Most people associate a sore throat with strep throat or other illnesses, but waking up with a dry, scratchy throat can have a variety of causes. Before you rush to the doctor, read this article.
20-30% of sore throats are linked to strep throat
A sore throat is characterised by irritation of the throat, often in the form of pain or a scratchy sensation. Other symptoms may include swollen glands, red tonsils, painful swallowing and a hoarse voice. According to the US website Healthline, sore throats are responsible for more than 13 million medical visits per year. While an infection is often the main cause of a sore throat, it is not the only cause.
Indeed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while 20-30% of throat infections in children are due to strep throat, there are still 70-80% of sore throats related to something else.
A sore throat in the morning can be caused by dehydration. According to the health website WebMD, because we don't consume fluids for many consecutive hours while we sleep, it's quite common to wake up with a sore throat.
Dehydration can also be caused by excessive night sweating or by taking certain medications that cause frequent urination.
Dry air from a fan or an open window can also cause this unpleasant feeling. 'Fresh air from an open window can help people breathe better, unless the air is very dry,' said Dr Michael Benninger, president of the Head & Neck Institute, Cleveland Clinic.
The most common reasons for a sore throat in the morning are a dry environment, especially in winter...
Beware of snoring
If you are a big snorer and constantly find yourself waking up with a dry throat in the morning, snoring may actually be the culprit. According to WebMD, when you snore, the muscles in your throat open up. As oxygen flows down the trachea, the surrounding tissues vibrate. All of these vibrations, combined with open-mouth breathing, can give you a sore throat in the morning.
Interestingly, if you have acid reflux, you may also wake up with a sore throat. The side effects of acid reflux are often worse than those experienced during the day. To prevent acid reflux into the throat, Medical News Today suggests elevating your head six to eight inches while you sleep. Also, try not to lie in bed for 2-3 hours after a meal.
If your morning sore throat hasn't gone away after a week, even after making the recommended changes, be sure to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if your sore throat is accompanied by fever, difficulty breathing, lumps, mucus or bloody saliva.