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Can Allergies Cause Red Throat

Can Allergies Cause A Sore Throat

Can Allergies Cause an Itchy Throat?

Yes, sometimes allergies can cause a sore throat among other symptoms. Its all part of the way your body protects itself against allergic reactions.

  • After exposure to an allergic trigger, your body releases chemicals called histamines into your bloodstream1. This can cause reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing and that general stuffy feeling.
  • Histamines increase your bodys production of mucus, which is used to keep your throat, mouth and nose from drying out2. At normal levels of production, you wont notice mucus, even as it performs important tasks like neutralizing harmful bacteria.
  • However, when histamines ramp up your bodys production of mucus, you may feel excess mucus in your throat caused by post-nasal drip. This can irritate your throat and cause a scratchy feeling3.

Histamines are your bodys natural reaction to any allergy trigger. So whether youre exposed to pollen as a hay fever sufferer, or to dust by opening an old book, your body springs into action resulting in the discomfort you feel during an allergic reaction.

If youre experiencing a sore throat as an allergy symptom, there are potential ways to find relief.

But that doesnt mean its not an annoyance! So lets find out how to help or stop a sore throat being caused by allergies.

Why Do Allergies Cause A Sore Throat

First, allergies 101: If youre allergic to something, your body sees proteins in that substance as a foreign invader. And when those proteins get into your systemsay, by breathing in a whiff of dust or getting pollen blown into your eyesyour immune system launches an inflammatory response in an attempt to protect you.

Part of that inflammatory response involves producing lots of extra mucus. The mucus helps propel the debris out of your body, but it can give you a runny nose and congestion. And thats not all. The ears, nose, and throat are all physically connected, so problems in one area can affect another, says William Reisacher, M.D., director of allergy services at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

As a result, that mucus can cause postnasal drip, where the gooky stuff dribbles down the back of your throat and makes it feel raw and irritated. Allergens can also trigger the tissues in the back of your throat to become inflamed, which only adds to the discomfort, says Dr. Mehdizadeh.

How Can You Tell If Your Sore Throat Is From Allergiesor Something Else

Sore throat, especially during the winter months, can also signal a cold or a virus, making it hard to tell what you’re dealing with. It can be difficult to differentiate between a cold and allergies, but the best way to differentiate between the two would be length of symptoms and past history of allergies, Dr. Li says.

“Both allergies and the seasonal cold can cause runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes and cough,” he says. “However, cold symptoms typically last only a few days while allergy symptoms will often last several weeks to months.”

Allergy symptoms also typically flare up during the spring, summer and fall seasons, while colds usually come during the winter times, Dr. Li says. Allergy symptoms are also more responsive to oral antihistamine and nasal steroids while cold symptoms typically are more resistant to these types of treatments. Lastly, colds or viruses that can cause sore throat will usually will present with more fevers and body aches than allergies will.

Certain symptoms, such as runny nose or itchy, watery eyes, are more common with allergies than a cold, Dr. Simpson adds. If you’re also experiencing aches and pains or a fever, you most likely have a cold or virus. Thick yellow mucus is often more typical of a cold or virus.

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Is Your Sore Throat Caused By Cold Or Allergies

But, how to tell whether your sore throat is caused by allergies or just cold? The best way is to pay attention to the duration. How long does it last? A common cold will get pretty bad for a day or so, but they will often go away within a few days at the most, the common cold lasts for ten days. The flu lasts for about the same period of time, and is accompanied by muscle aches and fatigue among other symptoms. But allergies are persistent. They can go on for weeks or even months. Seasonal allergies often occur during the spring, and tend to come around every year, no matter what you do to try to avoid them.

You can also tell the difference between a cold and allergies by the mucus. Colds cause mucus that is yellowish, while allergies lead to a thin and clear mucus discharge. You might also notice a difference in symptoms: the cold tends to cause coughing and congestion, while allergies can include itchy eyes and a sore throat.

Sore Throat From Allergies: Symptoms And Remedies

Sore Throat

Among the allergy symptoms that can affect day-to-day life, getting a sore throat from allergies can be especially irritating. Together with a runny nose and itchy eyes, a sore throat can cause discomfort and disruption to your routine.

Allergy symptoms of a sore throat can include a dry, scratchy feeling in your throat. It could be caused by different kinds of allergies, whether seasonal or something in your home that is affecting you.

There are various steps you can take to help manage or even reduce the symptoms.

Find out more about potential sore throat allergy remedies with our helpful guide.

