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"Why does my throat hurt when I wake up in the morning?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy does my throat hurt when I wake up in the morning?


I am an 18 year old male who is in college. My throat has been sore ever since I ate General Tso's Tofu at a Chinese take-out restaurant. I did have a type of viral pink eye before this occurrence which caused me to have a sore throat, but that virus is now gone. Now, every morning my throat hurts and I cough out a little bit of mucous. I do not feel like sick at all or feel like I have the flue. I have no allergies and am not on any medications. What should I do?


So sorry to hear about your recent ailment. I would also like to know how long it has been occurring for (days, weeks, months, etc), and if there are any other symptoms associated. From the little bit that you have mentioned however, it is possible to make an educated guess. Also, your question seems to imply that the sore throat is worse in the morning. Given the fact that this sore throat started after you ate Chinese take-out and the fact that the pain is worse in the morning and doesn't seem to have other flu like symptoms, it is possible that you are having acid reflux, or GERD. In this condition, acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus and burns it. The body reacts, to protect itself, by creating mucous in your throat that you then cough up. The constant acid/mucous cycle creates irritation that you feel most in the morning, because lying down makes more acid come back up. Try avoiding caffeine, eating quickly before bed, spicy foods, etc and see if your symptoms improve. Additionally, if you are having post nasal drip, even without noticing it, this could be causing inflammation that gives you a sore throat. Your recent history of a viral infection makes this possible as well. Please see your primary care doctor or an ENT surgeon if your symptoms persist.

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