When you feel a sore throat coming on, it’s important to take action right away to help manage possible infections. Here’s a few tips on how to recognise a dry, tickly throat and its causes so you can treat at the first signs of a sore throat.

What is a dry and tickly sore throat?

A mild sore throat is associated with symptoms like a scratchy, tickly, itchy, or dry feeling. These feelings come from the delicate tissues in the back of your mouth and throat being irritated and becoming inflamed. You might describe how it feels by comparing your throat to other dry, tickly, scratchy things, such as a prickly cactus, dry desert or tickly feather.

It’s important to know that you don’t need to suffer through until the end – there are effective ways to manage sore throat pain.

Causes of a dry, tickly throat 

There are several factors that could be contributing to a mild sore throat. The first and most obvious is an infection – more on that below. Other contributing factors include:

  • Air pollution
  • Allergens (such as pollen)
  • Low humidity (think of air-conditioned rooms)
  • Cold temperatures
  • Injury or damage to the throat

The most common cause of a sore throat is an infection. These infections can be caused by either a virus or by bacteria. Again, the amount of inflammation caused by a throat infection can affect how much discomfort or even pain you feel in your throat.

Treatment at the first signs of a sore throat

Treatment that relieves symptoms is helpful for sore throats, so think about what is causing you the most difficulty and speak to a pharmacist or doctor about what you can do to find relief. For example, if you want to soothe the dry, tickly feeling then ask for a lozenge, such as DIFFLAM® AB Sore Throat Lozenges that slowly dissolve in your mouth to provide soothing effects on your throat. DIFFLAM AB contains two antibacterial agents (dichlorobenzyl alcohol and amylmetacresol) to help kill bacteria associated with minor throat and mouth infections. 

If your sore throat is painful, then look for products that contain ingredients such as anti-inflammatories or anaesthetics. An anti-inflammatory helps to reduce inflammation (a key cause of the pain in a sore throat), while an anaesthetic helps to numb the tissues in your throat, so you don’t feel the pain as much.

Ask your pharmacist for the right sore throat medication

If you are unsure what products to turn to for your sore throat, you can always ask the advice of a pharmacist. They can help you find the right type of relief for your symptoms. 

If your sore throat appears to be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, then look for an antiseptic ingredient.

However, if your sore throat seems to be more of an irritation, or if it’s feeling dry and tickly, consider a lozenge to provide a soothing sensation. Lozenges can also provide a demulcent effect – meaning they coat the throat with a soothing layer to help relieve irritation.

Remember – the best person to ask for advice is your doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to help you select the right product with the right ingredients for your sore throat.