February 27, 2023

Dealing With a Sore Throat From Allergies: Tips and Tricks

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to certain usually harmless substances. They can affect the skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and stomach. Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to something in the environment that it perceives as a threat. 

The body then releases chemicals, such as histamine, to fight off the perceived threat. This reaction causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

The substances that cause allergies are known as allergens. Common allergens include pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, and certain foods. Allergies can range from mild to severe. Symptoms of allergies can include sneezing, wheezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rash, and swelling.

There are several different types of allergies, including seasonal allergies, food allergies, and contact allergies. Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are caused by airborne allergens such as pollen or mold. Food allergies occur when the body reacts to a food that it perceives as a threat. 

These allergies can also cause an intense sore throat. On top of allergies, a sore throat is the last thing you need. Let's explore how to manage a sore throat. Here's what you need to know.

How Long Do Sore Throats Last?

Sore throats are one of the most common ailments people experience. They can be caused by various factors, ranging from viruses and allergies to dry air and smoking. A sore throat is usually accompanied by a tickling or burning sensation, making it difficult to swallow. 

So, how long do sore throats last?

The answer depends on the underlying cause of the sore throat. Viral sore throats usually last a few days, while bacterial sore throats may last up to two weeks. Allergies can also cause sore throats, which may last as long as the allergy is present. 

In addition, environmental factors such as dry air, smoke, or dust can irritate the throat and cause soreness that can last for weeks or even months.

If you are experiencing a sore throat, it’s important to determine the cause to treat it appropriately. Viral sore throats, for example, are usually treated with rest and fluids. Bacterial sore throats, on the other hand, may require antibiotics. 

Allergy-related sore throats may require medications such as antihistamines or nasal sprays. If environmental factors are the cause, using a humidifier or avoiding the irritants may be helpful.

In addition to treating the underlying cause, several home remedies may help to relieve sore throat symptoms. Gargling with warm salt water can help to reduce pain and swelling. Sucking on a throat lozenge or hard candy can also help to soothe the throat. Drinking warm liquids such as herbal tea, broth, or soup can also help to reduce the irritation.

What are the Risks of a Prolonged Sore Throat?

While the discomfort associated with a sore throat usually subsides within a few days, a prolonged sore throat can be concerning and may indicate an underlying health condition. It is essential to understand the risks associated with a prolonged sore throat so that you can take the necessary steps to seek medical attention.

One of the most common risks of a prolonged sore throat is the potential for developing a serious infection. Bacterial infections, such as strep throat and tonsillitis, can cause symptoms that persist for weeks or even months if not treated properly. 

In some cases, these infections may require antibiotics to be effective. Viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu, can cause a prolonged sore throat.

Another risk of a prolonged sore throat is the development of chronic throat irritation. This irritation can be caused by environmental irritants, such as second-hand smoke or air pollution, or by irritants more closely related to the throat, such as post-nasal drip. Chronic throat irritation can cause significant discomfort and lead to difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Which Allergen Most Commonly Causes a Sore Throat?

Sore throats can be a source of discomfort and can be caused by many things, including allergies. Allergies are an immune system response to an allergen which can result in various symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is a sore throat.

When exposed to an allergen, the immune system releases histamine into the bloodstream. This causes inflammation and swelling of the throat and other areas, resulting in a sore throat. Allergens can be anything from dust and pollen to certain foods or medications.

The most common allergens that can cause are the following:

  • Pollen is a common allergen that can irritate the throat, especially during the spring and summer. 

  • Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in carpeting, furniture, and bedding and can cause an allergic reaction. Pet dander from cats and dogs is also a common allergen and can cause a sore throat.

  • Certain foods can also cause a sore throat. These include dairy products, eggs, nuts, and shellfish. Depending on the person, these foods may cause an allergic reaction.

If you think you may be allergic to something, it is essential to see your doctor. They can help determine the cause of your sore throat and recommend treatment options. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help relieve the symptoms of allergies.

Sore Throat Caused by Allergies

When dealing with a sore throat, the last thing you want to hear is that allergies cause it. But unfortunately, allergies are one of the most common causes of a sore throat. They’re responsible for more than 40 percent of all sore throats.

Allergies occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, such as pollen or dust. This can cause inflammation in the throat and airways, resulting in a sore throat.

Sore throats caused by allergies can be accompanied by other symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, and a cough. You may also experience fatigue, headaches, and difficulty breathing.

