When To Seek Medical Help
Postnasal drip can be annoying, but it usually isn’t dangerous, as Harvard Medical School explains. However, there are some circumstances when you should seek medical help. See your doctor or dentist if your symptoms get worse or if they aren’t relieved by home remedies. You should also see your doctor if your sore throat is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as an unexplained fever or bloody mucus.
Allergy season has arrived, and while you may experience a sore throat from allergies, rest assured that there are many home remedies that can help to soothe your symptoms. If these home remedies aren’t enough, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.
Can Allergies Cause Fever
The short answer is allergies dont cause fever. But, allergy symptoms can make you more vulnerable to a viral or bacterial infection, which can lead to a fever. So, its common to blame a fever on your allergies, even though technically that isnt the cause.
Allergies are caused when your immune system overreacts to common things in the environment such as tree and grass pollen of common dust mites in your home. The typical allergy symptoms most people experience include:
- Diarrhea or nausea are common if you have food allergies
- Headache or sinus pain
- Wheezing or asthma
If you have a fever, body aches, and a sore throat, its likely caused by a viral infection from a cold or flu.
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.
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How Do Winter Allergies Differ From Covid
While symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies can overlap, there are some key differences that can help you tell the two apart: the severity and the type of symptoms.
- Respiratory inflammation
When these symptoms show up in someone with allergies, they are typically mild, occur only during specific times of the year, and usually subside with allergy medication or when the allergen trigger is removed or avoided.
It’s important to remember that while allergies are not contagious, a virus can easily be spread from person to person.
According to Ahmed, the post nasal drip that’s caused by allergies can lead to a mild sore throat, which is also a key symptom of COVID-19.
However, unlike with COVID-19, a sore throat that occurs with allergies will not be severe. While it can be accompanied by tickling or scratchiness, it usually does not come with pain, difficulty swallowing, and inflammationsymptoms that are more common with a viral throat infection.
If someone has a viral infection, including COVID-19, they’ll also probably have some symptoms that would be less likely to be seen in someone experiencing allergies. For example, while allergy symptoms including dry cough, headache, and shortness of breath are sometimes encountered as in COVID-19, the following are not:
- Loss of smell or taste
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.
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Are You Treating Multiple Symptoms
For a cold, get extra rest and drink plenty of fluids, including water, tea, or soup with lots of broth. For allergies, it can help to shower and change your clothes often because allergens cling to skin, hair, and clothing. For both colds and allergies, over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers may help you feel better, although they wont make a cold go away any faster. And no matter what ails you, avoid medications that treat multiple symptoms, especially if you dont have some of the symptoms the medication is meant to treat.
Tips For Improving Your Sense Of Smell
Dealing with a loss of smell can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately, there are several ways to remedy the problem.
1. Lifestyle Changes
If your olfactory issues are a result of regular habits, changing things up is something to consider. This would apply to things such as smoking, lack of nutrition, or taking certain medications.
If you believe a prescribed medicine could be the problem, you should always consult with your healthcare provider. When it comes to your diet, consider consuming more Vitamins A, B6, B12, and zinc. These foods include fish, beef, dairy, eggs, nuts, and whole grains.
2. Rectifying a Medical Condition
As we mentioned, several medical conditions can lead to olfactory problems. If you have an underlying medical issue, getting to the root of it and correcting it can make a huge difference. In the meantime, the following remedies can help provide some relief.
3. Smell Training
A practice where you smell the same fragrances consistently is called olfactory training. During this, youll take quick and delicate sniffs of a strong aroma for a few minutes every day. Be mindful of the smells and even write them down. Youll want to use scents with a powerful smell like spices, essential oils, and garlic.
4. Nasal Inhalers
The fragrance helps reteach your senses to work during olfactory training. Also, the essential oils work to stimulate sensory nerves in the nose. Nasal inhalers can help open up airway passages to relieve nasal congestion, too.
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Sore Throat Allergy Medicine
Many allergy medications are available over the counter, while others require a prescription. There is a wide variety of allergy medication types.
Antihistamines block histamine, a chemical released by your immune system during an allergic reaction that causes symptoms, including itching. Many different forms of antihistamines are available, often over the counter.
Pills and liquids:
Leukotriene receptor antagonists block symptom-causing chemicals called leukotrienes. Montelukast is available by prescription only and may cause side effects.
