What Causes Itchy Throat and Ears?

A woman suffering from sore throat.

When you have an itchy ears and throat, it can make your days and nights miserable. The symptoms can be from a variety of conditions in the body that results in an itchy throat and ears. If you are looking for an itchy throat and ears remedy, you first need to determine what is causing your symptoms.

There are many issues that can cause either an itchy throat or itchy ears, but not as many that can cause both. Ears can be itchy from substances entering or touching the outside or inner ear, but it is unlikely ear wax or dermatitis will impact the throat. Same is true of substances that irritate the throat when swallowed or inhaled.

When both the ears and throat are itchy, it is usually a more systematic problem. Determining the cause of the itchy symptoms is the best way to find the right treatment to give you relief.

Allergies Can Cause Itchy Ears and Throat

A variety of allergens can trigger allergic reactions that may cause an itchy sensation in your ears and throat. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is one of the most common forms of allergies that affects the ears and throat. Hay fever can be seasonal from pollen or perennial from a variety of allergens like mold, dander or dust.

Food allergies can also cause an itchy throat and ears, along with other symptoms. Eating foods that cause an allergic reaction may start with an itching sensation in the throat, mouth and ears, but it can trigger more serious conditions like anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include:

  • Throat swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Tongue swelling
  • Loss of consciousness

Reactions to certain medications can also cause itching symptoms in the ears and throat. These can be caused by an allergy to the drug, or it may be one of the known side effects. A drug allergy can also cause the serious symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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Viruses and Infections May Causes Itchy Throat and Ears

There are many viruses and infections that can affect the upper respiratory system and result in itchy noses, throats, eyes and ears among other symptoms. The most notable virus that can result in inflammation of the tissues surrounding the throat and ears is the common cold.

Both ear and sinus infections can start with itchy sensations in the throat or ears as the tissues become inflamed. The itching may give way to pain from the inflammation, but itching can occur as there is drainage from the infection.

At-Home Itchy Throat and Ears Remedy Options

Many of the causes of itchy ears and throat are not serious medical conditions. Allergies or reactions to environmental factors like dry air, smoke or chemicals are more likely to cause irritation in the upper respiratory areas than other factors. If you are looking for an at-home itchy throat and ears remedy, you could try:

  • Air filtration. Clearing the air of allergens may be helpful if dander, dust, mold or other allergens are triggering symptoms when you are at home.
  • Humidifier. Dry air from air conditioning or weather can cause irritation of the throat. A humidifier or breathing in steam may offer relief.
  • OTC allergy medications. Nasal sprays, oral allergy medication and throat lozenges may relieve symptoms.
  • Ear drops. OTC ear drops can relieve itchy and painful ear symptoms.
  • Rest and hydration. If you are suffering from an infection, rest and hydration can help you overcome your illness.

Most at-home remedies are best suited for hay fever, environmental or mild infections. If symptoms are more severe or OTC medications do not offer relief, you may need to seek medical treatment.

Treatment for Itchy Ears and Throat

When you are not sure what is causing your throat or ears to itch, you may want to seek treatment. Your doctor can explore the possible causes and may want to perform certain tests. If allergies are suspected, medications can be used to manage your symptoms, usually a form of antihistamines.

If the cause is a virus, you may receive lab testing to determine the exact virus. Certain viruses like COVID-19 can be very contagious and may have other serious side effects. While many viruses do not have a cure, treatment can minimize the symptoms and exposing others to the virus.
A doctor examining female patient.
For sinus, ear or other infections, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to control the infection. Those that have recurrent sinus or ear infections may have a chronic condition that requires the expertise of an ear, nose and throat specialist. In severe cases, surgical treatment may be recommended.

In most cases, an itchy throat and ears are not signs of a serious condition. However, they can be early signs of an allergic reaction or an infection that requires medical treatment. If you have ongoing symptoms or accompanying allergic reaction symptoms, seek the advice of your doctor.