Does your throat feel dry and scratchy?
Are you having difficulty swallowing or talking?
Well, you have got yourself a sore throat.
Your throat irritation could be due to:
- Acid reflux
- Strep throat
- Dry environment
- Seasonal allergies
Can you get a sore throat from allergies?
Yes, you can, which depends entirely on how your body responds to allergens.
If you have allergies and you become exposed to an allergen, then your immune system will respond by generating histamines which are chemicals that trigger allergic symptoms.
These histamines can give you itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy and runny nose.
They will also trigger post-nasal drip that is mucus streaming down the back of your throat that causes you to have a throat irritation.
Your sore throat will be frequently worse first thing in the morning and after laying down all night.
What are the causes of getting a sore throat from allergies?
Not everyone who has allergies experience a sore throat as they affect each of us differently.
Your risk of developing a sore throat due to allergies increases with the structure of your nose and the severity of your allergies.
Also, if you are allergic to springtime allergens like pollen and grass, then you will be more prone to getting a sore throat as your body will be responding to all of the triggers at once.
Allergies can cause a sore throat for a number of reasons:
- Post-nasal drip
- Breathing through a congested nose
What are the common allergens?
Avoid direct contact with your known allergens to reduce your risk of experiencing allergic symptoms, such as a sore throat or cough (like substances you know cause your adverse reactions).
To reduce your risk of developing allergic symptoms such as a sore throat or cough, you will need to avoid direct contact with your known allergens.
Common allergens include:
- Mold and mildew
- Animal dander
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust mites
What happens to you after being exposed to an allergen?
Being exposed to an allergen like airborne dust and pollen triggers your immune system where antibodies in your body mistake them for pathogens and fight them.
Having an overactive immune system results in allergic symptoms.
Your digestive system, skin, sinuses, or lungs become inflamed as a result of your immune system’s reaction to an allergen.
Your body releases histamines from being exposed to an allergen which causes a buildup of mucus production.
The excess mucus production will be felt in your throat as a result of post-nasal drip giving you an itchy and tickling discomfort.
The mucus drainage causes:
- Excessive swallowing
- Difficulty speaking
- Throat irritation and clearing
What are the symptoms that come with a sore throat?
A sore throat is a rare symptom of an allergic response but it does happen when persistent mucus drainage irritates the back of your throat.
Along with a persistent allergy sore throat, common allergy symptoms include:
- Dry throat
- Snoring and wheezing
- Difficulty breathing
- Runny and itchy nose
- Nasal congestion
- Pain while swallowing
- Itchy, watery eyes
How do you tell the difference between a cold and allergies?
|Symptoms of a cold
|Symptoms of allergies
|1. Colds last one to two weeks
|1. Allergies stay longer for weeks to months
|2. Colds have more bodily symptoms such as pain in the muscles and fever from a viral infection
|2. Allergies don’t give you bodily pains but you can get a sore throat and you don’t have a fever unless you contract an infection
|3. Colds give you a thick yellow or green mucus
|3. Allergies make your face swell, giving you an itchy nose and throat with watery eyes
Symptoms that are similar in both a cold and an allergy are:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy and runny nose
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a sore throat caused by allergies, a virus like COVID-19, the flu or a cold.
You will need to call your doctor if you experience any of these signs of infection:
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Severe throat pain
- White patches on your throat
- Loss of voice
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck
How to help prevent a sore throat from allergies?
You will need to try to limit your exposure to allergens if they cause you to have persistent discomfort or voice problems.
This is not only the best prevention method but will also reduce your intake of medicines when your allergies start acting up.
If you are suffering from allergies then try the following prevention methods to avoid getting a sore throat:
- Stay indoors during seasonal changes when the pollen count is high
- Wear a pollen mask outside during allergy season to protect yourself from airborne allergens
- Make sure to keep your home windows closed during the allergy season
- Do your best to avoid irritants like cigarette smoke
- Use dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air to prevent mold and mildew
- Use air purifiers to remove harmful particles like dander from the air
- Try to avoid extensive gardening duties or use a mask while doing so
- Try to avoid a prolonged exposure to your furry friends and wash hands after petting
- Turn on the AC in the Summer to prevent pollen from settling near you
- Shower and change your clothes after going out or being around allergens
- Wash your bedding at least once a week as it collects dust and other allergens
The best time for you to enjoy your outdoor experience is usually after a rainfall as airborne pollen gets cleared.
How to treat sore throat from allergies?
It is important to treat your sore throat from allergies as it could lead to serious infections like asthma, ear infection or sinus infections.
You can relieve yourself from a sore throat trying these home remedies:
- Gargle with warm salt water
The salt in the water will help pull your mucus out of the congested area and soothe your throat.
- Have honey
Take a spoonful of honey if you have a cough behind your sore throat. It will help lessen the force and intensity of your cough.
- Try throat lozenges
Sucking on lozenges or hard candy helps soothe sore throats temporarily.
- Drink more warm fluids
Drinking warm water with honey or broths will protect your throat from drying out. Avoid drinking caffeine as this will irritate your throat further.
- Rest in an elevated angle
Taking enough rest and sleep from physical exertion and your voice will help relax your sore throat and give it time to heal.
- Aim for a neti pot
A neti pot helps flushes your sinuses out by pouring salt and water solution directly into your nasal cavity.
- Inhale steam from a humidifier or a hot shower
You can improve your air circulation by using a cool-air humidifier or taking a hot shower and inhaling the steam to relieve your sore throat.
You can also try over-the-counter medications to help relieve your sore throat symptoms:
- Use an antihistamine
Antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) help block the effects of histamines and reduce the risk of allergy symptoms.
- Go for decongestants
Decongestants like Afrin (oxymetazoline) and Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) will help shrink blood vessels relieving yout allergy symptoms.
- Try a corticosteroid nasal spray
Nasal steroid sprays like Nasonex (mometasone) and Flonase (fluticasone) will help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and reduce your post-nasal drip.
Finally, you can try allergy shots immunotherapy to help prevent and treat your allergies.
An allergist will perform blood and skin prick tests to find out what you are allergic to.
This can help determine whether you could be a candidate for immunotherapy.
Allergy shots are allergens being injected into your body in higher doses over time which will help you become less sensitive to the allergen by the end of the therapy.
This is a long-term treatment option that lasts for 3-5 years where in the first few months, you start with 1-3 times of injections a week which reduces to around every 4-6 weeks.
If allergy medication is not working for you then you can ask your doctor about immunotherapy treatment.
Allergy shots are different from other medications where instead of managing your sore throat, they help deal with the root cause of your allergies.
Post-nasal drip is the main cause of sore throat brought on by allergies.
This happens because allergies cause a buildup of mucus which must drain from the sinuses and nose.
Home treatments like humidifier, neti pot, lozenges, over-the-counter medications and immunotherapy help reduce symptoms or prevent an allergic reaction.
It is important to treat your sore throat to prevent further infections.