Scratchy Throat Allergies – Seasonal Allergies
Itchy, scratchy throats from allergies are annoying and uncomfortable. We go to the doctor and are turned away saying that we just have to let it pass. But that can be days or even weeks before we may find relief. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Understanding what causes scratchy throats, like allergies, is the first step to relief. Once you know what causes them, you’ll understand how to prevent and treat them.
What Causes You to Have a Scratchy Throat?
Scratchy throats from allergies can be the result of one or a combination of several different types of allergies:
seasonal allergies, pollen, asthma, dust mites, mold and mildew, and pet dander.
These allergens can trigger a sore throat, but when coupled together can create a greatly uncomfortable situation. Read on to learn more about these allergens and what you can do to treat and prevent a sore throat from coming on during allergy season.
More often than not, some form of an allergy, especially a seasonal allergy condition, causes scratchy throats. People throw around the term, “seasonal allergy,” but who really understands what that means? Seasonal allergies are typically caused by environmental changes, particularly changes in temperature.
Drastic temperature changes typically occur when the seasons change, hence seasonal allergies.
Changes in humidity, like fall to winter or spring to summer will often cause sniffling and sneezing, which can lead to a scratchy throat. In countries that have snow, a lot more people suffer from this allergy toward the end of winter. Being prone to seasonal allergies can be inherited genetically, but is most commonly linked to how often a person is exposed to changing weather.
Seasonal allergies, and scratchy, sore throats are greatly uncomfortable because not only do you cough, but also uncontrollable sneezing and watery eyes often accompany that cough. What’s more, seasonal allergies tend to follow other allergies and will be at its peak from towards the end of winter and the start of spring when flowers come in bloom.
If you suffer from other allergies, like pollen and pet dander, seasonal allergies are harder to pinpoint as the culpritof your scratching throat since allergies in general can cause itchy, scratchy throats. Pollen allergies are often lumped with seasonal allergies because of the postnasal drip that occurs as the body’s natural way of warding off the allergen. Hay fever is an example of an allergy caused by dust and pollen. The drainage cause by your allergic reaction will run down your throat, which is what causes your scratchy throat. Pollen allergies can be somewhat more severe than general seasonal allergies because pollen allergies can cause swelling of the eyes, sinuses, and throat making it difficult to breath in addition to being uncomfortable.
Anyone who suffers from asthma knows that having a sore throat from allergies is worsened because of asthma. Dry and/or humid air can make breathing difficult, but add asthma on top of that and you are filled with misery. A runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, swollen sinuses, etc. can be the result of allergic rhinitis, which can actually bring on asthmatic symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath.
It is important to use your prescribed inhaler and to talk with your doctor if your asthma begins to act up during allergy season, as this can be life threatening if left untreated.
Allergies to Mold and Mildew
Like pollen, mold and/or mildew can also cause a sore, scratchy throat. Typical reactions to a mold or mildew allergen are swollen nasal cavities, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and a cough. The runny nose is part of the sore throat, as is the coughing: both feed on the other. More severe cases will result in fatigue and sinus pressure. Mold and mildew can be found in older homes, bathrooms, and in grassy fields at the change of the season, so be prepared.
Pet Dander/Dust Mites
Pet dander and dust mites can also cause a sore, scratchy throat. Keeping your home clean will stir these allergens up into the air, most likely causing a flair up of your allergy, but the symptoms will subside. Pet dander and dust mites hide in the fur of your pets, your carpeting, and under your furniture. Some animals have different hair, like shih tzus and lhasa apsos, and are better for pet dander allergies than others. But, if you want to cuddle your furry friend without worrying about a sore, scratchy throat, be sure to bathe and brush them often.
Is It Allergies or the Common Cold?
More often than not, parents and teens will flock to the doctor at the sign of a scratchy throat only to find that they cannot be treated because they are simply having an allergic reaction. Many people fail to realize that a scratchy sore throat can be a precursor to the common cold.
Furthermore, a scratchy throat might stem from another form of irritation like stomach acid, a reaction to the dry air, pollution or an allergic reaction. While the trip to the doctor may seem wasted, it is never a bad idea to gain that peace of mind. The good news is that a scratchy throat is a conditional allergy and isn’t something you will have to suffer from for the rest of your life. Furthermore, it is not typically a severe reaction (unlike ingesting your allergen) and can be avoided by way of prevention and treatments.
Treatments and Prevention for Scratchy Throat Allergies
The best news is that allergies that cause a scratchy throat can be avoided and the throat irritation can be prevented. If you do happen to run into your allergen, treatments can be found over the counter, if not already in your own home! And, most are extremely cost effective.
For treatment of allergic rhinitis caused by pollens, dust, and molds antihistamines can be used. Air conditioning and/or the use of a humidifier is another effective treatment since the air conditioner filters out the pollen, dust, and pet dander. (Please note that if you have a problem with mold in your home these may only increase the allergy.)
If you suffer from a sore, itchy throat and/or mouth, make sure that you drink plenty of water and to rinse the mouth regularly using salty water. Gargling with warm, salt water is a great way to clean and treat your throat. Another is hot tea with honey and lemon. The lemon cleans while the honey coats the throat for relief. It is also wise to avoid spicy foods Pain medication, especially Mortin, helps to reduce the swelling and pain in the throat. Also, the steam from hot showers and baths helps to clear the nasal passages and relax the muscles in the throat for temporary relief.
Saline sprays and drops help to wash down the congested nose and throat. Adding baking soda to a small amount of table salt in warm water creates the saline solution. Use a dropper to put some of that solution into the nose, and this will ease the discomfort that a congested nose creates to the throat.
Myrrh is also a well-known remedy for scratchy throat allergies. It cleans the mucous membrane. A combination of Myrrh extract with water should be gargled to soothe a scratchy throat. If symptoms persist however, it is best to seek medical advice.
No matter how long you have been plagued by scratchy throat allergies, relief is on the way. And, rest assured that while it may feel like it they will not last forever. Try some of these treatments and prevention tips for the best relief.