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.
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Does Gargling With Saltwater Really Help A Sore Throat
Theres nothing quite like autumn in Albany! Theres a chill in the air, frost on the pumpkin, the leaves are turning vibrant shades of colorand a lot of people are sneezing and coughing. Fall marks the beginning of cold and flu season in New York, and one of the first symptoms is often a sore throat. Your mother may have suggested a saltwater gargle to provide soothing relief, and guess what? She was right!
Can You Get A Sore Throat From Allergies And What Causes It
Yep, and how you develop it all comes down to how your body reacts when its exposed to an allergen like pollen. If you have allergies, your immune system will react to being exposed to an allergen by releasing histamines, chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
For many people with seasonal allergies, those histamines can cause a stuffy, runny noseand that can trigger post-nasal drip, i.e. mucus running down the back of your throat, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network. And that can cause irritation back there. Cue the sore throat. Often, first thing in morning it will be worse from laying down all night, Dr. Parikh says.
Post-nasal drip isnt the only reason you might develop a sore throat from allergies, though. Coughing and mouth breathing can also mess with the way your throat feels, says Kara Wada, MD, an allergist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Of course, not everyone with allergies gets a sore throat. Allergies can affect each of us differently, Dr. Wada says. There are some things that might make you more prone to struggling with a sore throat from allergies, Dr. Parikh says, including how severe your allergies are and the anatomy of your nose.
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Symptoms: What Does An Allergy Cough Feel Like
Allergy-related cough is typically a “dry” cough, meaning you probably won’t cough up any mucus or phlegm. It can become chronic, lasting for several weeks at a time. Coughing can occur with several different conditions and illnesses. You’ll likely see a specialist, such as an allergist, for specific testing to diagnose your allergies.
Although coughing occurs with a variety of medical conditions, allergy cough occurs with other allergy symptoms, including:
How To Get Rid Of An Itchy Throat
How to Get Rid of an Itchy Throat â You may experience itchy throat at least once in their lifetime. The symptoms of throat irritation are uncomfortable and unpleasant. Sometimes it makes you feel miserable. The good news is that we have many natural treatments on how to cure allergies itchy throat at home. Therefore, to treat itching of the throat, you should not go to the doctor or medication use.
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Home Remedies For Itchy Throat:
Itchy throat can be quite uncomfortable for those experiencing the condition. A few home remedies can help bring quick relief while you address the actual issue. Here are a few home remedies to tackle an itchy throat.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help your throat get the necessary hydration and calm down the itchiness.
- Some people can get relief from sipping warm water slowly, especially when the itchiness is due to infections.
- Sucking on ice cubes can help calm down the raging irritation and bring in some relief. Alternatively, popsicles can help, especially when you have GERD.
- Itchy throat accompanied by acidity can be relieved by drinking cold milk.
- Add turmeric to warm milk, mix well, let it cool, and drink it. This is also an effective remedy for a scratchy throat.
- When itching is accompanied by a sore throat, you can sip some hot tea with some honey, lemon, and ginger added to it. You can opt for any tea like green tea or herbal tea.
- Drinks such as ginger ale can help reduce throat inflammation and reduce irritation.
- You can also have honey on its own to relieve an itchy and sore throat.
- Install a humidifier if you are prone to allergies and during allergy seasons.
- Chewing lozenges can sometimes help relieve the itchiness.
- Doctors recommend gargling warm water with some salt added to it to reduce throat irritation.
Washing Your Throat With Salt Water
A nice glass of warm salt water will do your throat wonders. This remedy reduces swelling and relieves discomfort. Salt water is able to loosen the mucus in your throat. In the end, the process flushes out bacteria and any other irritants. We suggest that you add half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Next, gargle that amount of salt water every hour. Do not swallow the water. Remember, to gargle only and spit it out.
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How To Protect Your Throat
You can easily protect your throat by following some important points. The points on prevention of throat problems also depend upon various causes of itchy throat.
Just follow the steps given below which can help in reducing the risk of various throat illnesses as well as in protecting your throat.
- Quit smoking. Not just for throat problems but for improving overall health.
- Drink a lot of water to yourself hydrated
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol as well as caffeine as they increase the risk of throat problems
- If there is a season of cold and flu, it is recommended to keep yourself clean and to wash hands regularly.
- If you are suffering from allergies or living in the area caused by allergies, it is recommended not to open windows or go outside.
What Should I Know About Topical Sprays Decongestants And Expectorants To Treat A Cough
- Topical nasal decongestants act more quickly than oral nasal decongestants. However, the effects of topical nasal decongestants are short lived. Topical nasal decongestants should be used for only three to five days at a time since more prolonged use can lead to rebound congestion with worsening nasal congestion. Patients with rebound congestion complain of stuffy nose despite frequent applications of the nasal decongestant. Treatment of rebound congestion involves the slow withdrawal of the nasal decongestant and applying saline nose sprays or drops to provide moisture.
- Nasal decongestants can aggravate high blood pressure and should not be used in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure without permission from the doctor.
- Oral nasal decongestants can interfere with the action of a class of antidepressants called MAO inhibitors.