Mast Cell Stabilizers
When antihistamines are not working well or are not well tolerated, mast cell stabilizers can block the release of chemicals in the immune system that contribute to allergic reactions. They usually need to be taken for several days before the full effects are felt.
What To Do If You Think Your Child Has Strep Throat
If you notice these symptoms and think your child has strep throat, once again, theres no need to rush to an emergency room.
You may not need to schedule a doctors visit with your childs pediatrician, either.
Strep throat is painful, and your child may have to wait hours or even days to see a primary care physician or pediatrician.
Instead, an urgent care facility is the perfect place to turn. Places like GoHealth Urgent Care frequently test and treat strep throat, especially in young children. We can also refer an ear, nose, and throat specialist is something to think about, should the problem persist.
When you visit our urgent care center, there is no need to schedule an appointment and your wait time will be short
Another tip to remember is this: strep throat is very contagious, so make sure your child stays home from school or other responsibilities after a strep diagnosis. After 24 hours of antibiotics, the infection will no longer be contagious.
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Spring Is Here 5 Things Allergy Sufferers Need To Know
Due to global climate changes, allergists warn that spring allergy season continues to worsen each year. Dr. Jigisha Morosky, an allergist/immunologist with Starling Physicians, addresses the most common questions about seasonal allergies.
How do you know if it is a cold, allergy or COVID?
Sometimes it is difficult for people to determine if sniffles, sneezes, sore throat and coughs are caused by allergies, a cold or even sinusitis. Dr. Morosky explains that nasal allergy symptoms and common cold symptoms are essentially identical. Variables we examine are exposure to an allergen, like pollen or a pet, the duration of symptoms months versus 1 to 2 weeks, and if there is improvement while taking allergy medications.
Spring allergies can cause itchy water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing and even hives. The symptoms of a cold are often characterized by runny nose, sore throat and cough. Patients with severe seasonal allergies can feel very fatigued and have low grade fever making the distinction even harder.
Acute sinusitis is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose accompanied by pain in the forehead and/or over the cheeks. Often both the common cold and allergies can cause swelling of the nasal passages, which prevent the sinuses from draining, then this can lead to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, however it often recurs if due to uncontrolled allergies.
What are best over the counter methods to treat allergies?
How To Minimize Your Symptoms
Considering these factorsalong with a detailed history of allergies, the timeline of symptoms, and recent exposure to both allergens or COVID-19can help you figure out what’s most likely to be causing your symptoms.
Whether you determine your symptoms are from allergies or COVID-19, there are some steps that you can take to manage them. You can also take proactive steps to prevent them.
Although you can’t completely remove common allergens or the threat of COVID from your life, you can reduce your risk of being exposed to both.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Remove the allergen from your home
- Set up a humidifier in your home
- Take allergy medication if you are having symptoms
If you are not sure what’s causing your symptoms or if your symptoms are not getting better , call a healthcare provider. They might want you to get tested for COVID-19 or another viral infection like the flu.
If they think that allergies are behind your symptoms, they might want you to see a doctor who specializes in allergies to help find a more effective way to treat your symptoms.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
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How Allergies Can Cause A Sore Throat
The glands in your nose and throat make about one to two quarts of mucus every day, reports the American Academy of OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery Foundation. This mucus has many important functions, such as keeping your nose clean and moistening the air you breathe, and you usually swallow it without realizing. Other times, people may notice mucus dripping down the back of their nose or pooling in their throat. This unpleasant sensation is known as postnasal drip, and it can be caused by allergies.
If you have postnasal drip, the trickle of mucus can irritate your throat and cause soreness and other symptoms, such as feeling a lump in the throat or swallowing more frequently. It may also make you feel the need to clear your throat more often.
Can You Have Just A Sore Throat From Allergies With No Other Symptoms
Technically, its possible to have just this one symptom from allergies, but its less likely to be your only symptom, Dr. Wada says. Basically, if you develop a sore throat and dont have any other issues, like a runny, stuffy nose, you should at least consider that your pain might be due to something else.
