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Sore Throat Allergies

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

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reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Katalin Karolyi
Reviewer

Dr. Katalin Karolyi

Katalin Karolyi, M.D. earned her medical degree at the University of Debrecen. After completing her residency program in pathology at the Kenezy Hospital, she obtained a postdoctoral position at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Orlando, Florida.

April 21, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

Sore Throat Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

While a sore throat could indicate that you are coming down with a cold or the flu, it can also be caused by allergies (or any number of other things). What causes sore throat allergies? How can you treat your sore throat from allergies? Can you get treatment for sore throat allergies online? Let’s talk about it!

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

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Can Allergies Cause Sore Throat?

Yes, allergies are one of many causes of sore throats. Other common sore throat causes include:

How Allergies Can Cause a Sore Throat

The most common way that allergies cause a sore throat is because of postnasal drip. When you have a runny, stuffy nose, not all the mucus comes out through your nose. Some of it drips down your throat, which can cause you to have to cough or clear your throat.

If you have a lot of postnasal drip, the constant throat-clearing and coughing can lead to a sore throat that does not want to go away.

Sore Throat Allergy Symptoms

If your sore throat is caused by allergies, your symptoms may include:

  • Excessive swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Throat irritation and clearing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes and nose

Sore Throat Allergy Treatment

There are many different ways to treat sore throat allergies. You may need to try multiple types of treatments to get the best results.

Sore Throat Allergy Home Remedies

Home remedies for sore throats from allergies can be used alone or together with other treatments for the most effective relief. Common home remedies for sore throat allergies include:

  • Drink plenty of water. Fluids keep your throat moist and thin out mucus, while dryness can worsen sore throats.
  • Take advantage of warm fluids. Drinking hot herbal tea or eating hot soup can soothe sore throats, as can gargling with warm saltwater. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks, though, because caffeine can be an irritant.
  • Use a neti pot to flush mucus out of your sinuses. Always use sterile water with the specially designed saline mixture, because tap water can cause problems in your nasal cavities.

Sore Throat Allergy Medicine

Many allergy medications are available over the counter, while others require a prescription. There is a wide variety of allergy medication types.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines block histamine, a chemical released by your immune system during an allergic reaction that causes symptoms, including itching. Many different forms of antihistamines are available, often over the counter.

Pills and liquids:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)

Nasal sprays:

  • Azelastine (Astelin, Astepro)
  • Olopatadine (Patanase)

Eyedrops:

  • Glycerin, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol (Visine)
  • Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor)
  • Pheniramine and naphazoline (Opcon-A, others)
  • Olopatadine (Pataday, Patanol, Pazeo)

Decongestants

Decongestants can help relieve nasal congestion, which may help reduce postnasal drip and sore throats. They can have a lot of side effects, aren’t recommended for long-term use, and shouldn’t be taken by people with certain medical conditions.

Pills and liquids:

  • Cetirizine and pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D Allergy Plus Congestion)
  • Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)
  • Desloratadine and pseudoephedrine (Clarinex-D)
  • Loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D)

Nasal sprays and drops:

  • Tetrahydrozoline (Tyzine)
  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin)

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids help to suppress allergy-related inflammation. They can cause a lot of side effects, especially when used long-term.

Nasal sprays:

  • Budesonide (Rhinocort)
  • Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour)
  • Fluticasone furoate (Flonase Sensimist)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Ciclesonide (Zetonna)
  • Beclomethasone (Qnasl)

Inhalers:

  • Fluticasone (Flovent)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
  • Beclomethasone (Qvar Redihaler)
  • Ciclesonide (Alvesco)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)

Pills and liquids:

  • Prednisolone (Prelone)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)

Leukotriene Inhibitors

Leukotriene receptor antagonists block symptom-causing chemicals called leukotrienes. Montelukast (Singulair) is available by prescription only and may cause side effects.

Mast Cell Stabilizers

When antihistamines are not working well or are not well tolerated, mast cell stabilizers can block the release of chemicals in the immune system that contribute to allergic reactions. They usually need to be taken for several days before the full effects are felt.

Sore Throat Allergy Shots

If you find out exactly what you are allergic to, you may be a candidate for allergy shots, which are usually given once or twice a week for about 6 months.

Allergy shots work by injecting small amounts of one or more allergens into your body until your immune system eventually gets used to it and stops reacting. You may need maintenance shots for an additional 3 to 5 years to maintain your resistance to the allergen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get a Scratchy Throat from Allergies?

Yes. Not only can your throat get irritated from the postnasal drip, but the allergens can cause your throat to itch or feel scratchy.

How Long Does a Sore Throat from Allergies Last?

Unfortunately, a sore throat from allergies may last as long as the rest of your allergy symptoms. For some people, sore throat allergies can become a chronic problem. Talk to a doctor about your best options for treating your allergy symptoms, including a sore throat.

How Do You Get Rid of a Sore Throat from Allergies?

There are a few ways to handle a sore throat from allergies:

  • Try home remedies like drinking lots of water and using a neti pot.
  • Take antihistamines or other allergy medications to help lessen all your allergy symptoms.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce your throat pain.
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Online Treatment for Sore Throat Allergies

If over-the-counter medications just aren’t helping enough, you can get online treatment for chronic sore throat allergies.

During an online video or phone appointment with one of the trusted doctors at PlushCare, you’ll talk about your symptoms, medical history, and any medications you take. The doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. If they think you would benefit from prescription medication, they can electronically send the prescription to your local pharmacy.

While a sore throat from allergies can be a constant battle for some people, an online appointment with PlushCare could get you on a path to feeling better soon.


Read More About Sore Throat Allergies


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Harvard Health Publishing. Allergy Overview. Accessed on April 16, 2021 at
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/allergy-overview-a-to-z

Harvard Health Publishing. Treatments for Post-Nasal Drip. Accessed on April 8, 2021 at https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/treatments-for-post-nasal-drip

Mayo Clinic. Sore Throat. Accessed on April 8, 2021 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sore-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20351635

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Seasonal Allergies at a Glance. Accessed on April 8, 2021 at https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/seasonal-allergies-at-a-glance

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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