- Oral nasal decongestants can affect diseases such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease. Oral nasal decongestants and antihistamines can also precipitate urinary obstruction in patients with enlarged prostates . Patients with these conditions should consult their doctors before using OTC products.
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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.
What Causes You To Have A Scratchy Throat
Scratchy throats from allergies can be the result of one or a combination of several different types of allergies:
seasonal allergies, pollen, asthma, dust mites, mold and mildew, and pet dander.
These allergens can trigger a sore throat, but when coupled together can create a greatly uncomfortable situation. Read on to learn more about these allergens and what you can do to treat and prevent a sore throat from coming on during allergy season.
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What Are Sore Throat Allergies A Brief Insight
Sore throat allergies are different from the rest of the allergies because they occur from bacterial related cousins instead of being caused by infections. A typical sore throat caused by cold infections goes within a few relative days but, Allergic sore throat is a chronic symptom that results like rashes, swollen glands, aching muscles, and joint pain. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, sore throat allergy season begins from early February and continues till fall. A lump like feeling inside the throat is most frequent in sore throat allergies. Reports from the Mayo Clinic suggests that developing a runny nose and nasal congestion are the most common highlighting symptoms.
Factors that lead to sore throat allergy
- Persistent sore throat
As an important clue, the allergic sore throat lasts longer rather than common flu that lasts for 2 weeks. However, the sore throat allergies of a person can last for a longer period as long as the immune system is exposed to the allergen.
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Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.
Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.
2. Local Raw Honey
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Neti Pot
6. Stinging Nettle
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Could A New Medication Be Causing My Throat Clearing
Certain medications can cause throat clearing as a side effect. A class of blood pressure and heart medications called ACE inhibitors can cause coughing and throat clearing due to a buildup of substances that irritate the airways. Inhaled steroids can also cause throat clearing in this case, the medication causes direct irritation to the larynx.
Is A Saltwater Rinse Safe For Anyone
Gargling with saltwater isnt recommended for everybody. If you suffer from high blood pressure, try another remedy to help moisten the throat. Chicken soup is a good alternative and, as with saltwater, it has been medically proven to work. As an added bonus, the broth contains nutrients that help fight infection. Other tips for soothing a sore throat include a spoonful of honey cold, smooth treats such as ice cream or yogurt a humidifier to moisten the air avoiding cigarette smoke and drinking plenty of fluids in order to keep hydrated.
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Itchy Throat Due To Acid Reflux:
Another lesser-known cause of a scratchy throat is acidity, otherwise known as heartburn. Itchy throat due to acidity is quite common among those who experience chronic acid reflux condition or GERD. In these conditions, the acid in your stomach can travel back into your esophagus which results in an itchy throat.
What Causes Itchy Throat Allergies
There are numerous causes of itchy throat allergies. Some of the major causes are listed below.
The most popular name for the condition of allergic rhinitis is hay fever. This allergy arises due to the response of an immune system in your body to some things in surroundings which are not normally harmful. These things include,
- Pet dander
- Difficulty in breathing
Sometimes, the allergy due to drugs may also cause anaphylaxis. It is highly necessary to call your doctor immediately if you experiencing the symptoms of drug allergy. You may need to stop consuming the medicine or ask for any alternative for it.
Colds may cause due to various reasons. It has been found that cold, generally, caused due to viruses. These viruses are spread through the air when someone sneezes or coughs. Even though colds are not considered serious, they may cause various health problems. Some of the major symptoms of common cold are,
- Sore throat
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Gargle With Sea Salt Water
You may be able to get rid of throat irritation that is causing a tickle in your throat by gargling with sea salt water.
Infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer says that salt helps to wash out any viruses in the throat and provides symptomatic relief. So, gargling with salt water will soothe a dry and scratchy throat.7
To do this, the Mayo Clinic suggests mixing 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in an 8 oz. cup of warm water and then gargling.8
Gargling with sea salt and water is also one of the best home remedies for chest congestion and it is also an effective remedy for clearing throat mucus.
Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Your symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:
- Itching .
- Runny nose.
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks.
- Ear fullness and popping.
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes.
- Dark circles under your eyes.
- Trouble smelling.
Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge from hay fever is thin, watery, and clear. Nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing occurs more with hay fever. You may even have severe sneeze attacks.
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Itchy Throat: When To See A Doctor
If the itchy throat doesnât seem to resolve and you are experiencing other symptoms such as fever, body aches, cough, nasal congestion, etc., you most likely have some sort of infection. You must consult a registered medical practitioner who will identify the root cause and treat you accordingly.
You must also consult a doctor when you experience aggravated symptoms of allergies or acidity and you donât feel good about yourself.
How To Get Rid Of A Tickle In Your Throat: Effective Natural Treatments
Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health
Having a tickle in your throat can be a source of irritation, especially if you cant find a way to get rid of it. You may also suffer from a tickle in the back of your throat accompanied with cough at night, and this can be extremely annoying and prevent you from getting a good sleep. Usually, a tickly throat is accompanied by a cough which is the bodys reaction to relieve the tickle. You may also experience the sensation that you have an itchy throat. There are many natural home remedies that you can use to reduce the tickling sensation, dryness, and irritation in your throat.
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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.