It may not seem like it, but the throat is a part of the body that is often greatly affected by certain habits and circumstances, such as temperature or diet, or by underlying diseases.
These factors can cause dryness, which, although it seems a mild and harmless condition, is usually painful and very uncomfortable.
According to health professionals, dry throat causes:
- Changes in the sense of taste.
- Bad breath.
- Problems chewing, swallowing, and even speaking.
Here we review what factors you should take into account to prevent its appearance and what remedies can help you relieve dry throat.
habits or circumstances
Dry throat can occur due to certain habits or circumstances:
Staying hydrated is essential for the body to perform its functions optimally. To achieve this, professionals recommend drinking a liter and a half to two liters of water a day.
When there is dehydration, you can suffer from a dry throat, in addition to other symptoms such as:
- Less urine or dark urine.
- Dry skin.
sleep with your mouth open
When you sleep with your mouth open, the air dries out the saliva that is produced to keep your mouth and throat moist, causing dryness.
This condition can occur from the need to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose, as a result of a medical problem, such as a crooked or misshapen nasal septum, nasal polyps, or nasal congestion from colds or allergies.
Excess alcohol or tobacco
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, that is, it makes you lose more fluid than you consume. When you drink it, the body uses its water reserves to process and eliminate it, which can lead to dehydration, and, among other things, a dry throat.
Tobacco, especially cigarettes (since they have many chemicals and additives), is also largely responsible for the dryness and irritation of the throat.
Exposure to cold and dry climates
This category refers especially to the use of air conditioners, as these devices are responsible for generating three fundamental conditions for the dryness of the throat:
- Cold weather.
- Abrupt change in temperature.
- Dryness in the environment (since they retain a large part of the humidity of the air that enters).
- Natural remedies for sore throat
Underlying conditions or diseases
Dry throat can be caused by underlying diseases or conditions:
Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, masses of tissue located on both sides of the back of the throat. It usually occurs due to a viral infection, although it can also be bacterial.
Among other symptoms, this condition causes:
- Dry throat with hoarseness.
- Red, stained, or swollen tonsils.
- Bad breath.
- Neck stiffness.
cold or flu
Dry throat accompanied by irritation or hoarseness can also be caused by the flu or a cold.
As happens with people who sleep with their mouths open, the flu or cold cause nasal congestion that forces you to breathe through your mouth and increases air contact with your mouth and throat, reducing the presence of saliva.
These conditions can also cause a dry cough, sore throat, trouble swallowing, and fatigue.
Reflux is a burning sensation, popularly called heartburn, which causes acids to return from the stomach to the esophagus.
That acid in the esophagus causes burning and dryness in the throat, in addition to other symptoms such as:
- Trouble swallowing.
- Dry cough.
How to relieve a dry throat
The best way to combat a dry throat is to deal with what is causing it. For that, it is best to consult a doctor, who will make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment.
Generally, they usually prescribe sprays, gels, moisturizers, or pills, with the aim of stimulating saliva production.
You can also try the following home remedies as a complement to medical recommendations (never as a substitute):
As we pointed out, to avoid dryness in the throat it is very important to stay hydrated. You can opt for mineral water or fruit juices, and thus obtain extra nutrients.
Remember to avoid soft drinks or carbonated drinks, since they are not only harmful, but also have caffeine that promotes dryness, or alcoholic beverages. It is also important that the drinks are not too cold.
An old and very popular home remedy to reach and relieve dry throat consists of making different preparations to gargle:
- To relieve pain and fight harmful bacteria caused by dry throat, you can prepare a solution of salt water. Just remember that the water is lukewarm to dissolve the salt. Then gargle for 20 seconds as many times as necessary. Remember: It is very important that you do not swallow this solution.
- Boil an onion to release an anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin. Then strain, let it cool and gargle for 20 seconds.
- Wash a licorice root very well and chop fine slices until you complete a tablespoon. Infuse in 250 ml. of water, strain, let stand and then gargle for 20 seconds. Licorice has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Inhale or drink eucalyptus tea
Eucalyptus is widely recognized in traditional medicine for its decongestant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The researchers point out that these are due to compounds such as eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, or methyl salicylate.
You can take advantage of eucalyptus to treat dryness or sore throat by preparing it in infusions, boiling a tablespoon of eucalyptus per cup of water, or preparing solutions to gargle.
You can also make inhalations, since eucalyptus vapor is ideal for cleaning the respiratory tract, avoiding breathing through the mouth.
Honey with lemon
Both honey and lemon have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Their combination is believed to be one of the oldest remedies in existence, especially for relieving sore and dry throats.
To prepare this remedy you only need to squeeze the juice of a small lemon or half a large lemon, mix it with a tablespoon of honey, heat it a little, let it rest and consume.
Another option is to prepare a lemon infusion and add a teaspoon of honey to add flavor.
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, talk to your doctor first about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.