why do I have a sore throat?
September 23, 2012 10:51 PM   Subscribe

why is my throat dry and scratchy?

Many years ago, I began to have a continuously scratchy, dry throat. It hurt and bothered me. Eventually the Dr. & I figured out I had allergies. Reactine helped and from then on, I take it most of the year.

Since then I've noticed lately (last few weeks) that my throat is dry, sore and scratchy in spite of the reactine. What could the reason be?

I'm taking no-name reactine so I am wondering if maybe this is playing a role, although it's the same chemical as the brand name and the some stuff I usually take, and I've taken several boxes' worth since this started. Could this be it? Or do I need to up the dose on my own?

Maybe it's some other reason. Am I sick? I don't have any other symptoms. My life is stressful, so there's that. I've never smoked.

do you have any advice?

posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I get the same symptoms and it is almost ialways allergies and/or I haven't been drinking enough water.
posted by MT at 10:54 PM on September 23, 2012

I suffer from allergies, and different brands of allergy medication definitely work in different ways (ie, some are better than others). It's now mold season, so I've noticed my allergies acting up a little.

I lived for a few years in a farming community, and grass season was just brutal, because the main crop was hay for fodder. My allergies were so bad that it hurt to swallow, and I thought I had strep throat.

The doctor simply prescribed extra-strength sudafed.

The best thing to do may be to go to the pharmacist and ask for advice. They're a wealth of information.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:56 PM on September 23, 2012

extra: when my throat gets this way, I find ibuprofin or aspirin helps it feel better but I don't want to end up taking painkillers all the time either.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 10:56 PM on September 23, 2012

I second allergies. If you're taking any other medication (e.g. antidepressants), some side effects include dry mouth, which may induce the sore throat.
posted by Hawk V at 11:11 PM on September 23, 2012

You should probably investigate the "ounce of prevention" angle with your allergies. Do you know what specifically triggers your allergies? A skin test for environmental allergens was helpful for me.

Do you have fans in your home? Are they clean?

Does your home have carpeting? Is it clean?

Do you have pets?

Do you have plants? How often are your home's windows open?

Is your car interior clean? Has the air filter been changed recently?

Is there a particular time of day that this is most prevalent?
posted by germdisco at 11:33 PM on September 23, 2012

My throat gets real dry from air conditioning, WINTER, certain anti depressants i've had in the past & allergies.

Mostly I blame air conditioning or winter.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:42 PM on September 23, 2012

My throat has gotten super dry and scratchy lately, especially upon waking up in the morning. A friend recommended that I put a humidifier in my room. I did so two or three nights ago, and these past few days have been significantly better.

I don't know if it will help you, but having a humidifier definitely appears to be helping me!
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 4:08 AM on September 24, 2012

Allergies is most probably the problem. In addition to your allergy meds, drink a ton of water and take guaifenesin (generic Mucinex) like candy -- just make sure you get the straight stuff and not the kind with decongestant, etc.
posted by slkinsey at 5:27 AM on September 24, 2012

I often have this same problem, sometime from allergies, sometimes from dehydration.

1. Drinking sparkling water or ginger ale (carbonated beverages in general) helps with the irritaion more than plain water or juice.
2. Gargling with Listerine (or putting Listerine in a spray bottle and spritzing the throat, which is easier, neater and lasts longer).
posted by mmf at 10:04 AM on September 24, 2012

If it turns out not to be allergies, or excessive dryness in your environment, Sjogren's syndrome is a possibility.

Whatever the cause, using sugar-free gum throughout the day can be comforting.
posted by Corvid at 6:27 PM on September 24, 2012

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