Tickly Cough

Unproductive Cough

In this article weíll look at the symptoms, causes and treatments for a tickly cough, as well as some popular home remedies.

Tickly Cough

A new, continuous cough could be coronavirus. Stay at home and get advice from the 111 coronavirus service.

A cough begins when part of your breathing passage becomes irritated or inflamed by foreign matters such as smoke, dust, or mucus. Dry or tickly coughs are sometimes called unproductive coughs as no mucus or phlegm is being produced. Read our article below for the symptoms, causes and treatments for a tickly cough, including some home remedies.


The most experienced symptoms that accompany a tickly cough are an itchy throat or sneezing.

You may also experience:

  • Sore throat
  • Muscular pain in the chest or abdomen from coughing
  • Runny nose

What causes a tickly cough?

Coughing is a natural reflex your body has to remove irritants from your airways. A tickly cough is caused by inflammation in the upper airways of the respiratory tract. This inflammation causes a tickly sensation which will make you cough even when you donít have enough mucus in your lungs.

This inflammation is often caused by viral infections. If this is the case, the tickly cough may be accompanied by the symptoms of the flu or a cold. A tickly cough can also be caused by atmospheric conditions such as pollution, dry air, or a sudden change in the temperature.

Medical conditions such as Asthma or Allergic Rhinitis can also cause a tickly cough. Additionally, a post-nasal drip (where mucus from the sinuses runs down the back of the throat) can cause a tickly cough.

Home Remedies

There are many home remedies to help to relieve the symptoms of a tickly cough:

Gargling with lukewarm salt water will help extensively to reduce the irritation in your throat. Follow this treatment four to five times a day, to soothe your throat.

Lemon and honey are both renowned for calming a sore throat. Lemon helps to remove excess mucus, and honey coats your throat with its smoothness. Warm a glass of water, add a teaspoon of honey and squeeze a few drops of lemon into it. Drink this mixture slowly twice a day to calm your ailing throat.

When experiencing a tickly cough, your vocal cords and throat go under stress, so try to give it a rest by speaking as little as possible and being gentle with your throat.

Apple cider vinegar is also considered to be beneficial for the tickly throat. Drinking apple cider vinegar with lukewarm water several times a day might help you lessen the symptoms. You could also try mixing apple cider vinegar into your lemon and honey mixture.

If you are experiencing coughs caused by allergies, try to avoid the allergens that caused it in the first place. Close contact with the allergens will further aggravate your symptoms. If this isnít possible, you might want to consider antihistamines.

Steam provides moisture to your throat and unblocks the accumulated mucus in your throat as well as clearing your sinuses. It also relieves dryness that can be the cause of your throat irritation. Try taking a hot, steamy bath or shower. You might also want to try adding a few drops of eucalyptus or menthol into a bowl of steaming water and then inhaling this.

Try making a thyme tea as it is an effective expectorant (helps bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea) and relaxes your respiratory tract. Drink it twice or three times a day to calm your itching throat.

If you are finding it hard to sleep, try sleeping on an incline. By propping yourself up with pillows, you can use gravity to prevent mucus and other irritants building up in your throat when you go to sleep.

Aloe Vera is also renowned for its soothing properties. Dilute aloe vera juice in warm water, and gargle with this mixture. You can also try drinking this solution to treat your inflamed airways.

Need something stronger?

If your home remedies aren't helping and you need to manage your symptoms, cough syrups, medicines, and sweets can help! They can relieve your symptoms so you can maintain your normal daily routine and sleep.