*Cough Cough* Whether we like it or not, the cold and flu season is on its way. We’re all worried about catching that ‘bug‘ that’s going around. But ask yourself, when you begin to feel those symptoms come on, are you sure it’s a cold you’re catching? So, you might instead ask, “can allergies cause a sore throat?“
Often times, your sore throat can actually be caused by allergies, rather than the common cold. Irritation of the throat can develop for various reasons, one of which can be from allergens like pollen, dust, weeds, air pollution, and pet dander.
Post nasal drip, often caused by hay fever, can cause inflammation of the throat. It’s important to look at the other symptoms you’re experiencing in conjunction with a sore throat to determine the cause.
When we encounter an allergen, our bodies react in different ways. Often times, those allergens can make our throat begin to itch. HealthHype.com explains why your throat gets that itching sensation, “The inner walls of the throat are covered with mucosal membrane containing nerves, which may be irritated by polluted air, food, inflammatory or allergic reaction. Mucosal glands secrete mucus, a sticky fluid that covers the throat walls, thus protecting them and allowing smooth passage of the air and food. When mucous glands do not secrete enough mucus, for example, due to dehydration, medications or dry air, throat nerves become exposed and irritable.“
There Are Various Reasons Why You Could Be Experiencing A Cough Or Sore Throat.
Post-nasal drip will also irritate your esophagus and occurs because of sinusitis or the more chronic allergic rhinitis also known as ‘Hay Fever.’ Post-nasal drip occurs when your sinuses become clogged, hence the term ‘plugged up.’ Usually, you’ll experience additional symptoms, such as nasal congestion, sneezing and a runny or itchy nose, similar to symptoms we notice when our allergies are ‘acting up.’
Even food allergies can cause a sore throat. Generally, you’ll notice almost instant swelling and enlarging of the throat, which can quickly advance to anaphylaxis. This is a much more serious allergic reaction than an irritated throat. Often allergy medications (antihistamines), such as Benadryl, can have side effects such as a dry, scratchy throat, along with dry mouth. Consult a doctor before taking any medication and monitor your reactions to these types of allergy medicines.
For those with more serious allergies, symptoms can last an entire season, especially in the springtime. The flu and common cold will generally only have symptoms for a week to two weeks. If it is allergies, you will most likely also experience:
- runny nose
- itchy, watery eyes
- post-nasal drip
It’s important if you are experiencing these symptoms to get tested by your local allergist. Rather than treating the symptoms, it’s best to find and treat the cause.
If you are located in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, contact Asthma & Allergy Associates with your questions, concerns or to make an appointment to get tested and treated for your allergies: (800) 533-3900.