How Can Sore Throat Be Caused By Allergies
Allergies can take different forms for each person. One person might suffer from severely itchy and watery eyes, while another might have a stopped-up nose. Still others might suffer from a sore throat. But how does this happen?
Remember that your nose and throat produce a great deal of mucus every day usually anywhere between one and two quarts of it! It keeps your respiratory tract healthy by keeping it moist and so helping prevent infections, which you rarely notice it. But when your body comes into contact with something that causes an allergic reaction, then a chemical called histamine is released. This increases mucus production, which can lead to a runny nose. When that mucus runs down your throat, it can lead to itching, coughing or sore throat.
Sometimes, sore throat allergies are even more direct. Particles of pollen or other allergens might go right into the nose and throat, and those can enter the respiratory system, leading to an even worse sore throat.
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.
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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How Can I Treat My Sore Throat And Get Rid Of A Sore Throat Quickly
First, if you have identified the underlying reason of the throat soreness consider treating that cause. For instance, if your sore/itchy throat is related to allergies, successfully managing your allergies well will both help reduce your allergy symptoms and help your throat feel better.
Although treating your sore throat will depend on the cause, there are a couple ways to treat sore throat pain and discomfort:
- Drink plenty of water, preferably warm
- Use a throat lozenge or cough drop to keep your throat moist
- Use a humidifier
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.
If home treatments arent working and you still dont feel well, connect with our Consulting Nurse Service.
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What Helps Soothe An Irritated Throat Not Caused By Post
If it turns out your sore throat isnt the result of post-nasal drip, your treatment options will be a bit different. On top of avoiding pollution and irritants, gargling with saltwater, and using a humidifier, you should also:
- Drink warm liquids like soup broth and tea with honey
- Eat cold foods like popsicles
- Get plenty of rest
- Try not to speak too much to give your throat a rest
Do You Have A Cold Or Allergies
Reviewed By Carol DerSarkissian, MD
It’s easy to get them confused. Just ask Paul Ehrlich, MD, a professor of pediatrics at New York University. He’d been an allergist for years when he came down with what he thought was a cold. “I’d had a watery, runny nose for several days when one of my patients took a look at me and said, ‘Oh, you have allergies, too!'” Ehrlich says.
He’d never had allergies before, but a checkup with another doctor confirmed that the patient was right. “Turns out I was allergic to birch trees, which were in bloom at the time,” he says.
A cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen or pet dander. Because the two conditions cause similar symptoms, like sniffles and stuffiness, many people get them mixed up. Knowing which is which can help you get the right treatment, and that will help you feel better faster.
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What Is A Strep Test For A Sore Throat
A rapid strep test checks for streptococcus bacteria infection in the throat. The test is painless and takes very little time. The tip of a cotton swab is used to wipe the back of the throat. The swab is then tested right away. If the strep test is positive, you have strep throat. If the strep test is negative, you likely do not have strep throat. However, if there are strong signs of strep throat, your healthcare provider can do a different throat swab test that is sent to the lab to see if strep bacteria can be grown from it. A throat culture takes a couple of days for results.
Are There Home Remedies For A Sore Throat
As your sore throat is likely to be caused by dryness from breathing or irritation from post-nasal drip, it is important to drink plenty of water. This will keep the back of your throat moist, but will also help to thin the mucus building up at the back of your throat, reducing irritation. If your throat is feeling itchy, then drinking plenty of water will also ease the symptom.
If you are not fond of the taste of plain water, then drinking a concoction of warm water and honey has been used for years to ease the symptoms of a sore throat. Aside from the soothing effect this drink has, it has also been shown to be an effective wound healer, so may speed up recovery from the symptom.
Gargling salt water is another age-old remedy for sore throats. The antiseptic properties of salt should also prevent an infection from setting in.
Of course, as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so trying to keep out of the way of pollen is probably the most effective remedy. Although it may be impossible to avoid pollen altogether, minimising your exposure to it by avoiding areas of freshly cut grass, for example, are measures worth employing.
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What’s The Best Way To Manage A Sore Throat From Allergies
Fact: You dont need to suffer through this, and allergists say there are a few things you can do to try to relieve your pain. Ultimately, Dr. Wada says, the best treatment is a combo of tackling your nasal symptoms and sore throat. Try these treatment options.
- Use an antihistamine. Antihistamines block the effects of histamines, lessening the risk youll develop allergy symptoms, including a sore throat, Dr. Wada says.
- Try a nasal steroid spray. Nasal steroid sprays help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages, Dr. Wada says, and could help tamp down on post-nasal drip.
