IS SAUNA GOOD FOR A SORE THROAT?

lady entering a sauna

If you have a sore throat you should avoid a sauna. The dry hot air inside a sauna can irritate a sore throat and leave you feeling worse. The best advice is to steer clear of the sauna if you have a sore throat.

DOES SAUNA HELP SORE THROAT?

smiling happy lady

There is no evidence that a sauna will help relieve a sore throat. In fact, many people find that inhaling hot dry air irritates their throat further.

On the other hand, it has been shown that spending time in a sauna will have no effect on speeding up your recovery.

As there is little evidence that a sauna session will improve your sore throat – it’s best you just avoid it until you are feeling better. In fact, the hot dry air might just make things worse.

Most sore throats are not serious and resolve themselves within 3 days. Stay away from the sauna, rest up, and give it some time until you are feeling better.

WHAT IS A SORE THROAT?

lady smiling and pointing

A sore throat is a painful irritation of the throat. They are not a serious condition and usually resolve themselves after 3 days. Sore throats are most commonly triggered by a viral infection.

They are a very common illness and most people will suffer a sore throat 2/3 times every year. Teenagers and young children pick them up more frequently than adults.

They are usually caused by a viral infection that also causes the common cold or flu. This type of sore throat is known as pharyngitis. Antibiotics cannot help fight a viral infection.

The best way to avoid picking up a sore throat is to practice good hygiene – wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and avoid sharing cups, glasses, and utensils.

SYMPTOMS OF SORE THROAT

  • Painful Throat – made worse by swallowing
  • Scratchy Dry Throat
  • Redness & Tenderness in Back of Mouth
  • Swollen Tender Neck Glands
  • Mild Cough
  • Unpleasant Breath Odor

TYPES OF SORE THROAT

Most sore throats are caused by viral infection. A less common but more serious infection is caused by bacterial infection. See below for the different types of sore throats and how they are caused.

VIRAL SORE THROATS

Viruses cause sore throats known as tonsillitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis. Viral sore throats are triggered by the common cold, influenza, mononucleosis (kissing disease), chickenpox, measles, croup, and covid-19. Glandular fever is a type of viral tonsillitis.

BACTERIAL SORE THROATS

Many different types of bacteria can cause a sore throat but by far the most common is Streptococcus Pyogenes. This is the infection that causes strep throat. Strep throat can develop into a serious infection and requires treatment using antibiotics to avoid serious complications.

OTHER TYPES OF SORE THROAT

Less common causes of an irritated throat include allergies (pets, pollen, dust), dryness (dry indoor air), irritants (pollution, smoke, chemicals), muscle strain (shouting, talking loudly), gastro-reflux GERD (stomach acid disorder), HIV infection, and tumors.

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HOW DOES SAUNA HEAT AFFECT A SORE THROAT?

lady drinking a glass of water

Heat and humidity have an effect on the mucous membranes that line the throat. Hot dry air irritates these sensitive throat membranes. Breathing in hot dry air over a period of time can cause a sore throat and should definitely be avoided if you already have one.

However, a study lead by Daniel Pach at the Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics in Berlin found that inhaling hot air while in a sauna has no significant impact on overall symptom severity of the common cold.

We can safely say that for some people heat and dry air will irritate their throat while for others it will have little effect. But, as there is no potential benefit – breathing in hot dry air should be avoided when you have a sore throat.

HOW DO I GET A SORE THROAT?

Most sore throats are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by the same viruses that give us the common cold and influenza.

That means you will pick up a sore throat in the same way as you pick up a cold or flu. The virus is transmitted in tiny droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze and touch their face.

These droplets are often passed from one person to another when we touch the same objects, such as door handles, money, utensils.

The best way to avoid getting a sore throat is to practice good basic hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and avoid sharing utensils.

INFRARED SAUNA AND SORE THROAT

inside an infrared sauna

Infrared saunas will not irritate your sore throat as much as a regular sauna. This is because an infrared sauna does not heat the air inside the sauna.

Traditional saunas, like a Finnish sauna, heat the air to a very high temperature. Breathing this hot dry air can irritate your sore throat and make you feel worse.  The advice is to avoid it.

The advice is to avoid a sauna if you are suffering from a sore throat. However, if you insist on taking a sauna it is better to use an infrared sauna instead of a traditional sauna.

Interested in learning more about Home Infrared Sauna?  Take a look at our guides to super affordable, compact, and convenient sauna – the best infrared sauna blankets, infrared heating mats, and portable steam saunas.

 

frequently asked questions

Can You Sweat Out a Sore Throat?

No, you cannot sweat out a sore throat. Most sore throats are not serious and will resolve themselves in 2-3 days.

Will a Steam Room Help Cure a Sore Throat?

A steam room may temporarily relieve the symptoms of a sore throat but it will not speed up your recovery.

Can a Sauna Cause a Sore Throat?

No, a sauna will not cause a sore throat. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by viruses and bacteria. In rare cases, the dry hot air of a sauna may irritate the membranes in your throat causing temporary soreness.

Is Sauna Good For Tonsilitis?

No, there is no evidence to suggest a sauna is good for tonsilitis. Tonsilitis is caused by a viral infection. Most tonsilitis infections will resolve themselves in a few days. The dry heat of a sauna may irritate the tonsilitis further.

How Do I Know If My Sore Throat is Viral or Bacterial?

The best way to find out if your sore throat has been caused by a bacterial or viral infection is to go to a doctor. Bacterial infection can lead to strep throat which is a serious condition requiring treatment by antibiotics.

How Do I Get Rid of a Sore Throat Quickly?

Most sore throats are not serious conditions. While they can be painful and irritating they pass away in 2-3 days. The best way to get rid of a sore throat is to let your immune system fight it off naturally.

What Does a Sore Throat Indicate?

A sore throat is usually a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. The vast majority of sore throats are caused by viral infections. Bacterial infection is more serious and requires treatment using antibiotics as it can lead to strep throat.

How Do You Know When a Sore Throat is Serious?

If you think your sore throat is serious you should see a doctor. If it is more painful than a regular sore throat or has persisted for more than 3 days you should seek medical advice from a professional.

How Long Should a Sore Throat Last?

Most sore throats last 2-3 days. Your immune system fights off the infection in this time.

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