To reduce the symptoms of your sore throat caused by allergies, avoiding the triggers that cause your reaction is essential. This may include avoiding certain foods and pets and wearing a face mask outdoors. Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning when possible.

How Do Allergies Cause Sore Throats?

Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms, including a sore throat. An overreaction of the immune system causes allergies to substances such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. When exposed to an allergen, the body releases chemicals such as histamine, leading to throat inflammation. 

This inflammation can cause a sore throat and other symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.

Some people may also experience increased throat irritation due to allergies because of increased mucus production. This mucus can trap allergens in the throat, which can cause further irritation and lead to a sore throat.

Signs That You Have a Sore Throat

The most common sign of a sore throat is a scratchy feeling in the throat that causes discomfort when speaking, swallowing, or even breathing. Other signs of a sore throat include swelling, redness, and white or yellow spots on the tonsils. You may also experience swollen lymph nodes in the neck, a fever, a hoarse voice, or a feeling of tightness in the throat.

Swallowing can be especially difficult and uncomfortable when you have a sore throat. You may feel like you can’t swallow at all, or you may feel a burning sensation when you do. Eating acidic, spicy, or crunchy foods can often worsen discomfort.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it’s essential to contact your doctor. They can help you determine the cause of your sore throat and recommend the best treatment plan. 

How to Manage Your Sore Throat

Having a sore throat can be a very uncomfortable experience. It can make it difficult to swallow and talk and even cause pain. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help manage your sore throat and get relief. One of the most important things to do is to stay hydrated. Here’s how to manage your sore throat by staying hydrated.

Get Plenty of Rest

Resting is essential for your body to heal and recover from a sore throat. When you rest, your body can devote more energy to fighting the infection that caused your sore throat. Additionally, resting helps reduce inflammation, which can help relieve the pain associated with a sore throat.

Getting the recommended amount of rest can vary from person to person, but most experts recommend at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. 

It's also important to take regular breaks throughout the day to let your body rest. This could include taking a nap in the afternoon or just sitting down and taking a few moments to relax.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking lots of fluids is vital for managing a sore throat. Water and other clear fluids such as herbal teas, chicken broth, and vegetable broth can help keep you hydrated and ease your sore throat. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of fluids daily, but more if you can. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks, which can worsen your symptoms.

Gargle With Warm Salt Water

Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce throat swelling and pain. Mix one teaspoon of salt in warm water to make the solution and stir until the salt has dissolved. Gargle the solution for a few minutes, then spit it out. Do this several times a day to help ease your sore throat.

Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier in your bedroom can help keep the air moist, which can help reduce throat irritation. Make sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Stay Away From Irritants

Certain things can irritate your sore throat and make your symptoms worse. Avoid smoking, chemical fumes, and other pollutants. If you’re coughing often, try to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve to reduce germs spread.

Eat a Spoonful of Honey

Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and fight infection. It also coats the throat, providing a protective layer to help soothe soreness. Eating honey also helps to increase saliva production, which can help keep your throat lubricated and reduce irritation.

Suck on Ice Chips

Sucking on ice chips can help relieve throat pain and reduce inflammation. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated. Just make sure to use small pieces of ice, so you don’t choke.

Increase Your Vitamin C Intake

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the body and a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and infection. Increasing your Vitamin C intake can help reduce the symptoms of a sore throat and reduce the risk of getting a sore throat in the first place. 

Take Over-the-Counter Medication

If your sore throat is bothering you, you can take over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease the pain. You can also try lozenges or cough drops to help soothe your throat.

The Bottom Line

A sore throat caused by allergies can be painful and uncomfortable. It can significantly impact the quality of life. Allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing, can all lead to a sore throat. 

It is essential to reduce exposure to the allergens that may be causing the sore throat, such as avoiding areas with high pollen counts and using a humidifier in the home. 

Additionally, over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and prescription medications may all be used to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat caused by allergies. Taking care of the underlying allergies is essential for long-term relief.

If you’re looking for allergy immunotherapy services, you’re in the right place. At Curex, we aim to help stop allergies at the source. We offer a convenient alternative to time-consuming and inconvenient allergy shots. Our at-home sublingual immunotherapy is easy to administer and may be done in the comfort of your home. 

Contact us today to learn more and get started! You can also take our free quiz to find out whether immunotherapy suits you. 

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