Are you worried about your sore throat? Do you feel there might be a link between allergies and sore throat? Read below to know if there is any link between the two.
Allergies And Sore Throat: Is There Any Link Between The Two?
Yes, probably there is a link between allergies and sore throat. During our childhood when we had a sore throat, a throat lozenge seemed to help get relief from the pain.
But, now a sore throat can persist for several days or even weeks, no matter how it has been treated.
Allergies are pretty common and more than 50 million individuals in the United States have at least one allergy.(1)
The treatment for sore throat that has been caused due to an allergic reaction to airborne particles like pollen, becomes quite complicated. However, addressing the exact underlying cause of your allergies can help you in alleviating the sore throat all at once.
The main culprit of an allergy-induced sore throat is a postnasal drip. This is the result of exposure to an allergen. It occurs when congestion in your nose and sinuses drains down to your throat. This results in scratchy and tickling pain in the throat. Apart from a sore and scratchy throat, the drainage can also cause excessive swallowing, coughing, irritation of the throat, and difficulty speaking.
Many allergies like pollen allergies are seasonal allergies. As per research from the year 2015, it has been found that 15% of individuals in the United States have received a diagnosis of seasonal allergies, and about 30% of the population have self-reported symptoms of nasal allergy.(2)
If a person experience symptoms throughout the year, their symptoms worsen during seasons where the amount of airborne irritants or allergens is high. Pollinating flowers and trees during the spring season could be the irritants that can result in allergy-induced sore throat. Some other common allergens and irritants are mold and mildew, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and pet dander.
Why Do Allergies Cause A Sore Throat?
Now, we know that allergies can cause a sore throat and various other symptoms like coughing, difficulty speaking, and so on. Why do allergies cause a sore throat? Well, first, let’s say you are allergic to something. If you are allergic to a substance, your body sees proteins found in that substance as a foreign invader. When those proteins enter into your system, say, by breathing dust or getting pollen blown into your eyes, the immune system of your body launches an inflammatory response in an attempt of protecting you.
Lots of extra mucus are produced as a part of that inflammatory response. The mucus that has been produced, helps in propelling the debris out of your body. However, it can give you symptoms of congestion and runny nose. For your information, that’s not all. Since ears, throat, and nose, are all connected physically, so when there is a problem in any one area, that can affect another too.
As a result, the mucus results in postnasal drip, where the sticky stuff dribbles down the throat and makes it feel irritated and raw. The tissues present in the back of your throat can also be triggered by allergens and can become inflamed. This might add to the discomfort.
Treatments For Allergy-Induced Sore Throat:
Allergies And Sore Throat:
Is There A Link Between The Two? By now, we are very much aware that yes, there is a link between allergies and sore throat. The sore throat that is caused due to allergies is known as an allergy-induced sore throat. Now, comes the treatments for an allergy-induced sore throat.
Preventing allergies is important for alleviating a sore throat and several other related symptoms. The first step to prevent allergies is to limit your exposure to various allergens as much as you can. You should avoid irritants like pet dander and cigarette smoke, whenever you can. Wear a surgical mask when you go outside, keep your windows closed and protect yourself from airborne allergens, especially during the worst seasons of the year. Though it is impossible to avoid allergens always, there are ways you can treat sore throats and other symptoms that are caused by allergens or allergic reactions. Let us see below some of the treatments for allergy-induced sore throat.
Medications: Some medications can help in treating sore throat caused by allergens. OTC or Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Cetrizine (Zyrtec) and Loratadine (Claritin), might be taken regularly during the worst time of the year for alleviating symptoms of allergy. These medicines work by preventing your body from mounting a histamine-based response to various allergens that attack your bodily system.
The allergy symptoms are due to the histamine response, and this is triggered when one has an allergic reaction. You might be prescribed with some medications if you have severe and consistent allergies. Doctors might recommend you nasal sprays and decongestants to help prevent postnasal drip, which might result in sore throats.
Allergy Shots: Allergy shots are one of the best ways to treat allergy-induced sore throat. An allergist would perform tests, like a skin prick test and some specific blood tests that will tell you what exactly are you allergic to. Not only one can help in avoiding these allergens, but it can even help in determining if you are a candidate for immunotherapy, which includes allergy shots.
An allergy shot regimen comprises several small doses of the allergen that will reduce the body’s reaction to it, over time. This is a long-term treatment and can mostly help you a symptom-free life.
As per the American Academy of Family Physicians, most individuals require 1-2 build-up shots every week for continuous 6 months.(3) Monthly maintenance shots are usually essential for 3-5 years.
Some popular natural remedies or home treatments are also available to soothes symptoms of sore throat. Though these home treatments might not cure the postnasal drip that causes the sore or scratchy throat, they can provide some sort of temporary relief. Below are some of the home treatments that you can try for sore throat.
Water: Water is recommended always to treat problems of congestion. You should know that dryness can worsen the problem. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids not only helps in keeping your throat moist but also aids thin the mucus.
Warm Liquid: Warm liquids like hot tea and soups can offer you some comfort in sore throat. You should gargle with warm salt water to help soothe the condition. Make sure you avoid caffeinated beverages if you have a sore throat. Caffeine can be an irritant and can worsen your condition in a sore throat.
Neti Pots: Neti pots are also beneficial to treat sore throats. Using neti pots entails pouring a specifically formulated solution of salt and water directly into the nasal cavity. This home remedy flushes out your sinuses and thus helps in relieving congestion. However, you should be aware of the fact that overuse of neti pots can result in further issues.
We know that allergies and sore throat are linked to each other. An allergy-induced sore throat might go away if you are no longer exposed to irritants or allergens.
However, you should take very good care if you have a sore throat due to allergens. Try out the home treatments to reduce symptoms of allergy-induced sore throat. But, if your symptoms are serious or preventing you from leading a comfortable life, you should reach to an allergist to get the best possible help and find relief from the condition. Be aware that if left uncontrolled or untreated, symptoms of allergy can eventually lead to many complications, such as sinusitis and many more.