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Can Allergies Cause A Sore Throat?

Yes, sometimes allergies can cause a sore throat – among other symptoms. It’s all part of the way your body protects itself against allergic reactions.

  • After exposure to an allergic trigger, your body releases chemicals called histamines into your bloodstream1. This can cause reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing and that general ‘stuffy’ feeling.
  • Histamines increase your body’s production of mucus, which is used to keep your throat, mouth and nose from drying out2. At normal levels of production, you won’t notice mucus, even as it performs important tasks like neutralizing harmful bacteria.
  • However, when histamines ramp up your body’s production of mucus, you may feel excess mucus in your throat caused by post-nasal drip. This can irritate your throat and cause a scratchy feeling3.

Histamines are your body’s natural reaction to any allergy trigger. So whether you’re exposed to pollen as a hay fever sufferer, or to dust by opening an old book, your body springs into action – resulting in the discomfort you feel during an allergic reaction.

If you’re experiencing a sore throat as an allergy symptom, there are potential ways to find relief.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not an annoyance! So let’s find out how to help or stop a sore throat being caused by allergies.

How To Help Prevent A Sore Throat From Allergies

If your allergies are leading to issues with your voice, or consistently causing discomfort, it may help to try and reduce your exposure to the things which trigger them.

Here’s how you can try and prevent a sore throat if you have one of the most common allergies.

Pollen particles

Pollen allergy

Tree pollen in spring4, grass pollen in the summer and ragweed pollen during the fall can all cause especially high levels of discomfort at those times of year, if you’re allergic to any of those allergens.

Try to reduce your exposure by staying indoors when the weather is especially windy – which can ‘whip up’ pollen into the air. The best time to be out is usually after rainfall, which helps clear up airborne pollen.

Remember to change clothes when you’ve been outside and avoid extensive gardening duties if possible5. In the summer, it’s a good idea to turn up the AC – which may help disperse pollen more effectively, and prevent it from settling on or near you.

Brown Dog

Pet allergies

The main cause of pet allergies – including dog and cat allergies – is dander, or shed skin cells – though pet saliva can be a problem too, as this can linger when it is dried and airborne.

A HEPA air purifier may help reduce the amount of allergens in your home, such as dander and dried saliva6. Avoiding prolonged exposure to our furry friends can help too – try to bathe them once a week to reduce dander, wash your hands after petting animals, and keep pets out of the house as much as you can7.

Help Soothe A Sore Throat From Allergies With These Remedies8

It’s one thing to try and avoid allergens as much as possible, but if you’re suffering from a sore throat as the result of an allergy, you’ll want to know how to soothe it as quickly as you can.

Fortunately, there are a number of home-based and over-the-counter methods to help a sore throat caused by allergies.

Illustration of a hand holding a clear water bottle

Drink lots of fluids

Try to keep your throat from drying out, and avoid dehydration by drinking lots of fluids – especially water. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can have a dehydrating effect, is also advised.

Illustration of a humidifier

Use a humidifier (or steam room)

Dry air may make your sore throat feel worse. A cool-air humidifier can improve the air circulation in your home or working environment and prevent that from happening. Steam, meanwhile, can have a similarly positive effect.

Illustration of an insulated drink container with steam

Drink warm liquids

Soothing a sore throat with a warming drink, such as warm water with honey, or a broth, can help provide some relief. Just be sure to check the temperature isn’t too hot first though, as that could cause further discomfort.

Person experiencing a sore throat caused by allergies

Relax (and rest your voice)

Taking a temporary vow of silence – or at least speaking only when necessary – may help you to stay more comfortable. Get plenty of rest too – relaxing at home in a controlled atmosphere may help minimize your exposure to allergens.

ZYRTEC® medications are not indicated for sore throats. However, ZYRTEC® does provide 24-hour relief from other symptoms of allergies, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and itching of the nose or throat.


How do you tell if it’s allergies or a cold?9

When you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, you may get some of the same symptoms as you would when catching a cold, including a sore throat. A cold, however, may also give you a fever or raised body temperature due to viral infection. Find out more information on the differences between allergies and colds, and how to tell the difference.

What should you not eat with a sore throat?8

Eating certain soups, and drinking warm water with honey, can help soothe a sore throat. But some types of food are best avoided. These include anything especially acidic or spicy, as that might irritate your throat, causing further discomfort.

Is ice cream bad for a sore throat?8

On the contrary, if you ever needed an excuse to enjoy an ice cream, it’s having a sore throat! A cool treat such as your favorite ice cream, or an ice pop, may help soothe a sore throat – and bring some welcome relief.


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