Dry throat is a pretty common ailment, and it can often be hard to pinpoint the exact causes of this condition and get relief. Generally speaking, dry throat can be explained by minor changes in medication, cold and flu, or merely not drinking enough water. However, it may also be an indication of a more severe underlying condition that could require medical attention. Here are a few reasons you may have a dry throat and what to do about it.
Note: If you have persistent dry throat for more than 1-2 weeks or any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.
- Trouble swallowing
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- High fever over 101.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chest pain
- Extreme fatigue
Reasons you may have a dry throat
‘Tis the season for allergies galore. Spring often takes down even the most resilient with a battery of seasonal allergies or hay fever. When these allergens get into your body, they cause an overreaction of the immune system and a release of histamines that can produce the following symptoms.
- Dry throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy skin, mouth, or eyes
It’s a good idea to try to isolate what your body is responding to with an environmental allergy. That way, you can try to avoid it or plan-ahead by taking precautionary anti-histamines. These are a few common allergens.
- Dust mites
- Pet hair
- Certain foods
Though this seems like a no-brainer, we are often very adept at ignoring our bodies signals of dehydration. If a drink of water alleviates your dry throat, then you may have solved the problem.
Common cold (or flu)
We’re all familiar with that dry or sore throat feeling that comes along with the onset of a cough, runny nose, and excessive sneezing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people will contract an average of 2-3 cases of the common cold every year.
Symptoms of the common cold or flu:
- Mild fever
- Body aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore/dry throat
Maintain proper hygiene and frequently wash your hands with warm soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria that leads to a cold. Be sure to build up your immune system with an adequate amount of leafy greens and other vitamin-rich vegetables.
The flu is usually a more serious respiratory condition and may require longer recovery time.
Sleeping with your mouth open
If you notice a dry throat right after you wake up, you are most likely sleeping with your mouth open which dries out the saliva that your mouth produces to keep it moist. This could be related to a cold if you have a stuffy nose and are unable to breathe through it, or it could be an unrelated sleeping habit. If you are prone to snoring or fall asleep in an upright position, this is most likely the cause of your dry throat.
Tonsilitis is an inflammation of the tonsils in the back of the throat. This inflammation is usually caused by a virus or bacteria and can cause a dry throat along with these other symptoms.
- Swollen, red, or white patches on the tonsils
- Bad breath
- Hoarse voice
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Natural dry throat remedies
Saltwater: Gargle with warm salt water to help soothe a dry throat and prevent scratching.
Avoidance: If your dry throat is related to allergies, try eliminating them from your home or avoiding them if possible.
Staying hydrated: Even if your dry throat is not directly related to dehydration, it is essential that you keep your throat moist. Try drinking lemon water or warm tea with honey. Avoid drinks with ice as these can irritate the throat.
Honey: Taking a spoonful of honey can help remedy dry throat. Be sure to use local, raw, organic honey.
Keep in mind that each cause of dry throat may have a different remedy. It is important to isolate the root of the issue and work on treatment from there.
Have you had any experience with a dry throat? Which remedies worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!