Are you one of the many people that suffer from a sore throat only at night? Sore throats can have a serious effect on your ability to get much needed rest. Reoccurring sore throats at night can prevent you from falling asleep or cause you to toss and turn throughout the night. If your sleep cycle is constantly disrupted, it can have serious adverse health consequences, both physically and mentally.
There are several conditions and external factors that may contribute to your nightly sore throat. This article will break down the various potential causes so you can seek the treatment you deserve.
The symptoms of a sore throat may vary depending on the cause. Bacterial infections such as streptococcus pneumoniae, better known as strep throat, will cause an extremely painful sore throat and potentially a fever and upset stomach.
Non-bacterial symptoms might include pain when swallowing, dry throat, or swollen glands in the neck area. It is important to rule out bacterial infections, although this is usually not associated with a sore throat only at night. Bacterial infections would likely cause pain throughout the day as well as the night.
If you are experiencing a sore throat at evening time only, the first thing you should look into is your sleep environment. There may be allergens in the air within your sleeping quarters that are causing a reaction in your body. A sore throat from allergens is not uncommon, and taking deep breaths while sleeping may cause you to inhale enough to cause inflammation in the throat.
Another thing to consider as it relates to your sleeping environment is the humidity level of the air. If air is too dry, it can certainly dry up your throat causing pain and swelling. This is of particular concern in the winter months when the furnace is pumping hot air out of the vents all night.
Lastly, be mindful of second-hand smoke. If you have smokers in the house and you are breathing in second hand smoke during your sleep, it can certainly be causing your sore throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease could also be the culprit of your sore throat at night. This is because when you lay down, stomach acid can back up into the esophagus causing pain in the throat. However, while symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease may be intensified during the nighttime, it is likely you would also notice some of the symptoms during the daytime.
Snoring could certainly be the cause of a sore throat that only occurs at night. If you just imagine the loud sound, it is understandable how it could be linked to a sore throat. The friction of the vibrating tissue against the throat all night is enough to cause some pain and swelling.
When you are snoring, you are typically doing the majority of your breathing through your mouth, which means more exposure to dry air on your mucous membranes. This leads to inflammation in the throat, which can further obstruct your windpipe during sleep. This will increase the issue and not allow the mucous membranes in your throat to stay hydrated since you will be swallowing less. It becomes obvious how this can be directly correlated to a sore throat that only occurs at night.
Once you have figured out the cause behind your nightly sore throat, it is time to do something about it. Sleep is critical to your physical and mental health, so finding a remedy should be a priority. If your sore throat is caused by an allergen, you can install a standalone air-purifier unit.
These units have high efficiency air particulate (HEPA) filters that remove the dust, pollen and other allergens from your environment. They are not overly expensive and work great. Trying a humidifier is certainly worth doing. If dry air is the culprit, humidifying the air will make a world of difference. Typically, you will notice the difference the first night of using a humidifier.
There are different options available, such as invisible cool moist and hot moist air humidifiers. They are affordable and easy to maintain. If you cannot solve your sore throat at night with either of these options, you will likely want to visit your physician to make sure there are no other underlying causes. A physician will be able to rule out viral, bacterial causes and other pathogenic causes. If bacterial infection is the cause, your physician will prescribe antibiotics that will have you feeling better within a few days.