A sore throat from dry air is a common issue that can affect you unexpectedly and cause cold-like symptoms that make your life uncomfortable. While this problem isn’t too serious, it might open you up to more persistent concerns like throat infections and more. As a result, you need to know the answer to questions like “Can dry air cause a sore throat?” and “Does dry air cause sore throat symptoms?” as well as how you can manage sore throat humidity issues.
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions, including “Can low humidity cause sore throat problems?” as well as how long a dry throat will last and how bad your sore throat may feel. Even better, we’ll discuss some common solutions that can help you stay healthy.
Understanding the Connection Between Sore Throat and Dry Air
Dry air is a common problem in many homes due to things like naturally low humidity or a lack of humidity within the area itself. This lack of humidity can cause problems like breathing issues, eye irritation, skin problems, nose bleeds, higher stress, dehydration, and even infections. So when answering the question “Can dry air cause a sore throat?” we have to answer with “yes.”
Does Dry Air Cause Sore Throat Issues? Yes, and Here’s Why
Why exactly do you develop a sore throat from dry air? Well, the throat naturally needs a certain amount of humidity throughout the day to stay healthy. Dry air naturally causes your throat to lose that moisture and can create soreness throughout the muscles. Many people experience not just pain but inflammation in their throat that can be very hard to tolerate.
In fact, in a 2013 study, it was found that a steady stream of cold and dry air blown down the throat would cause more pain and irritation than humid air. Furthermore, the study found that the colder the air, the more irritation someone would experience. So, sore throat humidity isn’t the only issue that connects to a sore throat from dry air but the temperature of the air itself.
Does Low Humidity Cause Sore Throat? Yes, and Longer Than You Might Think
Clearly, low humidity and dry air can cause a serious sore throat problem. But how long will this sore throat last? That depends on many factors. Typically, a sore throat should last no more than a few days or even an evening, depending on the lack of humidity. However, consistently dry air might cause your sore throat to linger continually and trigger more pain.
If you have a sore throat for more than a week, you should see a doctor right away. You should also visit a doctor if you have more serious problems, such as difficulty breathing, problems with swallowing, inability to open the mouth, swelling in the face or neck, blood in your saliva or mucus, or even a large lump in your neck that feels painful to the touch.
Preventing Sore Throat in Dry Air Conditions
If you’re tired of having a sore throat from dry air, it’s important to take a few preventative tips. General care options, such as avoiding sick people, washing your hands regularly, resting regularly, drinking lots of fluids, and eating a healthy diet can help here. However, there are other dry air tips that you can utilize that can minimize your pain and improve your treatment.
Importance of Hydration
When your home or work office has naturally dry air, it’s important to stay as hydrated as possible. Drinking your daily dose of water (and skipping alcohol) can keep your throat moisturized and minimize your pain. Health specialists like the Cleveland Clinic suggest drinking warm drinks, tea, or even chicken soup to keep your mucous membranes clear.
This benefit helps to reduce your sore throat and, even more importantly, prevent sinus infections that may come with sore throats. So yes, when answering the question “Can dry air cause a sore throat?” You also need to know how to avoid sinus infections. Regular rest, essential oils, a warm compress, antibiotics, and a neti pot may all help here.
Use of Room Humidifiers
If the answer to the question “Does dry air cause sore throat issues?” concerns you, it’s important to take proactive steps by installing humidifiers in your home. Humidifiers naturally add moisture to your air and can reduce your risk of a serious sore throat. Test the moisture in your air and add humidifiers to your home or business wherever it’s naturally lower than normal.
Furthermore, adding room humidifiers can also help reduce flu risk, minimize snoring problems, improve skin and hair moisture, and even make your plants and floors stronger. Clearly, a humidifier is a great option for dry homes, though it’s important to avoid risks such as too much humidity and using improper water (only purified brands) to stay safe.
Proper Ventilation Techniques
Lastly, you can prevent or reduce a sore throat from dry air by using proper ventilation techniques. For instance, open your doors and windows when it’s safe and comfortable, use fans to keep air flowing, upgrade your HVAC system, and keep your air filter clean. All these steps keep your air clean and can improve its moisture levels to minimize sore throat risks.
