The Effects Of Allergies On Your Ears Nose And Throat
How Allergies Affect your Ears, Nose, and Throat
An allergy involves a reaction by your immune system, often to harmless substances. Allergy symptoms can make miserable and put you at risk for life-threatening reactions. An Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor can help you manage your allergies. West Coast ENT, which has offices in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, offers treatments for allergies. Read on to find out how allergies can affect your ears, nose, and throat.
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.
How Do Allergies Cause A Sore Throat
In order to understand how allergies cause a sore throat, its important to understand how an allergic response happens.
The immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But for people with allergies, the immune system mistakes harmless substances such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, certain foods, mold and insect stings as a dangerous intruder. An allergic reaction occurs when your body is exposed to one of these harmless substances, known as an allergen, and the immune system overreacts.
In order to fight off the intruder, the immune system releases antibodies called Immunoglobulin E , which causes the cells to release histamine. Histamine increases mucus production and causes swelling and itching.
The excess mucus can result in postnasal drip, which is when mucus drains down the back of the throat, making it feel raw and irritated. In addition, inflammation can occur in the throat, adding to the discomfort.
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Sore Throat After Surgery
Throat pain that happens just after you have had general anesthesia or a breathing tube inserted is probably not cause for concern. If the pain does not go away within a few days, though, you may want to contact your doctor.
Some surgeries, such as a thyroidectomy, can cause throat pain on their own, so keep this in mind.
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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The Common Sore Throat
Thanks to developing immune systems and group environments, kids can get up to eight colds a year, and sore throats are often front and center among the symptoms. If your child has a cold, they will likely suffer from other symptoms, such as a runny nose, congestion, and respiratory problems. In most cases, the viral infection, or common cold, needs to run its course and your child should start feeling better after 3-7 days.
If, however, these symptoms arent getting any better, or theyre heading in the opposite direction and becoming worse, this is a sign that there may be more at play than a simple cold. And if your child develops a fever thats above 101 and it persists, thats another clear sign that youre dealing with more than a cold.
Strep throat, mononucleosis, the flu, measles, and chickenpox all feature sore throats as one of the primary symptoms. And these are all conditions that benefit from medical attention.
Tips To Prevent Sinus Infections
In order to avoid ear pain and temporary hearing loss due to clogged ears as a result of sinus infections one must prevent sinus infections. Here are some tips to help you prevent sinus infections and avoid the complications associated with it.
- Control your allergies.
- Take a nasal spray or decongestant prior to flying.
- Dont smoke, which can aggravate sinusitis, or quit smoking.
These tips can better help protect you against sinus infections. If you do develop a sinus infection, begin treatment right away to reduce complications.
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Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University . He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine , and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.
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When To Call Your Doctor
- If your sore throat is severe.
- You have a sore throat isn’t better after 3 days.
- Youâve had a fever higher than 100.4 F for more than 2 days.
- You have other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant. You may be at a higher risk of complications from infections from a sore throat.
Seek emergency medical help if you have a sore throat and have trouble breathing or swallowing.
Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School associate physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.
Steven Y. Park, MD, assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
Gordon J. Siegel, MD, FACS, assistant clinical professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: âSeasonal Influenza . Cold Versus Flu,â âGet Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. Sore Throat,â âGet Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. Common Cold and Runny Nose,â âIs It Strep Throat?â
National Institutes of Health: âNews In Health: Soothing a Sore Throat.â
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: âStrep Throat.â
Okay I Think Ive Got Itnow What
Both post-nasal drip and sore throats will often go away on their own, but each can be a symptom of a larger condition. If the above treatments dont help, schedule an appointment with your doctor. If it turns out youre experiencing post-nasal drip and sore throat symptoms from allergies, then Picnic can help! We offer a number of allergy treatments, including a nasal spray designed to tackle symptoms like post-nasal drip and throat lozenges. Read our guide on and take our quiz to find out which post-nasal drip medicine will wait for itblow your allergies away.