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Can I Prevent Allergy Symptoms
If youre suffering from allergy symptoms you can try to limit your exposure to the allergens whenever possible. Some suggestions include:
- Stay away from cigarette smoke and pets
- If you have seasonal allergies, you can also keep your windows closed during the peak months when your symptoms flare-up
- If you do go outside, wear a mask to protect yourself
- Delegate allergy triggers such as mowing the grass
- Keep your home or office as clean as possible if you know dust mites are a problem
- If you have food allergies, avoid those foods
- Use over-the-counter allergy medications to help control your symptoms
- Use air conditioning in the car or home
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the indoor air dry in your house
- Select a high-efficiency filter for your HVAC unit and follow recommended maintenance to care for these units
- Clean your home with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter
There are all kinds of over-the-counter medications that you can try. They could potentially help for a time. Nonprescription medications could include:
- Antihistamines or decongestants
- Nasal sprays
- Saline or nasal irrigation
However, you cant always avoid or limit your exposure to the things that cause your allergies, such as pollen, pet dander, or mold. Over-the-counter medications may not alleviate your symptoms. Fortunately, your doctor can help with medications to alleviate your symptoms.
Tooth Infection Or Abscess
A dental abscess is a pocket of pus at the tip of your tooths root caused by a bacterial infection. An abscessed tooth can cause severe pain that radiates to your ear and jaw on the same side. The lymph nodes in your neck and throat may also be swollen and tender.
Other symptoms include:
- sensitivity to heat and cold
- pain when chewing and swallowing
- swelling in your cheek or face
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Can Allergies Cause Sore Throat And Swollen Glands
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How To Treat A Sore Throat From Allergies
According to Dr. Burgert, you can treat allergy-induced sore throat with over-the counter-pain medication like Tylenol or Motrin. Even better, you can eliminate the cause of the sore throat with antihistamines like Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra. Steroid nasal sprays can also decrease the production of watery mucus.
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Tonsils Stones Might Be Related To A Postnasal Drip
Tonsils and adenoids are part of the immune system that filter out bacteria and viruses from the air that you breathe and the foods you eat. Because they are one of your bodys frontline defenses against infection, they are prone to infections themselves.
Postnasal drip is excess mucus that runs from your nose and sinus cavity down into your throat. Often, allergies can increase your bodys mucus production, causing an uncomfortable stream of mucus to run down your throat.
The excessive amount of mucus transferred from your nose to your throat can cause several problems, including a sore throat, congestion, and especially tonsil stones.
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How Do I Know If I Have Allergies Or A Cold
Because there is considerable overlap between the symptoms caused by allergies and the symptoms caused by a cold, it can be challenging to know which is causing you to feel under the weather. There is also some overlap between the symptoms of allergies, colds, and the flu.
One significant difference between the symptoms of allergies compared to colds and the flu is that allergies never cause a fever. If you are experiencing a fever, your symptoms are not the result of allergies and are likely to result from some type of infection.
To determine whether you have a cold or a more significant infection, check the temperature of your fever. Colds may sometimes result in a low grade fever , while the flu typically causes a high fever that can last between three and four days.
Allergies also do not cause body aches. While some colds can cause mild body aches, body aches are more commonly associated with the flu. Headaches are also not usually a symptom of colds or allergies but may occur with the flu.
However, there are some symptoms that are unique to allergies, such as itchy, watery eyes, hives, and skin rash and irritation. Colds or the flu will not cause these symptoms, but allergies will.
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When To Seek Emergency Care
If you or someone else is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
This list is not exhaustive. If you are concerned, seek medical care right away.
Cold Flu Allergies Or Covid
This article was updated June 26, 2020, to reflect new information from the CDC.
There are many similar symptoms of cold, flu, allergies and novel coronavirus .
Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine what ailment you may be experiencing.
So how can you know whether you are dealing with allergies, a common cold, the flu or COVID-19?
The biggest difference is the shortness of breath associated with COVID-19. The flu or cold does not cause shortness of breath unless it progresses to pneumonia. Other symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and dry cough. On April 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded the list of symptoms to include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. On June 25, 2020, the CDC, again added three new symptoms to the list. The complete list of symptoms are:
- Fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
A cold, which could be triggered by more than 200 different viruses, can make you miserable but is relatively harmless. It usually clears up by itself after a period of time, although it can sometimes lead to a secondary infection, such as an ear infection. Common cold symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and mild to moderate chest discomfort and cough.
Despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu than the common cold or allergies.
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