The human throat begins at the front of the neck and makes it way down the body and to the lungs. The throat is an important body part because it works to improve the mouth, nose and ears. Via the nasopharynx, the throat is combined to the nose. The Eustachian tube helps connect the throat to the ears. One of the main functions of the throat is to help bring air into the lungs via the bronchi. The throat is also a big assistance for singers because the larynx, which holds the vocal cords, helps regulate the air pressure that follows in and out. At times, the throat becomes dry and irritating. There can be many reasons for a dry throat, but let’s take a look at the symptoms first.
For issues like a dry throat, there is usually a problem within a problem. The symptoms of a dry throat can be underlining a larger issue at hand. Here are some of the symptoms that are associated with a dry throat.
- Sore throat
- Inability to speak
- Uncontrollable thirst
- Hoarseness in throat and speaking
- Dry lips
- Increase of saliva
- Feeling like there is something stuck in your throat
- Bad breath
- Inability to swallow foods
The room is quiet, there is an important person speaking and all of a sudden you hear, “cough, cough, cough”. Someone in the room has a dry throat and needs water asap. It possible that everyone has been in this type of situation once or twice and it can be very embarrassing. But what are the specific causes of a dry throat. Below is a list of the possible dry throat causes.
- Dehydration- One of the easiest ways to distinguish a dry throat is because of a lack of water within the body. The body craves water more than most liquids and when it does not receive enough, it becomes dehydrated. Besides a dry throat, if you feel dizzy or have been urinating less and have darker urine, you may be suffering from dehydration. By drinking water, Gatorade and other drinks with high levels of vitamins, your body will feel hydrated and fresh.
- Acid Reflux- One of the unexpected reasons for a dry throat is acid reflux, otherwise known as, gastroesophageal reflux disease. The backup of acid is one of the reasons that your throat becomes so dry. Other signs of acid reflux include a dry cough, burping and heartburn. Rolaids, Zanatc and Prilosec are different types of medication that can help control the acid reflux and reduce the cause of dry throat.
- Excess singing and/or yelling- Most singers, especially opera singers, suffer from dry throat constantly. The reason being is that the larynx is being used at a high level and increasing use and that wears down the larynx. A rest from speaking/singing will due the throat very much good.
- Sore throat- A sore throat can become the main cause of a dry throat. During the winter months and flu season, doctors will see an increase in patients complaining of a sore throat. Sometimes the causes of a dry and sore throat can be effects of laryngitis, tonsillitis, strep throat, mononucleosis and bronchitis. These types of infections should be immediately dealt with by a doctor.
- Open-mouth sleep- It is very common for people to sleep with their mouth open. Snorers and mouth-sleepers usually tend to wake up in the morning with a dry throat. This should be no surprise, especially during the winter months.
- Cold- The most common cause of a dry throat is usually a cold. Common colds are different from the flu and can be developed by different viruses. Besides a dry throat, you may experience coughing, sneezing and a stuffy nose. Over-the-counter-medication is usually a quick and easy way to get rid of the common cold. To help ease your dry throat, drink warm tea, broth and eat throat lozenges.
- Environmental issues and allergies- If you live in an over-polluted area then your risk of developing a dry throat can increase substantially. Low humidity levels in certain environments can offset the balance of the air you breathe and cause dry throats. If you are allergic to certain things such as, pollen and dust, then these can also cause a dry throat.
If you are constantly suffering from a dry mouth, you can do a few things to help prevent a dry mouth from occurring. Some prevention tips are:
- Try XyliMelts for a dry mouth/throat
- Suck on throat lozenges
- Drink hot tea with honey
- Use a humidifier
- Get the flu shot
- Talk to your doctor