Common causes of itchy throat & ears

Infections, viruses and allergies are often the leading causes of an itchy throat and ears. Allergens, viruses and bacteria can all irritate the skin and nerves, which causes an itching sensation.

However, some environmental factors can also cause itching:

  • Hay fever
    Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever occurs when a person’s immune system becomes very sensitive to a trigger, such as pollen. The body reacts by trying to fight the allergen, which causes swelling, irritation and itching.

    Symptoms of hay fever include:
    • A runny nose or blocked nose
    • Itchy or watering eyes
    • Sneezing
      A headache
    • A loss of smell
  • Viruses and infections
    Viruses and infections may cause an itchy throat and ears, but a person could also experience other symptoms depending on the virus or infection. Examples of viruses and infections are such as colds, sinusitis and ear infections.
  • Environmental factors
    A person can experience an itchy throat due to environmental factors that are not allergens. These include cigarette smoke, perfumes, strong-smelling laundry detergent and strong-smelling cleaning products.


Itchy throat and ears can be prevented by taking caution steps against the symptoms such as below:

  • Colds and other viruses
    Can be prevented by washing hands regularly, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and avoiding people who have cold symptoms.
  • Allergies
    The most effective treatment for an allergy is by avoiding the allergen. This is possible for food or medication allergies, but it might be more difficult for other allergens.

    For pollen and dust allergies, the steps below can be practiced:
    • Keep the windows closed when there is a high pollen count
    • Wear a face mask when going outside when there is a high pollen count
    • Keep pets out of the bedroom
    • Wash the bedding often
    • Avoid grooming pets, or wear a face mask when doing so
    • Consider wooden or tiled floors rather than carpets in the home


There are several over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies a person can try to relieve itching in their ears and throat. These include:

  • Nasal sprays, decongestants, or humidifiers
    These can help stop a person’s ears and throat from drying out. This could prevent symptoms such as itching and irritation.
  • Honey and throat lozenges
    These can soothe an itchy throat. People should not give lozenges to young children, however, as they are a choking hazard.
  • OTC ear drops
    These may reduce itching and discomfort. People should never put anything solid, such as cotton swabs, in their ears.

If you’re unsure of what are the exact causes of the itchy throat and ears symptoms, act now and consult a specialist. Our Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT), Head & Neck Surgery medical experts at Regency Specialist Hospital are ready to help you improve your health condition.

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