Allergic rhinitis and sore throat

Find out why a sore throat becomes problematic when suffering from allergic rhinitis


Louise Baillie
Allergies Advisor
@AVogelUK
Ask Louise

Allergic rhinitis and a sore throat

When the immune system over-reacts to things like pollen and dust mites  it results in allergic rhinitis and various symptoms like congestion and sneezing. However, accompanying these things is often the problem of a sore throat as well.

During a reaction, the mucous membranes that line the inside of the nose produce more mucus in an attempt to wash out and trap allergens. This mucus can then cause a runny nose or it can also drip down the back of the throat in a process called the post-nasal drip. This irritates sensitive tissues at the back of the throat so that they eventually become tender. Also, the feeling of mucus dripping down the back of the throat may stimulate a cough which, if persistent, also contributes to a sore throat.

On top of this, a dry or itchy throat is often associated with allergic rhinitis which causes throat tissues to become inflamed – a problem we’d then call a sore throat. 

How to tell if allergic rhinitis is causing sore throat

From flu to infection, a sore throat has a variety of causes so it’s best not to jump to any premature conclusions on the matter. However, if you’d like to know what’s distinctive about a sore throat that’s caused by allergic rhinitis, here are a few things to consider.

Have you got any other symptoms? 

Although one symptom may be worse than another, allergic rhinitis doesn’t usually cause just a sore throat on its own. Therefore, if this is the only issue you are experiencing, it may be time to consider what else could be the cause other than allergic rhinitis. 

How long has it been a problem? 

If your sore throat persists for a few weeks or more and is accompanied be other allergic rhinitis symptoms such as congestion and watery eyes, it may indicate that this condition is the cause. At this stage it’s advisable to visit a doctor for further advice.

When is it problematic? 

Pollen is the most common cause of allergic rhinitis and becomes most problematic around spring and summer when plants begin to pollinate. So, if your notice your sore throat regularly gets worse around this time, once again allergic rhinitis could be the issue.

What can you do?

Chamomile tea – a warm drink of any kind will help to soothe a sore throat but it’s best to avoid caffeine when suffering from allergic rhinitis as this contains high levels of histamine which can exasperate symptoms. Therefore, as herbal tea contains low levels of histamine, this is a better choice - chamomile tea is a refreshing and tasty option.

Gargle salt water – this doesn’t sound all that pleasant but surprisingly, gargling salt water can actually help allergic rhinitis symptoms such as a sore throat. That’s because salt water contains antiseptic properties which should ease any irritation and prevent infection. 

Stay hydrated - water keeps the back of the throat moist which helps to soothe the area and lessen any feelings of irritation. 

Support the immune system - your immune system may need some extra assistance when it’s busy fighting off allergens like dust mites and mould spores. One means of giving it this extra support is through Echinaforce Echinacea Drops which are made from fresh Echinacea to maximise the beneficial properties of the plant. 

Try a warm lemon and honey hot drink – this helps to calm any irritation in the back of the throat to help the are feel more comfortable.

How to avoid allergens

Animal dander – if you have pets in your home it can be difficult to avoid this allergen altogether. However, to lessen the effects of it, it may be helpful to have animal-free zone in your home, perhaps in a bedroom.

Dust mites – dust mites gather in carpets and bedding so if these are an issue, you can use allergy proof bedding to avoid them. 

Mould spores – to prevent this from becoming a problem, make sure you use extractor fans when cooking and showering and address any leakages as well.

Pollen – during hayfever season it’s incredibly difficult to avoid pollen altogether however, if you use a pollen forecast regularly you can avoid going out when counts are high and go out when numbers are low. This gives you some control over pollen and your allergic rhinitis.

Herbal remedies

Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray – this convenient spray contains fresh echinacea and sage to help support the immune system and relieve the problem of a sore throat.

Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets – these are made from seven tropical herbs and address a whole range of allergic rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing and congestion which often accompany a sore throat. 

Conventional treatments

Anti-histamines – these block the release of histamine so help to ease symptoms that may come about because of the release of this chemical.

Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets

80 tablets

£ 7.50

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Tablets for the relief of hayfever and allergic rhinitis. Non-drowsy. Previously known as Luffa …
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Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray for hayfever & allergies

Cleansing nasal spray for hayfever causing pollen and other air-borne respiratory allergens.
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