Can Allergies Cause A Sore 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.
Can You Lose Your Voice With Hay Fever
Hay fever is a common allergy around 30% of the population suffer with it. Suffering from hay fever is like having a chronic cold it causes sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a stuffy/runny nose. But most worryingly for singers, hay fever can also cause voice loss.
Hay fever causes congestion in your airways and this leads to postnasal drip . This irritates the vocal cords, which may already be inflamed from any pollen youve breathed in.
If your vocal cords become swollen or irritated, it can cause your voice to crack, thin, and eventually disappear.
Why Is My Voice Hoarse But My Throat Doesn’t Hurt
A hoarse voice without a sore throat can occur when a non-inflammatory condition has caused loss of vocal cord function. This can be caused by overuse like yelling or speaking in an abnormal tone for long periods of time. A vocal cord polyp or nodule which can develop from overuse , and can also cause hoarseness. Additionally, surgery, cancer, or neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease can also cause hoarseness without pain albeit much less frequently than the above causes.
Also Check: How To Treat A Swollen Eye Caused By Allergies
What Happens At The Doctors Office
While hoarseness typically isnt an emergency, it may be linked to some serious medical conditions.
Speak with your doctor if your hoarseness becomes a persistent issue, lasting more than one week for a child and 10 days for an adult.
A sudden inability to speak or put together coherent sentences may indicate a serious underlying medical condition.
What Does Is Sound Like When Your Voice Is Hoarse
Hoarseness refers to a change in the characteristics of an individual’s voice. It can apply to a variety of changes in the voice, including weakness or inability to produce significant volume, fatigability or losing one’s voice quickly, a shaky or altered pitch, a warbling or tremulous tone, or a strained voice quality.
Read Also: Can Benadryl Help With Seasonal Allergies
When To Seek Medical Help
As laryngitis often gets better quickly without treatment, you normally only need to see your GP if the symptoms are particularly severe or they last longer than two weeks.
You should seek immediate medical help if you or your child experience breathing difficulties.
If you see your GP, they’ll discuss the possible causes with you and may refer you for tests or to a specialist in hospital.
Read more about diagnosing laryngitis
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Hoarseness
Yes, hypothyroidism can cause a deepening of the voice. This deepening is often noticed and more common in middle-aged women. A thyroid nodule or thyroid cancer can interrupt the nerve that supplies one of an individual’s two vocal cords, causing paralysis and hoarseness. Finally, surgery on the neck can cause paralysis and hoarseness.
Don’t Miss: Can A Gluten Allergy Cause Weight Gain
Can Allergies And Hay Fever Affect Your Singing
Posted on byGemma Saunders
Allergies dictate many peoples lives. As a singer, suffering from the symptoms of seasonal allergies can be even more frustrating. Stuffy noses, congestion, and itchy sinuses can all take their toll on your voice. Is there a way to combat a hoarse voice caused by allergies?
Do allergies affect your singing voice? Allergies and hay fever are an unexpected threat to a singer. Allergens can affect your vocal cords, causing hoarseness and even voice loss. Whats worse, some antihistamines can worsen the impact on your voice. Singers require alternative allergy remedies.
When youre following a healthy lifestyle as a singer, losing your voice to allergies can be exasperating. Especially when winter allergies can target your vocals, too. This article explores the best ways to keep a hoarse voice at bay all year round.
How Cold Flu And Allergy Symptoms Can Hurt Your Voice
Many athletes think its perfectly fine to push through injury, even if it hurts. Of course thats not usually a smart decision. Vocal athletes are on the same playing field if you push your voice when you have a cold, the flu, or allergy symptoms, youre risking permanent damage to your vocal cords.
Vocal athletes are people who use their voices for more than just casual conversation. These people are teachers, call center employees, ministers, public speaking professionals, singers, and more. When you depend on your voice to make a living, its important to protect it from damage.
You May Like: Does Sinus Rinse Help With Allergies
Treatment & Prevention Of Sore Throat
Home remedies are often the most effective treatment method for a sore throat. Try gargling with warm salt water periodically through the day. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids, and use throat lozenges and cough drops to relieve soreness and irritation.
A humidifier is often helpful. Over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants are beneficial at providing relief as well. If your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, youll need to treat it with antibiotics.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a sore throat in the future. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and do not share food or utensils with others who are sick.
How To Prevent An Allergy Cough
While you can’t always avoid respiratory allergies, you can reduce the frequency of them by taking a few precautionary measures.
