Do you suffer from a recurring sore throat? You might first think that your sore throat is caused by an illness like the common cold or the flu. However, if your sore throat is recurring and does not seem to be connected to an illness, it could be caused by allergies! Here is what you need to know.
Sore throats are often triggered by allergies and environmental factors like dry air. Histamines, which are your body’s natural reaction to an allergen, increase your body’s production of mucus in an effort to prevent your nose, mouth, and throat from drying out. When this occurs, you may feel excess mucus in your throat caused by postnasal drip. Postnasal drip is the leading cause of sore throats to allergies. Postnasal drip happens when discharge from your nose runs down the back of your throat. This can cause a scratchy, sore throat.
Which allergens cause a sore throat?
The following are common allergens that may cause a sore throat:
- Seasonal allergies (like pollen and mold)
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
In addition to a sore throat, allergies may cause the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
How long does a sore throat last from allergies?
You will likely experience a sore throat as long as the symptoms from your allergies persist. If you have a sore throat caused by allergies, you may find an allergy calendar helpful to see which allergy season is affecting you.
However, you do not need to simply wait out allergy season and deal with a sore throat for weeks at a time. There are many ways to manage and treat your allergy symptoms, which can help to reduce or eliminate your sore throat.
How can you prevent a sore throat caused by allergies?
The best way to prevent a sore throat is to avoid the allergens that cause it. You can do that by using these tips:
- Check the local pollen count every morning. If the pollen counts are high, stay indoors as much as possible and keep the windows closed on your house and car. This can also help you track whether your sore throat is caused by allergies or something else.
- Use an air purifier to keep allergens out of the air.
- If you have spent time outside, shower immediately after coming inside and put your outdoor clothes in the washer.
How can you soothe a sore throat caused by allergies?
Here are a few tips for soothing a sore throat:
- Drink lots of fluids and keep your throat lubricated to eliminate scratchiness. Warm fluids, such as tea or broth, can be especially soothing for a scratchy throat.
- Use a humidifier in your home. Dry air can bring on a sore throat or make an existing sore throat feel even worse.
- Try not to speak for long periods of time. When you do speak, keep your volume down to avoid strain on your throat and vocal cords.
How can you manage your allergies to prevent a sore throat?
Managing your allergies can go a long way in preventing the postnasal drip that contributes to a sore throat. Talk to your allergist about which allergy treatments are best for you. Your doctor may suggest solutions like allergy medications (such as antihistamines) or immunotherapy.
For more information about how to treat a sore throat caused by allergies, please contact our allergy clinic at West River ENT & Allergy today.