Is a dry, tickly throat annoying you? Is a continuous itchy feeling at the back of your throat irritating you? Trying to understand the reason behind the same? Well, you are in luck as we discuss some of the common causes of dry throat and how to deal with them.
9 Causes of dry throat
This is the most common reason behind the drying of the throat. When the body lacks enough fluid, it can become dehydrated. The body is unable to produce enough saliva that generally moistens the mouth and throat. Apart from dry mouth, other symptoms that can occur are darker urine, increased thirst, fatigue, etc.
Sleeping with mouth open
When one sleeps with the mouth wide open, it can lead to waking up in the morning with dry mouth. Due to the mouth being open, the saliva in the mouth and throat dries up. It can also cause other problems such as snoring, bad breath, fatigue. People with cold or allergies, obstructive sleep apnea, or deviated septum tend to sleep with their mouths open.
Hay fever or allergies
This doesn’t lead to dryness in the throat directly. When the body identifies an allergen (pollen, dust, mite, mold, pet dander) entering the body, it triggers an allergic reaction. People with an allergy often experience a stuffy nose that can lead to breathing through the mouth. Eventually, due to the drying of saliva, the throat becomes dry.
Due to various viruses, a person can develop a cold, leaving the throat all dry and scratchy. Some of the other symptoms people with cold experience are- stuffed/runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches, or mild fever.
Caused due to viruses, the flu is a respiratory ailment. However, symptoms of flu tend to be severe than cold. In addition to dry throat and scratchy voice, some other symptoms people experience include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, headache, etc.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
The backing up of acid from the stomach to the food pipe is commonly known as acid reflux. Along with drying of the mouth, one is likely to experience heartburn, dry cough, sour taste in the mouth, or hoarse voice.
Strep throat is a common throat infection that children suffer from. People suffering from strep throat suffer from sore throat along with dryness also. Some other symptoms that one should look out for are- red/swollen tonsils, fever, rash, body aches, white spots on the tonsils, etc.
In simple terms, the inflammation of the tonsils is known as tonsillitis. Although in rare circumstances, people with tonsillitis- viral or bacterial– complain about the dry throat. Additionally, there are other symptoms such as fever, red/swollen tonsils, hoarse voice, bad breath, or tonsil stones.
Commonly known as mono, this is a viral disease. This is contagious in nature hence, spread from person to person through saliva. Some of the other symptoms of tiredness, fever, headache, swollen tonsils, etc.
Other symptoms that can occur with a dry throat
Generally, dry throat accompanies other symptoms- depending on the disease, disorder or medical condition. A person doesn’t suffer from not only one dry throat when suffering from an ailment but other symptoms also. These symptoms can occur in other parts of the body also.
Symptoms other than dry throat that may occur in the respiratory system
When there is dryness in the throat due to respiratory infection, some other symptoms that people report are-
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hoarse voice
- Pus or white patches on the tonsils or throat
- Soreness in the throat
- Body aches
- Blurred or double vision
- Enlarged lymph nodes or structures in the throat
- Fever and chills
- Low blood pressure
- Weakness in muscles
Symptoms other than dry throat that may occur in the digestive system
When there is dryness in the throat due to any digestive order, some other symptoms that people report are-
- Difficulty in swallowing
Diagnosis of dry throat
During diagnosis, doctors generally ask several questions in order to come up with a treatment option-
- How long has the throat felt dry?
- If you have the habit of smoking or not?
- Are there symptoms of vomiting or coughing in recent times?
- Are you exposed to any chemicals or fumes?
- Do you have any white spots or pus on the throat?
- Are you able to swallow properly or not?
- Are you having difficulty breathing?
- If you are running a fever or having chills?
- Any particular medicine that you take regularly?
Home remedies to cure dry throat
Keep the throat moist
Make sure that your throat is hydrated to prevent drying up of the throat. Stay in a well-humidified room to moisten the throat. Try to drink at least 8-10 cups of water in a day. For people waking up with dry throat, they can take a hot shower to start their day.
Soothe out the discomfort
Sipping on something warm regularly can prevent drying up of the throat. Drink warm liquids with some honey. A warm cup of tea with honey will hydrate the throat and mouth as well as help in fighting off the infection. For variation, you can also take a bowl of hot soup.
Take a lozenge
Lozenges or toffies increase saliva produce thereby, reducing the dryness, pain, and itchiness.
Regularly gargling with salt water can provide the deficient moisture that is causing dry throat.
For people breathing through the mouth due to various throat problems, they can try nasal irrigation or using a nasal spray to pop open the nasal airways.
Cut down on caffeine or alcohol consumption as this can cause the body to dehydrate. For people who smoke, they need to quit as soon as possible as smoking causes dry throat. Stay away from allergens that trigger a reaction.