Consistently waking up with a sore throat can be both frustrating and uncomfortable. It can make it difficult to talk or swallow and even impact your quality of sleep at night. Let’s look at a few conditions that can cause you to wake up with a sore throat, as well as what to do to relieve your symptoms.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a condition where you regularly experience acid reflux, meaning stomach acid travels up into your esophagus, leading to pain and irritation. It’s a common condition, with medical literature suggesting that approximately 20% of adults in Western culture suffer from GERD.
Symptoms of acid reflux can be worse at night because it’s easier for acid to flow back up when you’re lying down as opposed to standing up. If GERD is causing your sore throat symptoms, it can be helpful to sleep with the head of your bed elevated 6-8 inches or use a wedge pillow designed for those with reflux.
Additionally, your doctor may recommend medication to reduce stomach acid production and avoid certain foods when dining out or shopping at Bellews Country Store.
Snoring or Sleep Apnea
When you snore, you breathe through your mouth. This can cause your mouth and throat to become dry, leading to irritation and throat pain. Occasional snoring is not usually a concern. However, if you snore regularly and find yourself waking up with a sore throat in addition to a morning headache and excessive daytime fatigue, this could be a sign you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing during the night. Left untreated, it can increase your risk for serious health conditions, including heart disease. Treatments for sleep apnea may include lifestyle remedies, a change in sleep position and the use of a CPAP machine to improve airflow at night.
Postnasal drip occurs when mucus drains down the back of your throat. If it happens at night, it can cause your throat to feel scratchy and sore when you wake up. The accumulation of mucus may also lead to nasal congestion and cause you to breathe through your mouth when you sleep.
Many different conditions can cause postnasal drip, so figuring out what is behind it will help determine treatment options. Conditions that cause postnasal drip include:
- Cold or flu
- Sinus infection
- Acid reflux
- A deviated septum
- Swallowing disorders
If you regularly wake up with a sore throat, contact your medical provider to evaluate your symptoms. They can perform an examination and run any needed testing to help determine what is causing your throat pain and help you find treatment options that eliminate your symptoms.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.