- Identify and avoid triggers:Start by keeping an allergy diary, taking note of where you were and everything you did up to the time of an allergic reaction. Over time, you may see a pattern emerging and identify which allergens are at the heart of your symptoms.
- Watch the weather: If you have hay fever, watch local weather reports to see when pollen or mold levels are high. Windy days also increase the amount of allergens in the air, increasing your chances of an allergy attack.
- Time your activities: During allergy season, pollen levels tend to be higher in the morning. Plan your outdoor activities during the evening if possible.
- Clean your environment: Allergies to dust and pet dander can be reduced by keeping your environment clean. Replace air filters frequently, and keep pets out of your bedroom. You should also vacuum after your pet has been on rugs or furniture.
Read Also: Is Watery Eyes A Symptom Of Allergies
Symptoms Of An Allergy Cough
An allergy-related cough is typically “dry,” meaning that you won’t cough up any mucus or phlegm. In some people, the cough can become chronic, lasting for several weeks at a time.
Symptoms of allergy cough include:
- A persistent tickle or irritation at the back of the throat
- Runny nose
- Sinus headache
Allergy coughs can sometimes be difficult to differentiate from other conditions like asthma or an upper respiratory tract infection.
With infections like flu or COVID-19, you are more likely to experience fever, chill, and body or muscle aches. With COVID-19, there may also be a loss of taste or smell as well as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
How To Clear A Phlegmy Throat
If silent reflux is causing the phlegmy throat, you can try these natural methods to get rid of the throat mucus fast:
- Do not lie down right after eating. It increases the risk of acid reflux.
- A few small sips of water might wash stomach contents back into the stomach.
- Chewing gum might also be very effective. The frequent swallowing of saliva might help to clear the throat.
Lifestyle and dietary changes can go a long way in preventing silent reflux symptoms:
- know your trigger foods and avoid them
- eat less, more frequently
You May Like: Can Allergies Cause Fatigue And Body Aches
You Use Your Voice Too Much
Each time you talk or sing, you use different muscles, including some in your mouth and throat. Just like other muscles in your body, overuse of the ones that help you speak can lead to fatigue, strain, and injury. The wrong technique can also bring on hoarseness.
Here are some common things that you may be doing wrong:
- Speak, sing, yell, or cough too much
- Use a pitch that’s higher or lower than normal when you talk
- Cradle your phone between your head and shoulder
Trouble With Your Thyroid
This butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck pumps out a hormone that controls a number of functions in your body. When your thyroid doesn’t make enough of it, one symptom you might have is a hoarse voice.
Learn more about thyroid nodules.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get A Sinus Infection From Allergies
Can Hay Fever Cause Laryngitis
Laryngitis often stems from other illnesses like colds and flu. As hay fever presents a lot of the same symptoms as common colds postnasal drip, congestion, and sore throat hay fever can also develop into laryngitis in extreme cases.
The symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, voice loss, and a dry, scratchy throat. These can all be caused by allergies.
Laryngitis is the medical term for an inflamed voice box. If you suffer from hay fever, your vocal cords will swell when pollen enters your airways. This swelling could turn into laryngitis in severe cases.
Allergy Sore Throat Treatment
So, you have a sore throat, cough, runny nose and congestion. Have you caught a common cold or do you have allergy symptoms? Sometimes, it is even difficult for doctors to distinguish between the two, because their symptoms can be so similar. If you have persistent throat discomfort accompanied by other allergy symptoms, consider that you may have a sore throat due to allergies.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Allergy Shots Take To Work
Check If You Have Laryngitis
Laryngitis usually comes on suddenly and gets worse during the first 3 days.
The main symptoms are:
- an irritating cough that does not go away
- always needing to clear your throat
- a sore throat
- have a temperature of 38C or above
- be off their food or drink
- have difficulty breathing
Laryngitis is often linked to other illnesses, such as colds and flu, so you may also have other symptoms.
If you’re not sure it’s laryngitis, check other sore throat symptoms.
Breathing Through The Mouth
A person can develop a sore throat from breathing through their mouth for a long period. This is most likely to occur while a person sleeps.
A person may be breathing through their mouth overnight if they wake up with a dry mouth that goes away after drinking or eating.
Obstructions to the nasal passage from enlarged tonsils or excess mucus, for example can cause a person to breathe through their mouth while asleep.
Anyone who consistently wakes up with a sore throat should consult a healthcare provider.
A lingering cold or flu can cause pain in the throat for weeks after the main infection has begun to subside.
Colds and the flu are caused by viruses, and viral infections are the most common cause of sore throats. They usually go away on their own with time.