Home Remedies for Relief of Sore Throat From Dry Air
People answering the question “Can low humidity cause sore throat?” also want to know how they can prevent this problem from worsening. After all, suffering from a sore throat is no laughing matter, and you deserve to know how to handle your care. Thankfully, there are many therapeutic options you can tap into that will reduce your suffering and make life easier for you.
Gargling With Saltwater
Managing sore throat humidity isn’t the only way to handle a sore throat from dry air. Instead, you can gargle with salt water to reduce your inflammation and improve your symptoms considerably. Follow these steps to utilize this technique safely and ensure that your sore throat doesn’t worsen on you:
- Pick salt, including sea salts or kosher salts (they work best)
- Mix one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of salt with water
- Slightly warm the water on a stove to make it more pleasant
- Mix in honey, lemon, garlic, or other flavors to improve the taste
- Swish the water around in your mouth at the back of your throat
- Gargle as long as you feel comfortable and spit it out
- Repeat, if necessary, until your sore throat goes away
When using this technique, avoid swallowing the water when you’re done gargling. It might upset your stomach, throw off your electrolytes, or even cause you to puke. Furthermore, avoid touching your face or any sensitive areas after handling the saltwater until after you’ve washed your hands and got any residue off of your fingers.
Drinking a cup or two of herbal tea may help alleviate many of your sore throat from dry air symptoms. Try to find herbal teas with these ingredients to manage your sore throat from dry air:
- Slippery elm
- Marshmallow root
- Green Tea
Making herbal tea is very simple and requires boiling your water to a hot level, placing your herbs in a tea strainer, pouring the hot water over the leaves, and steeping it for at least 10-20 minutes, depending on the herbs. Sip it slowly and let it settle on your throat muscles to get the best results. Pay close attention to the herbs you use to choose types that work the best for you.
This unique process is something you can do at home if you’re careful and take the time to prepare properly. You’ll need to follow these steps to do it right:
- Heat up a large kettle of water to boiling on a stove
- Pour the water into a bowl
- Place a towel over the back of your head
- Set a timer for 2-5 minutes
- Lower your head to about 8-12 inches over the bowl
- Inhale the steam slowly to help soothe your throat
There’s a slight risk of burning yourself if you’re not careful with your bowl of water or if you get too close while inhaling the steam. Keep yourself 8-12 inches away and breathe smoothly to ensure you get the help you deserve.
Humidifiers for Dry Throat Relief
While all of the processes mentioned above will help with a sore throat from dry air and sore throat humidity issues, there’s no better care option than installing a humidifier. We’ve briefly talked about them before, but we think they deserve more attention. A humidifier is a device that takes stored water and turns it into air moisture before it pumps it into your home.
Installing one can help to reduce your sore throat from dry air and enhance sore throat humidity problems before they worsen. Let’s take a brief look at some of the best humidifiers on the market today, including the features that make them worth a purchase:
- Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist: This humidifier uses an ultrasonic design to spread healthy humidity in the air and even includes an essential oil container to make your air smell nicer. It has a capacity of 1.6 gallons, can run up to 50 hours, and helps rooms up to 500 square feet.
- Levoit 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier: Levoit’s top humidifier works well for up to 505 square feet and runs for up to 60 hours with an automatic shutoff. It also connects to various voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa, and uses a soft lighting system to help make it easier to operate.
- Venta LW25 Airwasher: If you’re interested in an evaporative humidifier, try this option. It can maintain a 40-60% humidity level in your home in rooms up to 430 square feet. It runs for up to 10 hours and has a filter-free design that makes it easier to maintain and manage.
Speaking of maintenance, we believe it’s important to perform steps like changing the water regularly, cleaning out the air filter, watching for leaks, and cleaning up any spills around the humidifier. When shopping for a model, pay attention to the factors below to make this process smoother:
- Room size
- Humidification style
- Ease of maintenance
- Humidistat types
- Maintenance demands
Carefully check the box and read online reviews from real humidifier users to get the best results for your home. Pay close attention to room size and choose one that fits areas in your home that need extra humidity. Doing so can ensure that you manage your sore throat properly.