Dry Throat: 11 Causes and How to Overcome It

Dry throat is one of the common health problems that everyone seems to have experienced. Conditions that certainly cause discomfort can be caused by various factors, ranging from mild to quite serious. Here is information about the causes of throat disorders on this one and how to overcome them!

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Causes of Dry Throat and How to Overcome It

Not without reason why suddenly your throat feels dry even accompanied by other symptoms such as pain and itching. There are a number of conditions that trigger this condition.

Here are the causes of dry throat you need to know.

1. Dehydration

The first and most common cause of dry throat is lack of fluids or in the medical world known as dehydration.

When the body lacks fluids, this then impacts — one of them — on the reduction of saliva production in the mouth. As a result, this condition occurred. Some other accompanying symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive thirst
  • Darker colored urine
  • Headache
  • The body feels tired

How to deal with dry throat due to dehydration are as follows:

  • Increase the consumption of water. It is recommended to drink 15.5 glasses of water (men) and 11.5 glasses (women) when you are dehydrated
  • Expand the consumption of fruits and vegetables that contain lots of water
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated or soft drinks for a while. Drinks containing caffeine and soda will only worsen dehydration

2. Opening the Mouth while Sleeping

Many of you may experience this condition often when you just wake up from sleep. Why is that?

The answer is none other than unconsciously you might open your mouth wide when you are fast asleep. Yes, this habit turns out to be one of the causes of dry throat.

The reason is, when you sleep while opening your mouth, the incoming air will then dry the saliva that is in your mouth. In addition, this will cause other symptoms such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Snore
  • Fatigue

How to overcome the dry throat due to the habit of opening the mouth while sleeping is as follows:

  • If this condition is caused by nasal congestion, whether it's due to sinus or other respiratory problems, you can inhale or apply a special cream for breathing lozenges to keep breathing through your nose
  • If this condition is caused by a serious problem such as sleep apnea, then do special treatment therapies such as therapy continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to restore the respiratory tract

3. Allergy

Allergic reactions to a number of foreign objects such as dust, plant pollen, to animal hair in some people can actually cause this throat problem.

The occurrence of allergic reactions is none other than an error response from the immune system to foreign objects that enter the body. The foreign body is considered as a 'threat' so that the body spontaneously releases histamine compounds.

Possible symptoms are:

  • Runny, stuffy, and itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Itchy eyes, mouth and skin

Symptoms of allergic reactions — especially nasal congestion — then make you have to breathe through your mouth. This condition then makes the throat dry due to air entering the mouth causing saliva to decrease in volume.

How to overcome this one condition is as follows:

  • Clean the house regularly so that there is no dust attached
  • Place the pet in a special place
  • Change bed linen regularly

In addition, you can also take the following medicines:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Eye drops

4. Colds

Colds are health problems caused by viruses. One of the effects of this condition is that the throat becomes dry, itchy, and even accompanied by pain.

To overcome colds, some things you can do are as follows:

  • Taking drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Consume special throat lozenges
  • Drink warm water
  • Gargling salt water
  • Use an air humidifier in the room
  • Enough rest

5. Flu

Another cause of dry throat is flu. Just like a cold, flu is also caused by a virus. However, this flu virus attacks the respiratory tract. In addition, the symptoms caused by the flu tend to be more severe than the common cold, namely:

  • Fever
  • Feverish
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Muscle ache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Gag
  • Diarrhea

Here's how to deal with the flu so that the dry throat can also subside:

  • Taking antiviral drugs
  • Take pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Drink warm water
  • Gargling salt water
  • Enough rest

6. Gastric Acid Reflux (GERD)

Gastric acid reflux or GERD disease — short for gastroesophageal reflux disease—is a condition when stomach acid rises to the esophagus due to malfunctioning of the valve sphincter between the esophagus and stomach.

In addition to causing pain and a burning sensation in the pit of the stomach, this health problem also causes the sufferer's throat to dry out, accompanied by other symptoms such as a burning and sore throat.

How to overcome the dry throat due to GERD is to take drugs in the form of:

  • Antacids
  • H2 Inhibitors
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Before taking these drugs, it is better if you consult with your doctor first.

In addition, this condition can also be overcome by applying the following tips:

  • Avoid foods and drinks that cause acid reflux, such as spicy, sour, coconut milk, and caffeine-containing beverages
  • Eat small but frequent portions
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Use clothes that are quite loose
  • Do not smoke
  • Sleep with the head higher than the body

7. Sore throat

Another health problem that also causes dry throat is strep throat. This condition is generally caused by a bacterial infection. Apart from being dry, your throat will hurt when you experience this inflammation.

How to deal with strep throat is as follows:

  • Take antibiotics
  • Take pain medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Gargling salt water
  • Sucking throat lozenges

8. Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis or inflammation of the tonsils did not escape the list of causes of the throat to dry out, in addition to other symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Swelling of the tonsils
  • Headache
  • Voice change

Tonsillitis can be caused by bacteria or viruses. The way to overcome this problem is as follows:

  • Take antibiotics (if caused by bacteria), and antiviral drugs (if caused by viruses)
  • Take pain medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Gargling salt water
  • Drink warm tea
  • Enough rest

In severe cases, tonsillitis may require surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) to cure it.

9. Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is a disease caused by a virus. One symptom arising from this medical problem is itchy and dry throat.

To overcome this condition, several ways that can be applied are as follows:

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Enough rest
  • Take pain medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Sucking throat lozenges

10. Medicines

The use of a number of types of drugs can also affect the dryness of the throat as part of the side effects of the drugs consumed.

However, this condition is certainly not something to worry about and usually will subside by itself after a while. However, consult a doctor immediately if the condition does not subside in a long time.

11. Smoking

The habit of smoking also on its development can make a person more easily feel the dryness in his throat.

To overcome the inconvenience caused, you should stop this smoking habit. Moreover, smoking also has other negative effects that are more than just drying up the throat. Call it like an increased risk of cancer to heart attack.

  1. Anonymous. Dry throat. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/ear-nose-and-throat/dry-throat (Accessed March 24, 2020)
  2. Burgess, L. 2018. How do you cure a dry throat? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321201 (accessed March 24, 2020)
  3. Valeo, T. Get the bottom of your afternoon throat. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/get-to-the-bottom-of-your-sore-throat#1 (Accessed March 24, 2020)
  4. Watson, S. 2017. What Causes Dry Throat, and How Is It Treated? https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-throat (Accessed March 24, 2020)

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