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Can I Prevent Hay Fever

There is no way to prevent hay fever, but lifestyle changes can help you live with allergies. You can relieve hay fever symptoms by avoiding irritants as much as possible. To reduce symptoms, you should:

  • Avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes or nose.
  • Close windows in your home and car during the spring, summer and early fall when pollen counts are higher.
  • Enclose pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust mite covers.
  • Keep pets off couches and beds, and close doors to bedrooms you dont want them to enter.
  • Use filters in your vacuum cleaner and air conditioner to reduce the amount of allergens in the air.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after playing with pets.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen when youre outside. Change your clothes as soon as you come indoors.

Soothing A Sore Throat At Home

Here are several home remedies that may help soothe a sore throat from allergies, according to Harvard Medical School:

  • Stay well-hydrated to help to thin the mucus.
  • Consume more hot liquids, such as chicken soup.
  • Use a humidifier or inhale steam.
  • Prop yourself up with a few extra pillows at night, since mucus can collect in the back of your throat when you lie flat.

There are also many over-the-counter medications available, including oral decongestants and antihistamines. Nasal decongestants may also be helpful, though Harvard Medical School cautions that they shouldn’t be used for more than one to two days. For help choosing the most appropriate product, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.

While these steps can help soothe a sore throat from allergies, they won’t prevent future allergy symptoms. Pollen, whether from grass, trees or ragweed, is a common culprit of seasonal allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, so avoiding exposure to it can help. The Mayo Clinic recommends staying indoors on dry, windy days and, if possible, keeping your doors and windows closed on days with high pollen counts. If you need to do outdoor chores, such as lawn mowing or weed pulling, wear a pollen mask.

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How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Cold And Allergies

Both allergies and viral infections can cause symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and congestion. So how can you tell whats actually making you feel crummy?

How your symptoms begin are often a big clue: Colds tend to creep up slowly, while allergy symptoms usually flare up shortly after youre exposed to an allergen, per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. If you start to notice itching, stuffiness, or an annoying tickle in the back of your throat after spending some time outside, for instance, youre probably dealing with allergies.

Other clues to watch for: If your sore throat tends to get worse or makes it hard to swallow, or you develop a fever, chills, or body aches, youre probably dealing with a cold or infection, Dr. Mehdizadeh says. If your allergy medications dont seem to be helping, thats also a sign it could be a cold, flu, COVID-19, or something else.

The bad news? Colds and allergies can exist at the same time, Dr. Reisacher says. So if you cant figure out what youre dealing with, talk with your doctor.

What Causes An Itchy Throat

Is My Sore Throat Caused By a Bacteria Infection or Allergies? Real Medical Advice from a Real Docto

Allergies are one of the most common causes of an itchy throat. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance called an allergen triggers an immune system response in your body. Examples of common allergy triggers that can cause an itchy throat include:

  • animal dander
  • foods, such as peanut butter, dairy, or strawberries
  • mold
  • pollen, found in trees, grass, or ragweed

Allergies can range from mild to severe. An itchy throat can indicate a milder, yet uncomfortable, allergic reaction.

Inhaling pollutants can also lead to an itchy throat. These might include:

  • chemicals
  • tobacco smoke or vapor
  • pesticides

Infections, such as the common cold or strep throat, can start as an itchy throat before progressing to soreness and pain.

An itchy throat may feel:

  • itchy
  • swollen
  • scratchy

An itchy throat feels uncomfortable, and it can feel as if you need to clear your throat frequently.

Its important to distinguish between the symptoms of an itchy throat and similar symptoms that may indicate other conditions. For example, an itchy throat doesnt feel rough or raw, or make you feel as if you cant breathe.

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How Can You Tell A Cold From Allergies

This can be challenging, Dr. Wada says. Still, there are a few signs that you might be dealing with one vs. the other.

Typically, allergies will last longerweeks to monthswhereas colds will last one to two weeks, Dr. Wada says. Colds also tend to have more body symptoms like muscle aches and even a fever, Dr. Parikh says. And, unless you develop an infection related to your allergies, you shouldnt get a fever from allergies.

What Causes A Sore Throat

The most common cause of a sore throat is a virus like a cold or the flu, COVID-19 or glandular fever.

Less than 1 in 3 sore throats is caused by a bacterial infection. Some sore throats are caused by the bacteria Strepococcus pyogenes. This is sometimes called a strep throat. If bacteria are the cause, you tend to become very unwell and your infection seems to get much worse. If the sore throat is caused by bacteria, you may benefit from antibiotics.

Sometimes a sore throat can be caused by tonsillitis , mouth ulcers or allergies.

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Red Bumps Or Spots On Back Of Throat: What It Means And How To Get Rid Of It

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Red bumps on the back of your throat usually mean that you have an inflammation, irritation, or an infection in your upper respiratory tract. Because the back of the throat is already red, it can be difficult to notice red spots on your throat. The red bumps can appear as small red dots in the throat or they can look like sore red ulcers. Usually, treating red spots on your tonsils or throat involves soothing the irritation or gargling with salt water to kill off infection-causing germs.

