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My Throat Is Always Sore in the Morning — What Could It Be?

My Throat Is Always Sore in the Morning — What Could It Be?

Do you wake up with a painful or scratchy throat? Does it ever burn when you swallow or leave you feeling hoarse? If you struggle with these persistent problems in the morning, it’s time to look for answers — and that’s where Dr. Vandana Kumra can help.

As an ENT in New York City, Dr. Kumra has the special skills and training you need to get to the bottom of chronic ear, nose, and throat symptoms. If your throat is always sore in the morning, here are a few potential causes.


You may associate allergy symptoms with your sinuses, but those blocked nasal passages can cause you to breathe through your mouth. Plus, they increase mucus and post-nasal drip. The result? A night of restless sleep and a dry, irritated throat. 

There are several types of allergies, including those with year-round indoor triggers, like pet dander and dust mites. These substances cause your immune system to respond, leaving you with uncomfortable symptoms, including throat discomfort and inflamed airways.

Environmental irritants

While allergies can cause throat irritation, you can also react to your environment without being allergic to it. That’s because certain environments can cause your body to ramp up mucus production to keep airways moist. And, as mucus builds up and starts making its way down your throat, it can cause discomfort.

These responses can occur from various environmental triggers, from fumes or dust to secondhand smoke or cold, dry air.

Mouth breathing

Does your morning sore throat improve as soon as you take a drink of water? You could be mouth breathing.

As you might expect, this type of sore throat develops because you breathe through your mouth, especially while sleeping. Other signs of nighttime mouth breathing include:

In most cases, mouth breathing occurs because of a nasal obstruction interfering with your ability to breathe through your nose. Common causes of nasal obstruction include sleep apnea, congestion, and enlarged adenoids or tonsils.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Did you know you can have GERD without those telltale heartburn symptoms? Believe it or not, acid reflux causes a sore throat in many people and can offer the first clue to this problem.

When you have acid reflux, contents from your stomach flow back into the esophagus. Without treatment, this can cause damage to the esophagus and throat. In addition to a sore throat, other signs of GERD include:

GERD can also cause discomfort or burning in the upper middle stomach.

Diagnosing a sore throat

These are just a few common causes of a persistent sore throat in the morning. The best way to get answers involves a throat and voice evaluation with Dr. Kumra in Manhattan.

During this assessment, Dr. Kumra can use special diagnostic tools to determine what’s to blame for your symptoms. Then, she can outline the best course of treatment to ease your morning discomfort.

Tired of waking up with a sore throat day after day? Schedule a consultation with Vandana Kumra, MD, in New York City by calling 914-867-0399 today.

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