Allergies and sore throat
When you were
a child and had a sore throat, a throat lozenge just seemed
to erase the pain. But now, your sore, scratchy throat can persist for days or
weeks, no matter how you treat it.
sore throat is irritated as a result of an allergic reaction to airborne
particles such as pollen, treatment becomes a little more complicated. Addressing
the precise cause of your allergies can help you alleviate that sore throat
once and for all.
Allergies as a cause for sore
Postnasal drip is the main
culprit in cases of allergy-induced sore throat. The result of
exposure to an allergen, postnasal drip occurs when
congestion in the sinuses drains down the throat, causing tickling or scratchy
pain. The drainage also can cause:
- excessive swallowing
- throat irritation
- difficulty speaking
Many allergies, such as pollen allergies,
are seasonal. If you experience symptoms year-round, your symptoms will
worsen during seasons of high airborne irritants, such as
pollinating flowers and trees during springtime.
- cigarette smoke
- dust mites
- mold and mildew
- pet dander (especially cats and
symptoms generally include congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and coughing. If you have a sore throat
with fever and body aches, it’s likely the
result of a virus, like a cold or flu.
Scratchiness is another way to determine if you have an
allergy-induced sore throat. In addition to the “raw” feeling that results from postnasal
drainage, particles that directly enter the respiratory system can cause a scratchy
Treating an allergy-induced sore throat
allergies is essential in alleviating a sore throat and other related symptoms. The first
step is to limit your exposure to the irritants as much as possible. Avoid known
irritants like cigarette smoke and pet dander when
you can. Keep your windows closed or wear a surgical
mask outside to protect yourself from airborne allergens during the
worst seasons of the year.
you can’t always avoid allergens. This is when medications can
help. Over-the-counter antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin) and
cetirizine (Zyrtec) may be taken daily during the worst times of the year to
alleviate allergy symptoms. These medications work by preventing the body from mounting
a histamine-response to allergens that attack your
Your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength
medication if your
allergies are severe or consistent. They also may recommend decongestants or nasal sprays to help prevent postnasal drip that can lead to sore
An allergist can perform skin prick
tests and blood tests that will tell you exactly what you’re allergic to. Not only can
this help you avoid those allergens, but it can also help determine whether or
not you’re a candidate for immunotherapy such as allergy shots.
can help you sustain a mostly symptom-free life with long-term treatment. This treatment consists of small doses of the allergen that will,
over time, reduce your body’s reaction to it. According to the
American Academy of
Family Physicians, most patients need one to two shots per week over the course of six months. Monthly maintenance shots are
required for three to five years, on average.
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Natural remedies for
allergy-induced sore throat
remedies are popular ways to soothe sore throat symptoms. While they won’t cure the
postnasal drip causing the sore, scratchy feeling, they can provide
always recommended for any congestion problems. Dryness
exacerbates the problem.
Not only does drinking plenty of fluids help keep the throat moist, it also helps thin the
Warm liquids such as
soups and hot teas can provide comfort to a sore throat. Gargling with warm salt
water can also help soothe it. Stay away from caffeinated beverages when you
have a sore throat, as caffeine can be an irritant.
Using a neti
pot flushes out your sinuses and helps relieve congestion. This remedy
entails pouring a specially formulated salt-water solution directly into your nasal cavity. Just be aware
that overuse can cause
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allergy-induced sore throat may go away once you’re no longer exposed to allergens. Still, this is easier said
than done. If your symptoms are disrupting your ability to live a
comfortable life, an allergist may be able to help you find relief. If left
unchecked, allergy symptoms can eventually lead to other complications,
including sinus infections.