Very often, red bumps on your throat and tonsils are accompanied by other symptoms. For example, a sore throat caused by a viral infection can cause red bumps as well as coughing, phlegm, or sinusitis. You may also notice white bumps on the back of your throat or have swollen glands in your neck.

Usually, red spots on the back of your throat go away using home remedies to treat the discomfort. In some cases, you may need to see your doctor because infections causing red throat bumps can spread deeper into your respiratory tract.

Worried Your Sore Throat May Be Strep Top 5 Signs To Look For

Is This Strep Throat?  Dr. Jill Grimes

A sore throat can leave you feeling run down, hoarse, and unable to eat or speak normally. Luckily, most sore throats are caused by viruses and go away on their own.

On the other hand, strep throat is caused by bacteria and requires antibiotic treatment. At Physicians Medical Urgent Care in San Jose, California, Dr. Sveltlana Burkhead and Dr. Ines Munoz De Laborde are experts in diagnosing sore throats and strep infections.

If you see any of the 5 following signs, it might be time to come to our offices for a quick in-office test.

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Symptoms Of Red Spots On Back Of Throat

Most of the time, red spots and bumps on your throat are symptomatic of an infection or irritation, and will be accompanied by other symptoms.

For example, the inflammation at the back of your throat may make swallowing painful and difficult. This can cause a scratchy or itchy sensation when trying to eat food or drink something. A more severe throat infection could give you a sandpaper throat along with a red rash.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler in eMedicineHealth says that red bumps on the back of the throat can also include any of the following symptoms:1

  • Swelling under your jaw due to enlarged lymph glands
  • Burning sensation in your chest due to acid reflux
  • Mild to severe soreness when swallowing

How To Prevent Red Sores On Throat

Many of the reasons why you can get red sores or bumps on your tonsils or back of the throat are due to viral or bacterial infections.

Doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following steps to prevent throat infections:13

  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmitting germs to your mouth or eyes
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection
  • If you need to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth
  • Dont share eating utensils with others

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How To Treat The Sore Throat Caused By Allergies

Fortunately, sore throat allergies can be treated very well, through either over-the-counter remedies or home-based cures. But always remember that the best way to avoid sore throat allergies is to prevent allergies altogether.

1. Prevent Allergies

Start by avoiding the allergens if you can. For instance, if you wind up with sore throat allergies after being around a smoker, make sure to avoid cigarette smoke. Not sure what you are allergic to? You can see your doctor to get an allergen test and figure out what makes your body react. Once you know what you are allergic to, you might be able to get a regimen of shots that will keep you from having symptoms from those irritants.

2. Take Medications

Sometimes you cant prevent allergies. In that case, turn to the great over-the-counter medications that are designed to treat all the symptoms, including sore throat. Allergies are often relieved by antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Claritin, as well as some others that treat only very specific symptoms, like Benadryl.

3. Try Home Remedies

Though these home remedies below might not get rid of the problem, they do decrease the symptoms and make allergies more tolerable.

Why Can Seasonal Allergies Cause A Sore Throat

Causes recurrent soreness & throat pain – Dr. Lakshmi Ponnathpur

Allergies happen when the body perceives a foreign substance as a threat, and the immune system produces antibodies and histamine in response. This creates an inflammatory reaction that makes you feel downright crummy. Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure, and dark circles under the eyes . But under the right circumstances, allergy sufferers could develop a sore throat as well.

Why does this happen? Children with allergies often have increased mucus production in the nasal passages that drips down the back of the throat. This is referred to as postnasal drip, explains Sanjeev Jain, M.D., a board-certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy. As the mucus drips down the throat, it causes irritation to the mucosa that lines the throat, and this can result in the sensation of a sore throat.

Keep in mind that sore throat can have other causes as well. For example, it often appears with viral upper respiratory infections and bacterial infections , says Natasha Burgert, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician for Pediatric Associates in Overland Park, Kansas. Sore throat might also be a symptom of COVID-19 in kids. Contact your pediatrician if you dont know the cause of your childs sore throat they may need to diagnose and treat it.

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What Is The Outlook For People Who Have Hay Fever

Hay fever can make you feel miserable, but it doesnt cause serious health problems. Most people with hay fever manage symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication.

People with airborne allergies have a higher risk of ear infections and sinus infections. Because hay fever can make it tough to get a good nights sleep, you may feel tired during the day. If you have asthma, hay fever can make your asthma symptoms worse.

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