What to do for sore throat from allergies

To assist relieve the pain and discomfort of a sore throat, you can:

  1. use paracetamol or ibuprofen
  2. use medicated lozenges or anaesthetic sprays (although there’s little proof they help)

You can purchase them from a supermarket or from a pharmacist without a prescription.

Find a pharmacy

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  1. you often get sore throats
  2. your sore throat does not improve after a week
  3. you’re worried about your sore throat
  4. you own a sore throat and a extremely high temperature, or you feel boiling and shivery
  5. you own a weakened immune system – for example, because of diabetes or chemotherapy

A severe or long-lasting sore throat could be something love strep throat (a bacterial throat infection).


GPs do not normally prescribe antibiotics for sore throats because they will not generally relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

They’ll only be prescribed if your GP thinks you could own a bacterial infection.

How to treat a sore throat yourself

To assist soothe a sore throat and shorten how endless it lasts, you can:

  1. drink plenty of water
  2. gargle with warm, salty water (children should not attempt this)
  3. avoid smoking or smoky places
  4. suck ice cubes, ice lollies or hard sweets – but do not give young children anything little and hard to suck because of the risk of choking
  5. eat cool or soft foods
  6. rest

Media final reviewed: 1 June 2017
Media review due: 1 June 2020

Causes and symptoms of sore throats

Sore throats are generally caused by viruses (like freezing or flu) or from smoking.

Extremely occasionally they can be caused by bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  1. a dry, scratchy throat
  2. a painful throat, especially when swallowing
  3. bad breath
  4. a mild cough
  5. redness in the back of the mouth
  6. swollen neck glands

The symptoms are similar for children, but children can also get a temperature and appear less active.

Sheet final reviewed: 15 January 2018
Next review due: 15 January 2021

Flores AR, Caserta MT.

Pharyngitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 59.

Harris AM, Hicks LA, Qaseem A; High Worth Care Task Force of the American College of Physicians and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Appropriate antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infection in adults: advice for high-value care from the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(6):425-434. PMID: 26785402 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26785402.

Shulman ST, Bisno AL, Clegg HW, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and management of group A streptococcal pharyngitis: 2012 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

Clin Infect Dis. 2012;55(10):e86-e102. PMID: 22965026 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22965026.

Tanz RR. Acute pharyngitis. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 409.

van Driel ML, De Sutter AI, Habraken H, Thorning S, Christiaens T. Diverse antibiotic treatments for group A streptococcal pharyngitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

2016;9:CD004406. PMID: 27614728 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27614728.

If you’re plagued by seasonal allergies, you know the usual drill for this time of year: a runny nose, watery eyes, itchiness, and a general sense of distress. Oh, and maybe a sore throat.

Yup, that’s another unpleasantry spring sniffle sufferers often own to face. Though not everyone associates an itchy, scratchy throat with seasonal allergies, this symptom is completely normal, says Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, an otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence St. John’s Health Middle in Santa Monica, California.

That doesn’t make it enjoyment, though.

Here’s a glance at why allergies sometimes cause a sore throat—and what you can do to start feeling better.

Why allergies can cause a sore throat

First, let’s talk allergies 101: If you’re allergic to something, your body sees proteins in that substance as a foreign invader. And when those proteins get into your system—say, by breathing in a whiff of dust or getting pollen blown into your eyes—your immune system launches an inflammatory response in an attempt to protect you.

Part of that inflammatory response involves producing lots of additional mucus. The mucus helps propel the debris out of your body, but it can give you a runny nose and congestion. And that’s not every. “The ears, nose, and throat are every physically connected, so problems in one area can affect another,” says William Reisacher, MD, director of allergy services at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

As a result, that mucus can cause postnasal drip, where the gooky stuff dribbles below the back of your throat and makes it feel raw and irritated.

Allergens can also trigger the tissues in the back of your throat to become inflamed, which only adds to the discomfort, says Dr. Mehdizadeh.

How to tell the difference between a freezing and allergies

Both allergies and infections can cause symptoms love sore throat, runny nose, and congestion. So how can you tell what’s actually making you feel crummy?

How your symptoms start are often one large clue: Colds tend to creep up slowly, while allergy symptoms generally flare up shortly after you’re exposed to an allergen, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

If you start to notice itching, stuffiness, or an annoying tickle in the back of your throat after spending some time exterior, for instance, you’re probably dealing with allergies.

Other clues to watch for: If your sore throat tends to get worse or makes it hard to swallow, or you develop a fever, chills, or body aches, you’re probably dealing with a freezing or infection, Dr.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

Mehdizadeh says. If your allergy medications don’t seem to be helping, that’s also a sign it’s probably a freezing.

The bad news? “Colds and allergies can exist at the same time,” Dr. Reisacher says. So if you can’t figure out what you’re dealing with, talk with your doctor.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

How to treat a sore throat caused by allergies

Allergy meds are generally the best put to start. Anti-histamines, love Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl, can assist tame inflammation and ease your symptoms overall, Dr. Mehdizadeh says. Nasal sprays, love ipratropium, and nasal glucocorticoids, love fluticasone, are excellent for easing postnasal drip, too.

Natural remedies could also make a difference. Gargling with warm saltwater can assist get rid of irritating mucus, and drinking plenty of water or inhaling steam may soothe scratchiness.

Of course, prevention might be the most effective tactic of every. Minimizing your exposure to allergens can hold your symptoms from flaring up in the first place—and assist stop that sore throat before it starts.

Marygrace TaylorMarygrace Taylor is a health and wellness author for Prevention, Parade, Women’s Health, Redbook, and others.

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A sore throat can be uncomfortable and often signals an oncoming freezing. While home remedies may assist with some types of sore throat, it's significant to note that medical treatment may be needed.

