Why does an itchy throat cause a cough?


Quick Answer

An itchy throat can produce a cough when there are foreign particles, mucus and environmental irritants or pollutants that cause throat aggravation. Coughing is a common reflex reaction to remove these substances from the throat or airways, as noted by Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

A major cause of an itchy throat, which may produce coughing, is an allergic reaction to irritants and pollutants, such as pollen, pet dander, mold, food, smoke, chemicals and pesticides. In some people, inhaling these different allergens can trigger an immune response, such as an itchy throat, notes Healthline. An itchy throat can lead to coughing, a body reflex that can expel the specific allergen from the body.

However, a cough that is chronic, which means that it last longer than approximately 6 to 8 weeks, can be a symptom of an existing condition, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Some medical conditions associated with a persistent cough are asthma, postnasal drip, gastroesophageal reflux disease and lung infections or diseases.

Postnasal drip can develop with an allergy or a cold, as stated by the University of Maryland Center. It occurs when mucus drains from the nose into the throat area. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is another condition in which stomach acid moves up to the esophagus. This can cause a tickle sensation or irritation in the throat, leading to a cough. Patients with asthma can begin to cough or wheeze when exposed to triggers, such as different allergens in the air.

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