- Gargle with warm salt water. Not only does it feels soothing on your throat, Dr. Wada says, the salt in the water can help pull mucus out of the area and make you feel better.
- Have some honey. If a cough is behind your sore throat, consider having a spoonful of honey. Research has found that honey can reduce how often and how intensely you cough when youre sick. Honey can also be soothing for sore throats for anyone over age one, Dr. Wada says.
If you have a sore throat from allergies and this is a regular thing for you, Dr. Parikh recommends talking to your doctor or allergist about allergen immunotherapy, which are shots you can take to help reduce your reaction to allergens. These can make you less allergic to the trigger over time, Dr. Parikh says.
Why Can Seasonal Allergies Cause A Sore Throat
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. Fever, chills, and gastrointestinal symptoms are not expected with seasonal allergies and offer additional clues suggesting viral infections. Contact your pediatrician if you don’t know the cause of your child’s sore throat they may need to diagnose and treat it.
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Is My Sore Throat From The Flu Vs Common Cold
The flu can be a potential cause of your sore throat. Besides a sore throat, other common flu symptoms include cough, runny and/or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue, and fever. Since the flu may have similar symptoms to coronavirus , flu as a cause of sore throat can also be tested by doing a nasopharyngeal swab similar in technique to the genetic PCR test for SARS-COV2. The best way to protect yourself, though, and get some peace of mind, is to get your flu vaccine. The best time to get a flu vaccine is mid October through the end of November.
The common cold has similar symptoms to the flu, and many people experience a runny nose, cough, congestion, and sneezing. Colds tend to have milder symptoms and will usually go away on their own after a few days, but talk to your doctor if you start to have more severe symptoms or develop a fever.
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.
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Allergies Rarely Cause Sore Throats Or Body Aches
The only ache you may feel with allergies is a headache from all that congestion. Allergies can cause a sore throat if theres enough irritation from post-nasal drip and coughing, but if youre experiencing a sore throat or mild body aches, theyre more likely a sign of a bad cold.
Can allergies cause chills? No. If you have chills, its more likely you have a cold, the flu or another infection .
Allergies Do Not Cause Fevers
People often wonder if allergies can cause a fever. The answer is no. Allergies cannot cause a fever, though you could have an allergy flare-up at the same time youre experiencing a fever from an infection. For example, since allergies tend to cause stuffy noses, theyre also considered risk factors for sinus infections. Sinus infections happen when mucus gets trapped in the sinuses, allowing bacteria or viruses to grow.
With a cold, your temperature can run warmer, but typically it will be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
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How Can You Treat A Sore Throat Caused By Allergies
Allergy medications are usually the best place to start if pollen or other irritants are causing your sore, scratchy throat. Antihistamines, including Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl, can help tame inflammation and ease your symptoms overall, Dr. Mehdizadeh explains. Nasal sprays and nasal glucocorticoids are ideal for easing post-nasal drip, too.
Natural remedies could also make a difference, the experts say. Gargling with warm salt water can help get rid of irritating mucus, and drinking plenty of water or inhaling steam may soothe scratchiness.
Of course, prevention might be the most effective tactic of all. Minimizing your exposure to allergenssay, by keeping your windows closed and showering as soon as you come inside after being outdoorscan keep your symptoms from flaring up and help stop that sore throat before it starts.
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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Remedies For A Sore Throat Caused By Allergies
Allergens cant always be avoided, and sometimes youll end up with a sore throat after exposure. Fortunately, there are home remedies you can try to soothe a sore throat caused by allergies:
- Stay hydrated. Keeping yourself well-hydrated can help thin out excess mucus.
- Drink hot liquids. Tea with honey and soup broths may soothe a sore throat.
- Use a humidifier. Keep a humidifier running in your home. You may wish to add essential oils for their potential therapeutic benefits. One study found that lavender essential oil prevents allergy-related inflammation and mucus production.
- Keep your head elevated. If your allergy-related sore throat and congestion are keeping you up at night, try propping your head up with extra pillows to prevent mucus from collecting in the back of your throat.
- Over-the-counter medications. There are many allergy medications available OTC, including antihistamines and decongestants. These are available in nasal spray, capsule, and liquid forms. Talk with your doctor about the most appropriate medication for your symptoms.
- Gargle with saltwater. Add ¼ to 12 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water to gargle as needed. This may reduce inflammation and swelling and remove mucus to relieve your sore throat.
- Throat lozenges. Sucking on soothing lozenges can provide fast relief from allergy-related sore throats caused by excess mucus and coughing.