why do you wake up with a sore throat
Sore, dry throats can occur in the morning even when you arenÁt sick. Fortunately, this dry and sore throat is typically related to irritation and tends to improve as the day wears on. Home remedies to reduce dryness can help improve your symptoms. However, in some cases a sore throat may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or a less common medical condition, so if your symptoms worsen or persist, or if you have a fever or rash, see your doctor. Snoring and sleeping with your mouth open commonly cause a dry, sore throat by morning. Inhaling dry air during the night can dry out the mouth and throat, causing soreness. Usually the open-mouth sleeping occurs due to congestion, or something obstructing the nose. Dehydration can cause less mucus to be produced, so one of the best ways to counter this dry, sore throat is to stay well hydrated. Drink according to your thirst during the day, then drink some water before bed. If you wake up during the night, sip on water again, and drink more water in the morning. Breathing in dry air can also cause your mouth and throat to dry out. You can counter the effects of dry air by running a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep. The tiny droplets of water the humidifier adds to the air can help the mucous membranes stay more moist, even if you are breathing through your mouth because of a stuffy nose. Use only sterile or distilled water in your humidifier, and clean your humidifier regularly to avoid allowing a buildup of molds and bacteria. Taking a steamy bath or shower may also help ease your symptoms. If you wake up with a dry, sore throat, simply having something hot or cold to drink can be soothing. Try a cup of tea with honey or a cup of water. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, according to the June 2013 issue of ÁIranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences.
Á Honey is also touted to soothe a sore throat, although there is little quality research confirming this benefit. Sucking on cough drops or hard candy can help your dry throat because this can stimulate more saliva production. If your throat is more sore than dry, sucking on a popsicle or ice cubes can temporarily numb your throat, reducing the pain. If your sore and dry throat is related to a bacterial infection, gargling with warm salt water can make the mucous membranes less hospitable to bacteria. Stir a maximum of 1 tsp. of salt into a pint of warm water, and gargle with that as often you desire. Avoid using more salt than recommended, as this will dry out your throat more, exacerbating the irritation. Another option is to use an antiseptic mouthwash. Environmental irritants such as smoke, pollen or pet dander can irritate the throat and potentially cause dryness and soreness, so not smoking, and seeking treatment for allergies is important. Sometimes a dry, sore throat is a symptom of another health problem, such as a viral or bacterial infection or sleep apnea -- a condition characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Snoring and mouth breathing are signs of sleep apnea -- and waking up with a dry, sore throat is common with this condition. Other less common conditions can cause dry and sore throat, so see your doctor if your sore throat gets worse, persists, or if you have a high fever or rash.
If you wake up with a sore throat, you might wonder: Was it because you left the window open or a fan running? Experts say there are a variety of reasons, which you can often address with simple remedies. While people may believe leaving a window open caused their sore throat, it really depends more on the air quality, saysá , Chairman, Head and Neck Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
ÁCool air from an open window can help people breathe better, unless the air is very dry,Á Dr. Benninger says. Fans also can dry the air, but the soothing white noise may lead to better. ÁI suggest facing the fan away. It will still circulate the air while producing background noise,Á he says. ÁThe most common reasons for a sore throat in the morning are a dry environment, especially in winter, along with mouth breathing and acid reflux,Á Dr. Benninger says. á Heá saysá thatá , hay fever, or the beginning of a cold also can be culprits. If you consider your sleeping environment and symptoms, you often can find ways to rid yourself of that sandpaper-in-your-throat feeling. Is the air dry? If you suspect the air is dry, which tends to be a problem in the winter, use a humidifier. Drinking extra water in general, but especially before bed, also can help. Could you be mouth breathing? Breathing from your nose helps keep moisture in your mouth and throat. Sometimes if nasal passages arenÁt clear, we end up breathing out of our mouths. For short-term relief (forá a cold), you could try oxymetazoline (Afriná) at bedtime for a few days. For longer-term relief, you can use a steroid nasal spray (fluticasone),á or you can useá Breathe Rightá nasal strips. Do you have acid reflux? People reflux more when they are in a lying position, Dr. Benninger says. ÁThere are that may help, but a healthy diet (low in acid) and weight control are the keys,Á he says. If acid reflux is an issue for you, he suggests taking an H2 antihistamine like Zantacá or Pepsidá before bedtime. Also, he suggests not eating right before bed and avoiding alcohol, which can cause increased snoring.
RELATED: What about allergies? Do you have? Depending on your allergies, treatment of indoor and/or outdoor allergies also can help reduce a sore throat. ItÁs hard to fathom, but dust mites and debris can add five to 10 pounds to a mattress over a few years. For some people, this advice might be even harder to fathom: ÁDisobey your mother s rules and don t make the bed,Á Dr. Benninger says. Dust mites like dark, warm environments so keep your sheets pulled untilá right before you sleep. RELATED: When is itá timeá to see a doctor? If you answer ÁyesÁ to these questions, itÁs time to see a doctor: Do you have a sore throat not associated with a virus that lasts all day? Is your sore throat not improving after a couple of weeks? ItÁs especially important to get your throat examined by a professional if you have the above symptoms and you also smoke, have acid reflux and/or drink a lot of alcohol. ÁAny associated change of voice or difficulty swallowing is more worrisome,Á Dr. Benninger says. Primary care doctors can help but if the soreness persists, it may be time to see a specialist (ENT). It could be a sign of a more serious condition. á ÁHPV [human papilloma virus] is becoming an epidemic for oral-pharyngeal cancers. A person with multiple partners or with papilloma elsewhere should be particularly cautious,Á Dr. Benninger says. Fortunately, a sore throat in the morning that goes away after some food or drink rarely is a sign ofá something serious. MORE: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. á Pepsidá is a registered trademark ofá Merck Co. , Inc. á Afriná is a registered trademark of Merck and Company, Inc. á Breathe Rightá nasal strips are a registered trademark ofá GlaxoSmithKline.
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