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Can allergies cause a sore throat?

In a recent article on Health.com, Kelly H. Simpson, MD, Allergy and Asthma at ARC Medical Plaza Specialty and ARC Far West Medical Tower addressed the question of whether allergies can cause a sore throat. The short answer? Yes.

“Sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and nose, and runny nose are the most common symptoms associated with seasonal allergies,” says Dr. Simpson. “But sore throat can also be added to that list, often caused by what's referred to as "postnasal drip."

How can you tell if your sore throat is from allergies-or something else?

Certain symptoms, such as runny nose or itchy, watery eyes, are more common with allergies than a cold, Dr. Simpson says. If you're also experiencing aches and pains or a fever, you most likely have a cold or virus. Thick yellow mucus is often more typical of a cold or virus.

"Allergic reactions are different for everyone," Dr. Simpson says. "One person may suffer severe wheezing/asthma triggered by allergies and mucus build-up (leading to a sore throat) when around cedar trees, while another person may only suffer itchy eyes/nose or stuffy nose."

What can be done?

For mild allergies, a saline spray may be enough, but if these are ineffective and your allergies are making you miserable, you can talk to your doctor about trying immunotherapy in the form of shots of sublingual drops (drops under the tongue), Dr. Simpson says.

Prevention is key as well, Dr. Simpson says. If you know what you're allergic to, try to stay away from it. Keep your home as free of dust as possible and change the filters in your heating and air conditioning system regularly. During the time of year when your allergies are the worst, close your windows to keep the allergen out. Similarly, if you've been outside for extended periods, change your clothes when you enter your house, and take a shower every night before going to bed.

Make an appointment today.

And overall, if you're unsure about what you're dealing with-either a sore throat from allergies or from a cold or virus-talk to your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dr. Simpson is accepting new patients now! Make an appointment online at ARCAppointments.com or by calling one of the two clinics where she sees patients--ARC Medical Plaza Specialty at 512-260-1581 or ARC Far West Medical Tower at 512-346-8888.

Tags: allergy relief, allergy season

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