest Cystic Fibrosis. Unfortunately, most of the patients die before adulthood.
Another underlying problem, of which itchy throat can be a symptom is pneumonia. Pneumonia refers to bacterial infection of the lungs. Seeing as the lung is the key organ for taking in oxygen, which is used by the muscles of the body for various activities, a lung infection can significantly impair the oxygen inhalation process. Therefore, it’s not surprising that pneumonia patients also breathe faster and feel generally weak.
Now that we know what itchy throat is and what causes it, it is important for us to guard against the condition by watching our actions. Here’s to staying healthy!