September 29, 2022
Four Common Allergens That Might Be Causing Your Sore Throat
If you've ever had a sore throat, then you know the pain it can create and how it can affect your quality of life. But it's not always easy to pinpoint the cause of your sore throat. Many think that sore throats are linked to allergies, the common cold or even the flu. We’re here to help you determine what exactly is causing your sore throat and help you take the right steps to get the relief you deserve!
What exactly is a sore throat?
A sore throat (also known as pharyngitis) is persistent discomfort in the throat that may get worse when swallowing.
Sore throats are divided into different types based on which part of the throat they affect:
- Pharyngitis - affecting the pharynx (the back of the throat)
- Tonsillitis - affecting the tonsils (two small masses of lymphoid tissue one on each side of the root of the tongue)
- Laryngitis - affecting your larynx (the voice box)
Sore throats are most commonly triggered by allergies and environmental factors such as dry air. Histamines increase your body's production of mucus, which is used to keep your throat, mouth, and nose from drying out. When histamines ramp up your body's production of mucus, you may feel excess mucus in your throat caused by postnasal drip. Histamines are produced in your body because it’s a natural reaction to an allergen.
Can seasonal allergies cause a sore throat?
Yes, allergies can most definitely cause a sore throat. A sore throat is an extremely common symptom of allergies. The leading cause of sore throats due to allergies is a result of postnasal drip. Postnasal drip occurs when discharge from your nose runs down the back of your throat. This can cause discomfort in the back of the throat, resulting in a scratchy and sore throat.
Common allergens that may cause a sore throat:
- Seasonal allergies, such as pollen and mold
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
In addition to sore throats, other symptoms that accompany allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
How long does a sore throat last from allergies?
As long as your allergy symptoms persist, you will likely experience these symptoms. If you know your sore throat is caused by allergies, an allergy calendar is helpful to see which allergy season is affecting you. However, there are many ways to manage and treat allergy symptoms, many of which will reduce or eliminate your sore throat, too.
What does a sore throat from allergies feel like?
Sore throats can be described as an itchy and irritating feeling towards the back of your throat. Specifically, it can feel extra scratchy when speaking or swallowing due to the inflammation.
Sore Throat Risk Factors:
Age: Sore throats can be a tricky symptom, especially in kids. Why are sore throats in children so common? This is because children that experience allergies often have a larger mucus buildup, leading to an increased risk of postnasal drip and experiencing a sore throat.
Time of year: Due to the drier climate in the fall and winter, sore throats become increasingly more common. Also, if your sore throat is caused by allergies, your allergy season might be bringing on your sore throat as well.
Exposure to irritants: irritants such as cigarette smoke, high air pollution, and perfume can contribute to a sore throat as well.
Ways to prevent your sore throat:
Avoiding allergens is the best way to prevent a sore throat from occurring.
- Check your local pollen count every morning and plan your day accordingly. Stay indoors, especially when pollen counts are high. This will also help you track if your sore throat is caused by allergies or something else.
- Use an air purifier to keep allergens out of the air and reduce the symptoms of a sore throat.
- Shower immediately after coming inside to keep allergens out of your home.
To help soothe a sore throat,
Be sure to drink lots of fluids and keep your throat lubricated to eliminate scratchiness.
- Use a humidifier in your home because dry air can bring on a sore throat and make an existing sore throat feel worse.
- Try not to speak for long periods of time and keep your volume down to avoid strain on your throat and vocal cords.
- Drink lots of warm liquids such as tea or broth to help soothe a scratchy throat.
Treatments for a sore throat:
By curing your allergies, you might be able to effectively combat the postnasal drip that contributes to a sore throat.
Allergy shots (Immunotherapy): Allergy shots work by injecting an increasing amount of the allergen into the body to slowly introduce the allergen into the body to train the immune system. Allergy shots are administered either weekly or biweekly in the office. Allergy shots are a long-term treatment option because they last up to three to five years!
Allergy Drops (Sublingual Immunotherapy): Allergy drops are the most convenient way to treat your allergies for good! Take 3 drops under your tongue a day and that's it! They're as effective as allergy shots! They’re a great option for families who are on the go, and kids love them!
ExACT Immunoplasty is our newest and most innovative allergy treatment! With ExACT, your allergies can be treated within eight weeks and last up to three years! This treatment is just three injections over the span of eight weeks, and that’s it. ExACT is clinically proven to have an 87% long-term success rate and is just as effective as 3 years' worth of allergy shots!
Sore throats can be a real pain, especially because they're a common symptom of many different illnesses. Luckily, there are many different prevention methods and treatments to help. If your sore throat won't go away, book an appointment with us! We'll help you get the relief you need!