A sore throat in the morning is a common problem that many people face, and in most cases it is not due to an actual illness such as a cold or the flu. Instead, it is frequently caused by one's living environment, such as dry air in the home or at work, or if one smokes. In addition, a few medical issues such as sleep apnea or acid reflux can also cause a sore throat upon waking in the morning.
Dry air in the home is, by far, the most common culprit of a sore throat in the morning. To combat this, it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day, both at home or at work. Turning the heat down at night can be helpful, as well as placing a humidifier in the bedroom. Adding extra moisture to the air is one of the best ways to combat morning throat problems. Some people also find that sleeping under a running ceiling fan can have a similar effect upon waking up.
Smoking is another one of the most common causes of a persistent sore throat in the morning. The solution for this is to quit smoking, not just to prevent a sore throat but to improve overall health. Smoking can cause cancer in the throat and lungs as well. If you quit smoking and the morning sore throat does not improve relatively quickly, it is a good idea to visit a doctor.
Acid reflux, when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes heartburn, can cause a sore throat as well. This can be prevented by making changes to the diet and cutting out spicy foods, sleeping with the head elevated, and not eating for a few hours before bedtime. Medications and over-the-counter antacid products can help prevent acid reflux and a morning sore throat as well.
Sleep apnea is another common cause of a sore throat in the morning. This condition causes a person to stop breathing, or to breathe shallowly for a few moments while sleeping, and it frequently causes loud snoring. This breathing interruption and snoring is what leads to a sore throat. People suffering from sleep apnea are generally told to attempt sleeping on the side rather than on the back, to quit smoking, and to lose weight; if this does not help, more treatments from a medical professional may be necessary.