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When To See A Doctor For Treatment
If youre suffering from other allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and a stuffy nose, over-the-counter medication may help your ears as well. Antihistamines can reduce the inflammation caused by the allergy, while decongestants will help with a clogged nose and ears. Because ear pressure can be a symptom of many other problems, its advisable to see a doctor if the pressure doesnt go away or becomes painful. Continued pressure can lead to hearing loss.
Also, if your allergy symptoms include ringing in the ears or vertigo , a visit to a hearing care provider is in order.
As many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children reportedly suffer from some type of allergy. Because allergies can cause temporary and in some rare cases permanent hearing loss, its important to know how allergies impact hearing and to address any problems early on.
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Strep Throat Is Lurking
Though its not as common in adults, strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause swollen tonsils and inflammation, says Dr. Zalvan. Besides difficulty swallowing, you might also experience bad breath and have trouble opening your mouth.
Left untreated, bacterial tonsillitis can lead to a more complicated infection that causes pus to collect around the capsule of the tonsil. This infection may require intravenous antibiotics and a drainage procedure to remove the abscess, says Brad DeSilva, MD, otolaryngologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Because strep is sometimes associated with sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia, it can be hard to tell if your swollen tonsils are the victim of a viral or bacterial infection. If symptoms persist, Dr. DeSilva recommends having your doc run a rapid strep test to determine if antibiotics are needed.
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What Causes A Sore Throat
Infections by contagious viruses or bacteria are the source of most sore throats. Other potential causes include:
VirusesSore throats often accompany viral infections, including the flu, colds, measles, chicken pox, croup, or mononucleosis . Mono has the longest duration of symptoms, such as sore throat and extreme fatigue, and can last several weeks. Other symptoms include swollen glands in the neck, armpits, and groin fever, chills, headache, or sometimes, serious breathing difficulties.
Bacterial infectionsStrep throat is an infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. This infection can also cause scarlet fever, tonsillitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections. Symptoms of strep throat often include fever , white draining patches on the throat, and swollen or tender lymph glands in the neck. Children may have a headache and stomach pain.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. This infection can bring about violent, uncontrollable coughing, making it hard to breathe and causing you to make a whooping sound. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, but can be especially serious, even deadly, for babies less than one-year-old.
AllergiesYou may also be allergic to pollens, molds, animal dander, and/or house dust, for examples, which can lead to a sore throat.
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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What Helps Soothe An Irritated Throat From Post
The best way to combat a sore throat caused by post-nasal drip is to attack the source by treating the post-nasal drip itself. In addition to the solutions mentioned above, you can also:
- Take advantage of gravity by keeping your head elevated so mucus will drain from your nasal passages. For example, try sleeping on two pillows instead of one.
- Inhale steam to thin mucus and moisten your nose and throat, all of which will make it easier to drain. Yep, were giving you permission to take a long, hot shower.
- Use a nasal rinse product like a Neti pot or squeeze bottle
- Try saline or steroid nasal sprays
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Warm, caffeine-free tea can help you stay hydrated. Try adding honey, pectin, or glycerin to your tea. These ingredients are called demulcents. There is limited research on their effectiveness, but they may help relieve irritation and create a soothing film in your throat.
Some people report relief after taking a commercial product called Throat Coat. Throat Coat contains:
- A proprietary blend of other ingredients
A small study showed a significant decrease in pain 30 minutes after using Throat Coat.
Findings on a variety of Chinese herbs and acupuncture are inconsistent. Doctors don’t usually recommend these remedies. Still, some people have found them helpful.
Talk to your doctor before taking herbal medications, especially if you are also taking prescribed medication.
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How Do Allergies Start
Each spring, summer, and fall, plants release pollen that floats on the wind and lodges in your eyes and airways to trigger allergies. While grasses are the most common cause of allergies, mold spores are another source. They can live anywhere, including your home, and cause allergy symptoms over several seasons.
