Sore Throat And Ear Pain: Whats Causing The Discomfort
Sore throat and ear pain can bring your day to a grinding halt. The discomfort can become unbearable quickly. Because of that, figuring out whats causing those conditions and getting them treated fast is a must.
Some of the underlying causes of sore throat and ear pain can be very serious, but others can be treated from home. Thats why its important to be able to realize when you can deal with it and when you need to get to the doctors office.
Soothing A Sore Throat At Home
Here are several home remedies that may help soothe a sore throat from allergies, according to Harvard Medical School:
- Stay well-hydrated to help to thin the mucus.
- Consume more hot liquids, such as chicken soup.
- Use a humidifier or inhale steam.
- Prop yourself up with a few extra pillows at night, since mucus can collect in the back of your throat when you lie flat.
There are also many over-the-counter medications available, including oral decongestants and antihistamines. Nasal decongestants may also be helpful, though Harvard Medical School cautions that they shouldn’t be used for more than one to two days. For help choosing the most appropriate product, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.
While these steps can help soothe a sore throat from allergies, they won’t prevent future allergy symptoms. Pollen, whether from grass, trees or ragweed, is a common culprit of seasonal allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, so avoiding exposure to it can help. The Mayo Clinic recommends staying indoors on dry, windy days and, if possible, keeping your doors and windows closed on days with high pollen counts. If you need to do outdoor chores, such as lawn mowing or weed pulling, wear a pollen mask.
Soothing The Sore Throats Of Allergies
Itchy eyes and runny noses are par for the course during spring and fall for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. But if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night with a throat so sore you can hardly swallow, you might also be dealing with allergy symptoms.
Exposure to allergens causes your body to ramp up mucus production. For some people that causes a runny nose, but in others the extra mucus drains down the throat, a symptom called postnasal drip which can lead to a tickle in the throat or scratchy pain. Irritants that cause an allergic reaction can include pollen, cigarette smoke, dust mites or pet dander.
Sore throats caused by allergies can be painful. A few ways to help soothe them include: Avoid irritants. Limit your time outside as much as possible when pollen counts are high, stay away from second hand smoke and avoid coming into close contact with furry pets. Run a humidifier to keep the air moist in your home, especially in the bedroom while you sleep. Drink plenty of water to soothe your throat and stay hydrated. Use cough drops or hard candy to coat your throat and ease the pain. Over the counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation, and antihistamines can help control the mucus production.
Here at Piedmont Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, our experienced medical staff can help isolate your symptoms and get you on the right course to feeling better in no time.
Questions? Contact us, or call 768-3361 today to schedule your appointment.
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Mucus In Throat Every Morning
If you wake up each day with mucus in throat, which you feel needs to be expelled, there are a few different reasons for that. For starters, mucus in throat in the morning could be a result of an infection or allergy, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or it could be a sign of congestive heart failure.Congestive heart failure, in particular, can cause daily mucus in throat each morning, because the heart has a difficult time moving high amounts of blood through the body, causing fluid buildup. This fluid accumulates in the lungs, especially when a person is laying flat throughout the night. The result is a wet cough in the morning or throughout the night.
Can Sore Throat Last For Months
A sore throat is considered chronic when it lasts for more than three months. Typical factors that can cause a long-lasting sore throat include allergies, acid reflux, environmental irritants, dry air and strained vocal cords. Occasionally a more serious condition, such as a tumor or HIV, can cause a sore throat.
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Do Seasonal Allergies Wreak Havoc On Your Body
If so, youre not alone many people experience an increase in their allergy symptoms during allergy season, especially when pollen counts are high. For some, symptoms are mild, with sneezing and stuffiness, while others experience joint, back and neck pain, in addition to breathing difficulties.
In some cases, your symptoms may appear to be related more to the weather, injury or illness rather than specific allergens. However some allergy symptoms, such as non-allergic rhinitis and even joint pain, can be brought on by rapid changes in temperature and humidity that typically accompany the spring season. In the United States, spring often is the highest time for allergies, meaning your seasonal allergies could be the cause of your pain.
Lets take a closer look at how allergies and joint pain may be related.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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It’s Probably Allergies If:
Your mucus is clear or watery. And it will stay clear, instead of becoming thick or discolored like it can with a cold, says Michael Benninger, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your eyes are itchy or watery. It’s rare to have itchy eyes when you have a cold.
Your symptoms stay the same. “Allergies may feel extra intense for the first day or 2, but you’ll have the same symptoms day after day,” Benninger says.
You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week. A cold usually clears up in 7 to 10 days, but allergies can last several weeks or longer.
