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Is There A Link Between Sore Throat and Allergies?
Having a sore throat is a common event and is mostly caused as a result of any viral infection like common cold, flu etc. Apart from that, there are various other problems like tonsillitis, GERD, swollen lymph nodes etc. which may cause you to feel the pain and irritation in your throat. However, one major aspect that not many people know about is that your body’s allergy can also cause a sore throat to items like smoke, dust etc. Let us read on to know how allergies can cause you a sore throat and how it can be treated.
Cause of allergies leading to a sore throat
Mostly it is the postnasal drip which irritates your throat causing it to feel sore. This usually happens when you are exposed to an allergen. This exposure leads to the mucous draining down into your throat causing all the soreness and pain in your throat. Apart from the pain and scratchy feeling you can also experience the below symptoms.
- Severe coughing
- Problem in swallowing
- Difficulty in talking and speaking
Certain types of allergies like that from pollen is seasonal; hence happens only at specific times. In case you are facing problems all year long then chances are when the actual season of allergens comes it is going to become much tougher for you. Some other irritants which could be the cause of worry are:
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust Mites
- Pet Dander
How to know if a sore throat is caused by allergy?
Normally a sore throat can be caused by cold and many other factors. There is no major way to identify if a sore throat has been caused by an allergy. It all depends on the duration till which your ailment remains. This means that if you have a sore throat because of common cold and flu chances are that the symptoms will manifest in a day or two. Properly it would not take you more than ten days, and you should be back to normal life.
However, in case of a sore throat caused by allergy, your situation may be a little more serious. Allergies can be persistent and may extend for months in the end. Sometimes they may go on for a long time and subsequently end only to resurface after some months have passed away.
Another difference that is seen is in the colour of the mucous created. When a common cold strikes the mucus that is generated is yellow in colour and thick. However, if you are suffering from an allergy, then the mucus becomes clear and thin in texture. There is also a visible difference in the symptoms. Common cold and flu would include coughing and congestion in the chest. However, in case of an allergy, you might also have to experience runny eyes and sore throat and itchiness too.
Triggers for post nasal drip
Since allergy induced sore throat is caused by post-nasal drip, we need to understand what exactly can cause the same to happen. Here are some post nasal drip inducting factors.
- Cold and flu
- Inflammation of the sinus also known as sinusitis
- Sometimes an object stuck in your nose can also cause post nasal drip
- At times pregnancy
- Medications of a certain type like those for birth control and high blood pressure.
- A change in the shape of the sputum which is the wall that separates your nostrils. Any change in your nose structure which could affect your sinus is a cause of concern,
- Fluctuations in temperatures
- Frequent changes in the weather
- Certain type of food items, example spicy food, may induce mucus flow
- Fumes that are generated from certain chemicals, perfumes, smoke,and any other irritant.
- Diseases like GERD which do not allow your mucus to be cleared away promptly leading to it getting stuck in your throat.
- Sometimes passive smoking may cause problems in your throat lining and hence the same would be a cause for a sore
Treatment of a sore throat caused by Allergies
The first step that needs to be taken to prevent sore throat and allergies is to stay away from the allergens and the triggers as well. Once you have controlled your allergy, your sore throat would also get back to being normal. During the worst seasons, you will have to keep the windows closed and adopt a face mask whenever you have to go out. Stay away from pet dander and cigarette smoke as much as possible.
It is quite difficult to avoid the allergens hence in such situations it would be good if you adopt medications. Whenever you face, allergic symptoms get them healed with regular doses of antihistamines. You can take Claritin and Zyrtec as part of your daily dosage. When the allergens strike your body, these antihistamines would act as a shield and help your body fight back all of them.
If in case your sore throat and allergies, symptoms are quite severe doctor may have to suggest a prescription medicine. Apart from that decongestant and nasal sprays are also options which can reduce the chances of post nasal drip and a subsequent sore throat. If you want you can get in touch with an allergist. He would conduct blood tests and skin prick tests to know what exactly the cause of your sore throat allergy is.
Doing this would also let him know whether you can take up immunotherapy or allergy shots as an alternative treatment for your sore throat. Allergy shots are small doses of the allergen into your body which subsequently helps to build your resistance to the same. As per the recommended dose, a person needs one or two shots per week till at least six months. Sometimes, a person may need one shot every month for a long duration like five years to get rid of it completely.
Home remedies for a sore throat caused by allergies
Even though a sore throat caused by allergies needs medications to make you feel better, you can accompany them with some homemade remedies. When you follow these two, the recovery process becomes a little quicker.
Having sufficient amount of water can help your throat feel moist and hydrated. Not only that the mucous also becomes thin and it is easier for it to go away. The mandatory eight glasses of water every day is recommended to provide you relief.
2. Warm beverages–
Apart from that you should drink warm beverages as they would give your throat the warmth that it needs. Soups and hot teas during the same can be very comforting. You can also gargle with warm salt water diligently to make the soreness go away. However, avoid consuming caffeinated beverages as they can act as more of an irritant in such a situation.
3. Neti pots–
These relieve your congestion and flush out the sinus problem that you are facing. As per this remedy, a specially made salt and water solution are poured into your nasal cavity. However, its overuse can be a cause of worry, and you should be aware of that.
4. Clove black pepper and honey–
Mix honey with drops of clove and black pepper oil and take one spoon of the mixture three times in a day. While clove will reduce pain, black pepper will fight the bacteria and honey would create an antibacterial lining in your throat.
5. Chamomile tea–
With its naturally soothing properties chamomile tea would give your throat a calming effect. Easily available at all the departmental stores the tea should be consumed before your lunch so that you do not face a problem in swallowing.
6. Fenugreek seeds–
The analgesic properties of fenugreek kill the bacteria and hence reduce inflammation in your throat. In one glass water boil one tablespoon fenugreek seeds. Once the water reduces to its ¾ quantity, then let it rest for some time. Once the drink attains normal temperature, you can keep sipping at normal intervals.
In case you have a turmeric stem crush and make it into powder form. Take a glass of milk mix one teaspoon turmeric and sugar for taste and drink before sleeping at night. Your throat soreness should vanish in some time.
Oils with peppermint in them can be purchased from the stores, and they can relieve sore throats. However, do mix it with some other carrier oil like olive oil and tempered coconut oil for better results. Just drink an ounce of both and slowly swallow so that the proper impact can be felt.
Yes, sore throat and allergies are linked, as former can be caused by allergies and sometimes the situation may become so severe that it would be tough for you to handle. If you see a regular pattern in their happening, try to find out the triggers of the same. Once you realise that you can take adequate precautions to stay safe. In case of the situation getting worsened consult a doctor and take proper medications as advised by him. Add the home remedies and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure that these allergies do not strike you again.