A sore throat due to strep throat, for example, generally requires antibiotic treatment in order to prevent serious complications.

Self-treating a health condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may own serious consequences. Certain conditions and symptoms (such as difficulty breathing) require emergency care.

Be certain to consult your doctor if your sore throat is extremely painful, lasts more than a few days, or if you own other symptoms.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Therapies

You can use over-the-counter pain medications for a sore throat.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen tend to own the greatest effectiveness-to-safety ratio. If you are on blood thinners love Coumadin or own liver problems, ulcer disease, or kidney disease, be certain to discuss which may be better with your doctor.

An anesthetic throat spray, such as Chloraseptic, can be used by children over age 3 and adults. The product instructions tell it should not be used for more than two days.

Similarly, medicated or numbing cough drops or throat lozenges can be used. For example, Cepacol Additional Strength lozenges can be used by children of age 5 or 6 (depending on the flavor) or older and adults.

They own menthol and benzocaine to numb nerve receptors.

Cough suppressants, such as Robitussin, can be used by children age 6 and over and adults to reduce throat irritation.

For throat pain caused by acid reflux, attempt an antacid for short-term relief. You can discover them in chewable forms, liquids, and tablets. Longer-term OTC medications include H2 blockers, such as Zantac and Pepcid, and proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec and Prevacid 24HR. These reduce production of stomach acid.

Home Remedies

Most sore throats will clear up in a couple of days. Here are some natural remedies and comfort care tips that may assist soothe your pain.

One of the oldest home remedies for a sore throat, this may assist to relieve pain, break below mucus, and reduce swelling.

Typically, 1/2 teaspoon of salt is dissolved in a cup of warm water. The saltwater solution should be spit out after gargling and shouldn't be swallowed or reused. Gargling once an hour is sometimes recommended for a sore throat.

Prevent dehydration by drinking liquids. Some people may discover relief from drinking warm liquids, while others may prefer freezing liquids, which can assist soothe inflamed tissue. Avoid boiling liquids, which may aggravate throat irritation.

Water is always a excellent choice, but here are two other options you can consider:

  1. Warm Lemon Drink: Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, 1 extremely little sprinkle of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (optional) into a cup of warm water.
    The benefits of this folk remedy haven't been studied, but some tell that capsaicin (a compound in cayenne) blocks nerves from sending pain signals, and the acid of the lemon juice or vinegar creates a hostile environment for germs.

    Note: Cayenne and vinegar can worsen pain and cause burns or irritation in the mouth and throat if consumed solo or in excess.

  2. Tea: A warm (not hot) cup of black tea may assist to provide relief from a sore throat.

    What to do for sore throat from allergies

    Black tea (Camellia sinensis) contains compounds called tannins, which are astringent and may assist to shrink swollen tissue. Some also make double-strength black tea and gargle with it several times a day.

Honey may help suppress a cough and ease discomfort by coating the throat, temporarily relieving irritation.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

Add some to a warm beverage, or attempt it straight off the spoon. Honey should never be given to a kid younger than 1 year due to the risk of botulism.

Cold Foods or Application

Some discover relief by sucking on popsicles or eating ice cream. If you own swollen glands in your neck, applying an ice bag may also help.

Since dry air can contribute to a sore throat, a humidifier may assist by adding moisture back. Both warm- and cool-mist humidifiers are effective.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

However, for use around children, it's best to select cool-mist to avoid boiling water spills. You may also desire to adjust your thermostat. For some people, a warmer room may lead to dryness, which can aggravate a dry, irritated throat.


While the above can assist ease a sore throat, you'll need more than that to get rid of it completely if the cause itself requires its own treatment.

Depending on your diagnosis, these prescriptions might be deemed beneficial

Antibiotics for Bacterial Infections

Strep throat and scarlet fever require prescription antibiotics to cure the infection and prevent potentially serious complications, including rheumatic fever and kidney damage.

A five- to 10-day course of penicillin, amoxicillin, or erythromycin is commonly prescribed. Fortunately, relief typically comes within 24 hours of treatment.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed for other types of bacterial infections that could be causing a sore throat. While these drugs will not cure viral infections, they may be prescribed if your doctor believes you are at risk of developing a bacterial infection on top of a known viral infection.

Corticosteroids for Adults With Severe Sore Throat

A single dose of oral corticosteroids may be used when an adult has a severe sore throat.

This therapy is not considered for children.

Topical Anesthetic for Herpangina

Children may own herpangina due to Coxsackie virus or echovirus causing blister-like ulcers in the back of the throat. They rarely own severe pain. If they do, their doctor may prescribe a topical anesthetic containing benzocaine or xylocaine.

If you own a sore throat due to allergies, your doctor may recommend prescription allergy medication or desensitization therapy to control allergy attacks.

Medications for Acid Reflux and GERD

A study published in the journal Pediatricsfound that people who consumed honey before bed coughed less frequently and severely, and were less likely to lose sleep due to coughing than those who didn't take honey.

(Two teaspoons at bedtime are recommended.)

If your sore throat is due to allergies and post-nasal drip, you can attempt over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl or Claritin.

What to do for sore throat from allergies

These reduce your mucus production during an allergy attack.

It is significant that you finish your course of antibiotics to fully treat the infection and decrease the chance of recurrent symptoms or resistant bacteria.

In addition, Flores notes that persistent throat pain that feels worse on one side may indicate a bacterial infection that generally begins as a complication of tonsillitis or untreated strep throat (peritonsillar abscess). In some cases, the pain may indicate an advanced tumor. "A sore throat accompanied by a swollen neck gland should be seen by a physician soon," says Flores.

Other causes of a chronic sore throat, love smoking, are problems that you can control to alleviate your throat pain.