Your symptoms show up only in certain situations. Find yourself sneezing every spring or fall? Those are common times for allergies. Another allergy tip-off: Being in a specific place makes you feel miserable — for example, in a house with a cat.
S For Managing Your Sore Throat
The first step in managing your allergy-induced sore throats is visiting a professional. From there, we can determine the root cause of your allergy, and help you create a personalized plan for removing the trigger from your life and/or ways to manage your allergies when removing the trigger isnt a realistic solution.
Short Term Relief
Providing short-term relief for a sore throat can usually be accomplished through the use of simple but effective home remedies. Drink warm liquids, especially tea with honey or lemon, and chicken broth or bouillon. Cold liquids can also help. Suck on Popsicles, hard candy, or throat lozenges to soothe irritation. Gargle with warm salt water several times a day. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air.
Long Term Relief
More long-term solutions can involve immunotherapy, which is a series of allergy shots designed to build up your bodys immune system against the allergen causing you and your body stress.
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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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Why Does Your Throat Hurt On One Side
If your throat pain comes from only one side, it could be a sign of a different condition or unique illness.
As your body helps to fight germs , it can cause the lymph nodes to swell up and become sorewhich can result in pain on one side of the throat.
Postnasal drip is another cause of throat pain. As mucus and fluid drain down the back of the throat, it can lead to the feeling of soreness, specifically on one side.
Inflammation of one or more tonsil, more commonly called tonsillitis, is another common cause of one-sided throat pain. Fever, difficulty swallowing and noisy breathing are symptoms that typically accompany the illness.
If you experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERDa condition in which the contents of the stomach back up into the food pipeyou may experience throat pain as well.
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Can Allergies Cause A Headache Or Cough
Sometimes allergies can cause migraine headaches. Doctors are still trying to figure out the link between migraines and allergies.
If allergies trigger your migraine, you may have:
- Pain in your sinuses
- Facial pain
- A throbbing or stabbing headache thats often one-sided
Your symptoms could be worse when youre exposed to bright light. You may get more migraines in the spring, fall, and summer, when outdoor allergens are at their highest.
So yes, if you regularly suffer migraines then, quite surprisingly, it could be due to an allergy.
Hay fever in particular can also cause a sufferer to have headaches. They are a common symptom of hay fever due to the sinuses becoming blocked.
Swelling and irritation of airways, caused by allergens such as pollen, dust and pet dander, can typically result in a cough. If your cough only happens when you are in certain places or around certain things then it is likely an allergy cough.
Coughing that worsens with exercise, which may have a wheezing or whistling chest sound, could be a sign you have asthma. Other signs are chest tightness, shortness of breath or rapid breathing. If you think you have asthma then book an appointment with your GP who can perform some simple tests to diagnose and provide the correct treatment.
Do You Have A Cold Or Allergies
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 Causes An Itchy Throat
Allergies are one of the most common causes of an itchy throat. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance called an allergen triggers an immune system response in your body. Examples of common allergy triggers that can cause an itchy throat include:
- animal dander
- foods, such as peanut butter, dairy, or strawberries
- pollen, found in trees, grass, or ragweed
Allergies can range from mild to severe. An itchy throat can indicate a milder, yet uncomfortable, allergic reaction.
Inhaling pollutants can also lead to an itchy throat. These might include:
- tobacco smoke or vapor
An itchy throat may feel:
An itchy throat feels uncomfortable, and it can feel as if you need to clear your throat frequently.
Its important to distinguish between the symptoms of an itchy throat and similar symptoms that may indicate other conditions. For example, an itchy throat doesnt feel rough or raw, or make you feel as if you cant breathe.
Allergies And Your Nose
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is the term typically used to describe the allergic reaction that happens in your nose. You may have uncontrollable sneezing or a runny and stuffy nose.
Nasal Spray for Allergy Relief
If you suffer from severe allergies or frequent sinus infections, youre probably all too familiar with the fast-acting power of nasal spray. And while these sprays can clear a stuffy nose in seconds, not all nasal sprays are created equal.
There are four common types of nasal sprays on the market today:
- Saline: Because saline sprays are made from mostly salt and water, theyre safe to use every day.
- Antihistamine: These sprays are typically used to relieve congestion and usually cause less drowsiness than antihistamine pills, and are available by all available over the counter. Talk to one of our Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia board-certified allergy specialists about which one we recommend.
- Steroid: These sprays can be used as a preventative measure and to control allergy symptoms. They are available over the counter and can be used daily during allergy season to provide relief.
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