Mold and mildew spread differently from plants. While plants have seeds, mold has spores. Some spores travel through windy air. Others spread when humidity is high, using a fog or dew to travel.
Allergic reactions start when plant pollen or mold spores reach your airways and encounter your bodys sentries, the mast cells. Mast cells in the mucosa lining of your nose sound the alarm when a foreign organism enters your body. They activate your immune system and trigger a number of responses:
- Nasal congestion
An immune response is useful if your body needs to remove foreign organisms such as viruses or bacteria. However, it is inconvenient when the trigger is merely pollen.
For more information on allergies,
Suspect A Cold Dont Brush It Off
Have COVID-19 questions?
According to Brian Curtis, MD, vice president of Clinical Specialty Services for OSF HealthCare, a sore throat by itself is typically not something to worry about. Your throat could be irritated from allergies, air pollution or overuse. It could also be due to smoking, in which case the solution is simple . If a lone sore throat lingers longer than a week, however, you should contact your physician.
And if you develop any other symptoms even milder symptoms you typically associate with a common cold you should contact your physician or get tested for COVID-19. The common cold and the virus that causes COVID-19 are both the same type of virus called a coronavirus and can cause similar symptoms.
Mild cases of COVID-19 can even look to an average person exactly like a cold. But if you have a mild case of COVID-19, you could spread the coronavirus to someone who suffers a worse infection. You need to be sure you arent putting others at risk if you have any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
We have to be very vigilant with cold symptoms, Dr. Curtis said. We as a society used to be kind of dismissive of cold symptoms, but we cant be dismissive of them now. If you have just a sore throat with no other symptoms, its less likely to be COVID-19. But with other symptoms, it is possible you have COVID. Sore throat, cough, fever I would be worried about COVID.
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How Can I Protect Myself From Omicron
Without a doubt, the best means of protection against Covid altogether is to get vaccinated if you havent already, he says.
In addition to vaccination, social distancing remains an important part of protection from Omicron, he adds. If possible, try to maintain a safe distance of at least six feet apart from others, minimizing physical contact and wearing an appropriately fitting mask to reduce the risk of Covid.
Additionally, if you are going to still gather with others, especially with anyone at high risk of Covid-related complications, its also important to get tested within 48 hours of the event. This is key for detecting an infection while you may be symptomatic, Dr. Singh says.
A PCR test is considered the gold-standard test to detect all variants of COVID, including Omicron, he says. Antigen tests are also useful to detect disease, but they are known to be less sensitive. Ideally, a negative antigen test result should be followed by a PCR test for a definitive answer. If either a PCR or antigen test is positive, then you are actively infected with the disease.
The bottom line: While you can rest easily knowing that becoming infected with Omicron is likely to be less severe if youre vaccinated, continue to do your best to avoid becoming infected altogether. And it cant be said enough: If you still havent gotten vaccinated, schedule your appointment to do so today.
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Why Do Omicron Symptoms Differ From Those Of Other Variants
Researchers are still trying to answer that question, but the key obviously lies in those multiple genetic changes that weve seen in this variant compared to old ones, Sterling says.
Early data suggest Omicron mostly accumulates in the upper airways, as opposed to penetrating the lungs. This could help explain both its reduced lethality and, potentially, why it often causes upper respiratory symptoms, like runny nose and sore throat. But the variant is still new and research is ongoing.
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How Is Allergic Esophagitis Treated
Allergic esophagitis may not go away completely. Treatment may help relieve your symptoms.
- Steroid medicine may help decrease swelling in your esophagus. You will swallow the medicine so it coats your esophagus.
- Stomach acid medicine helps keep heartburn symptoms under control.
- Dilatation is a procedure used when the esophagus narrows from swelling. An endoscope is placed into your mouth and down your throat. Tools on the endoscope press against the tissues to widen your esophagus. Dilatation can improve your symptoms but will not stop allergic esophagitis from happening.