I get sore throats all of the time... is this worth a trip to the doc?
August 3, 2014 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Lately, I seem to have at least one day every week in which I have a sore throat and generally feel under the weather. I take it easy that day and am usually back to normal the next, but I don't think it is normal to be getting sore throats so often. I eat well, take vitamins/fish oil and exercise, but I do know that I am getting very poor, broken sleep due to stress lately - maybe 5 or so hours - though I get good sleep some nights. Is this worth going to the doctor, or could poor sleep really make you feel bad this often?
posted by Kamelot123 to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I'm waking up frequently but not constantly with a sore throat, it's allergies. They cause me just enough congestion when I'm laying down that I mouth-breathe, and/or I've got post-nasal drip down my throat just bad enough to cause low-level irritation.

Especially dry weather will do it now and then (it's uncommon where I live now but tended to come in waves in other places I've been) and I need to run a humidifier while I sleep.

A bunch of answers will diagnose you with sleep apnea, but I would suggest logging the sore throats and bad sleep along with trying antihistamines and humidity (if necessary) first before you take your logs to the doctor. Otherwise the doctor's not going to have any more information than you do right now.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:19 PM on August 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, and yes. Of course it's worth going to a doctor, and for sure sleeping poorly could suppress your immune system and leave you sick a lot. Sleep's incredibly important.
posted by facetious at 4:28 PM on August 3, 2014

Experiment with closing the windows/turning off aircon/fans for the night. Sleeping in a draft gives some people a sore throat.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:30 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are you drinking enough water? Are you going hungry? I have a sore throat on days after I haven't paid enough attention to hydration. I also get a sore throat before my period, for what it's worth. I also definitely agree with travelwithcats about sleeping in drafty, too-cool air.
posted by tapir-whorf at 4:32 PM on August 3, 2014

Any time you're experiencing enough discomfort to negatively affect your life, it's worthwhile to visit a doctor to see if there's something going on. Sore throat could mean swollen glands, which could indicate something systemic. Might as well rule that out, just for peace of mind.
posted by xingcat at 4:32 PM on August 3, 2014

Lousy sleep, very little water, and dry weather = ongoing sinus problems and under the weather feelings. Fix the middle factor (too little water) first and see how that helps.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:33 PM on August 3, 2014

Is there any mold in your house? I rented a house once that had a flooded basement the previous summer, and turns out there was mold in walls. I had weekly sore throats and just a general sense of lethargy, and never enough sleep.

The landlord treated the basement for mold (using KILLZ) and within days, no more sore throats.
posted by mochapickle at 4:38 PM on August 3, 2014

Allergies can make you feel tired, so it makes sense that you're feeling tired along with the sore throat. Of course, it could be something else!

Tip: taking a shower before you go to sleep at night washes much of the pollen (or whatever it is you're allergic to) out of your hair and off your skin. You may find this helps you get a good night's sleep and wake up feeling less tired.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:42 PM on August 3, 2014

To add to travelwithcats and tapir-whorf, air conditioning will also make the air in your house a lot drier. If we're using the A/C really heavy I will wake up to a very scratchy throat in the morning.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:12 PM on August 3, 2014

I often wake up with a sore throat when I've had really bad acid reflux overnight. Do you get heartburn?
posted by Librarypt at 5:17 PM on August 3, 2014

To add to what Librarypt said, you can get a sore throat from acid reflux even if you don't experience heartburn. It's called silent reflux. I found that the sore throat in the morning went away when I took a proton pump inhibitor.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:31 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd also guess allergies -> post-nasal drip or GERD. Both are famous for causing sore throats. If some experiments with an antihistamine/decogestant or acid reflux pill don't give you relief, yes, by all means go to the Dr.
posted by quince at 5:59 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had this happen and it was post nasal drip caused by a sinus infection. Especially if the sore throat is worse when you wake up in the morning. Doctor + sinus spray + antibiotics cured it.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:30 PM on August 3, 2014

nthing the acid reflux angle. Stress and poor sleep could be causing the reflux and the fact that the sore throat goes away after 1 day or so sounds like what I've had before. Prilosec (omeprazole) is a godsend for this.
posted by duoshao at 7:28 PM on August 3, 2014

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