Mononucleosis typically referred to as mono can last for up to 2 months. Mono often causes flu-like symptoms, which can include a sore throat.
In some cases, the sore throat lasts for the duration of the infection.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Tattoo Ink Allergy
How Hoarseness Manifests
At rest, the vocal folds are open. When you decide to speak there are several things that have to work together in order for an audible sound to be produced. Hoarseness may result from conditions that affect any of these steps:
Step 1: The vocal folds come together.A problem with this step may occur in either the vocal folds or with the nerves which supply the vocal folds. An example may be if cancer such as lung cancer or metastatic breast cancer pushes on the nerve that travels to the vocal folds in the chest.
Step 2: Passing air causes the vocal folds to vibrate.When the vocal folds are closed, the air then must travel past them and cause the folds to vibrate. Again, problems may occur due to the vocal folds themselves, due to anything which keeps the folds from remaining closed , or anything that prohibits the normal flow of air past the folds.
Step 3: The sound needs to exit the body.Once air moves past the vocal folds, the sound then needs to “exit” the body, Anything which interferes with the flow of air out through the throat, mouth, and nose, may interfere with the sound.
Sound passing to the outside world also resonates in the sinus cavities. This helps to explain the “nasal quality” of your voice if you have a condition affecting your sinus passageways. The sound can vary from person to person depending on how it reverberates in the sinus passages and based on the size of the vocal folds.
Hoarseness can either involve both vocal folds or only one.
Laryngitis And Hay Fever
Laryngitis is the medical term for an inflamed voice box. If you suffer from hay fever, your vocal cords will swell when pollen enters your airways. This swelling could turn into laryngitis in severe cases. Laryngitis often stems from other illnesses like colds and flu too. Hay fever presents a lot of the same symptoms as common colds postnasal drip, congestion, and sore throat.
The symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, significant voice loss, and a dry, scratchy throat. These can all be caused by allergies. Taking a complete voice rest is the best option when you have laryngitis. If you try to sing at this stage, you risk setting back your recovery and prolonging the voice loss. You may have to refrain for just a few days, but its more likely youll be out of action for a week or two, vocally speaking.
You May Like: Can Allergies Cause Inflammation In Your Body
Allergens And Their Effects
Postnasal drip is the main culprit in cases of allergy-induced sore throat.
Its the result of exposure to an allergen and occurs when congestion in the nose and sinuses drains down to the throat. This causes tickling or scratchy pain.
The drainage also can cause:
- runny nose
Scratchiness is another way to determine if you have an allergy-induced sore throat.
In addition to the raw feeling that results from postnasal drainage, particles that directly enter the respiratory system can cause an itchy or scratchy feeling.
Can Winter Allergies Affect Singing
Some people suffer from allergies all year round, not just in the summer. Winter allergies are caused by indoor allergens, such as mould, dust mites and animals.
Winters allergens trigger many of the same side effects as pollen allergies, including coughing, a stuffy nose, and postnasal drip.
These symptoms can impair your singing voice in the same way as pollen allergies. The vocal cords become irritated and inflamed by the excess phlegm and the pitch and tone of your voice can change.
Fighting winter allergies starts at home, as this is where most of the allergens are found. Hoovering regularly, setting up a dehumidifier, and washing sheets once a week in hot water will help reduce the growth of mould spores.
Also Check: Can Allergies Cause Dry Eyes
What Is A Hoarse Voice A Symptom Of
If your voice is hoarse, your range and pitch will change. Your voice will either sound weak and raspy, or deep and harsh. Hoarseness is the abnormal change of your voice and can be caused by a range of things:
- Stress and anxiety
- Overuse of your voice
In most cases, hoarseness is caused by some type of irritation or cough and is easily remedied with voice rest. If you have a hoarse voice for 3 weeks or more, consult your doctor to check it over.
Can Sinus Problems Affect Singing
Sinus problems can massively affect the quality of your voice. Allergies can target your sinuses, leaving you feeling stuffy and congested and giving you a headache whenever you try to perform.
Sinusitis can also make it hard to sing. The infection is usually caused by bacteria or viruses and can irritate your vocal cords. You may feel too hoarse and stuffy to get on stage but singing can actually help sinusitis.
Humming exercises can help relieve congested sinuses and clear your voice. Many vocal coaches recommend humming phonation to heal your voice.
You can then progress to trying a vocal warmup to clear your airways. If your voice is hoarse and strained, dont push it too hard as this can cause more permanent damage.
Recommended Reading: Does Kaiser Cover Allergy Testing