Tickle in Your Throat? What Might Be Causing It
It’s incredibly irritating to have a tickle in the back of your throat that you just…can’t…scratch. It could be a random annoyance, or there could be a medical issue causing that irritation: oral allergy syndrome.
Oral allergy syndrome occurs when you eat a certain raw fruit, vegetable, or tree nut and your immune system reacts to it. The proteins in some raw foods are similar to pollen, so this mostly happens in people who have seasonal allergies to birch, ragweed, or grass pollen.
Oral allergy syndrome can come on suddenly, even if you’ve been eating a food for years without problem. In addition to a scratchy throat, you might also notice an itchy mouth or that your lips, tongue, or throat start to swell (and if your symptoms have spread beyond your mouth, call your doctor). If this happens, notice if one of these common foods is triggering the reaction.
- If you’re allergic to birch pollen: apples, cherries, kiwi, peaches, pears, plums, celery, carrots, almonds, hazelnuts
- If you’re allergic to grass pollen: melon, oranges, peaches, tomatoes, celery
- If you’re allergic to ragweed pollen: bananas, melon, cucumbers, zucchini, sunflower seeds
Typically, the symptoms go away quickly. If they don’t, keep in mind that the sensation in your throat could not be oral allergy syndrome at all. Instead, your symptoms may be brought on by a chronic cough, infection, acid reflux, or other health issue. In those cases, medicine might be needed to get some relief, as well as a doctor’s visit if you’re experiencing them for longer than a week.
For coughs that stick around for a few days, try Robitussin, which will relieve that irritating cough so you feel better.