Although it might not be the most common allergy symptom, allergies can certainly lead to a sore throat. Usually, a sore throat is the result of other symptoms. When you have a stuffy nose or congestion, this can drain into your throat and cause it to feel scratchy, itchy, or sore.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to relieve symptoms of sore throat and manage your allergy symptoms. In this blog, we’ll talk more about sore throats and allergies, what you can do to make your throat feel better, and how Wyndly can help you with allergy treatment. Schedule an allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get started with allergy treatment, or read on to learn more.
A Brief Overview
Sore throats can be brought on by allergies, but they are also a common symptom of viral infections, like a cold or flu, and strep throat. If you have a sore throat from a cold or the flu, it will usually resolve when your cold or flu goes away. If you have strep, you’ll likely need antibiotics to relieve the condition. But if your sore throat is due to allergies, it can persist for weeks or longer. Regardless of what causes your sore throat, it’s an uncomfortable and unpleasant symptom to deal with.
If you do have a sore throat from allergies, it’s important to address the cause of your allergies so you can alleviate your sore throat symptoms. But first, let’s talk about how allergies work and how allergens can contribute to your sore throat.
The Effect of Allergens
Allergens are substances that are relatively harmless, but your body sometimes perceives them as a threat. This causes an allergic reaction. When your immune system perceives these substances as dangerous, it responds by releasing histamine. This causes your body to have allergy symptoms.
There are a variety of allergens that can contribute to your sore throat symptoms. Any small, airborne allergens that you can breathe in will make you susceptible to the postnasal drip that causes sore throats.
Here are some of the most common airborne allergens:
- Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
- Pet dander
A sore throat is just one of many common symptoms that can be brought on by allergies; other common symptoms that you may experience along with your sore throat include:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Skin rash or hives
- Aggravated asthma symptoms
Your allergy symptoms will usually be at their worst when allergy season is peaking. The peak of allergy season will depend on what you’re allergic to. For instance, if you’re allergic to the pollen of certain trees, spring will likely be when your allergies are at their worst. If you have indoor allergies, your symptoms may be prevalent year round. The best way to identify your allergens for sure is with an allergy test.
If you do have allergies, there are several options for treating and managing your sore throat symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of these options.
If you’re suffering from sore throat symptoms due to your allergies, there are a variety of ways to manage and even treat your symptoms. Here are some of the options and remedies you might want to consider.
Limit your exposure
The first course of action is reducing your exposure to your primary allergens. If you’ve taken an allergy test to find out what causes your allergies, it’s much easier for you to take the proper measures to avoid them.
- Watch the pollen count: When the pollen count is high, it’s best to stay indoors. If you need to go outside, wearing a mask and sunglasses can help keep exposure to a minimum.
- Keep windows closed: Make sure you’re not letting airborne allergens get into your home easily.
- Shower frequently: Rinse allergens off you when you come inside by taking a shower. Washing your face and hands well can be an effective substitute for showering in a pinch.
- Use air purifiers and HEPA filters: Air purifiers and filters can help to remove allergens from the air and keep them from circulating.
- Use a dehumidifier: When the air is humid, it creates ideal conditions for allergenic substances like mold.
- Do laundry: Ensure you’re getting allergens off your clothes by doing laundry more frequently, and avoid drying them outside on the line.
Limiting your exposure can be effective, but it doesn’t always provide enough relief. You may also want to try medications to help manage your symptoms. There are several options available to you.
Over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications are easily accessible and can help to relieve the nasal congestion and drainage that are causing your sore throat. There are several medications you might try.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by inhibiting the histamine response that your body triggers when it detects allergens. By temporarily blocking histamine, you can find short-term relief from a variety of common allergy symptoms.
- Decongestants: Decongestants can be very helpful for managing allergy-related sore throats since they can clear up the congestion that causes postnasal drip. Keep in mind that decongestants are not recommended for children below the age of 2, and certain decongestants are not suitable for children below the age of 12.
- Nasal corticosteroids: Nasal corticosteroids can provide relief from sinus inflammation and swelling. By reducing these symptoms, you can relieve runny and stuffy noses and decongestion that causes sore throats.
Limiting your exposure to allergens and taking OTC medications are most effective when done in combination. However, these are just symptom management solutions. If you’re looking for long-term relief from your allergies and you want to treat your symptoms for good, you’ll want to consider immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that introduces small, incrementally increasing doses of your allergen substance to your immune system. Over time, this retrains your immune system to become less sensitive to the allergen substance and develop a tolerance or immunity.
Although immunotherapy treatment often takes three to five years, the results can be lifelong. Immunotherapy is also safe and effective, with little to no side effects. If you want to find relief from allergy symptoms for years or even for life, immunotherapy is your best option.
There are two types of allergy immunotherapy treatments available — sublingual and allergy shots. Allergy shots are administered with a needle and require a visit to the doctor to receive your dose. Sublingual immunotherapy is administered in the form of drops or tablets that dissolve under the tongue. Sublingual immunotherapy can also be taken at home.
Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat
If you’re looking to alleviate some of the discomfort or pain from your sore throat, there are various methods that can bring you some relief, including at-home natural remedies that you may want to try for yourself.
- Honey: Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a soothing natural agent for a sore throat. You can take a spoonful of honey to find relief, or you can mix it with warm tea or water.
- Steam: Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower can loosen your congestion and provide some relief from your sore throat. You can also boil water and breathe in the steam.
- Neti pot: A neti pot can be used to rinse out your nasal passages, clearing out allergens, mucus, and other irritants.
- Tea: Warm tea can soothe your throat, especially if it has herbal additives like slippery elm, licorice, chamomile, or turmeric.
- Lozenges: Throat lozenges have active ingredients that can soothe and provide a cooling sensation for a sore throat.
- Rest and water: Getting enough rest and staying hydrated are important for your general health, but they’re also helpful for recovering from most ailments.
Get Personalized Care With Wyndly
If you’re looking to find long-term relief from your allergy symptoms and your allergy-related sore throats, Wyndly can help. We have doctors who offer personalized care for allergies. With Wyndly, you get an allergy treatment plan that is created for your allergy profile. If you’re a candidate for sublingual immunotherapy, you can have it sent to your door as part of your treatment plan. Take our 2-minute online assessment now to get started on the path to an allergy-free life.