Why does hayfever cause a sore throat?
There are several reasons why a hayfever sufferer may develop a sore throat.
For a start, suffering from nasal congestion can make it difficult for you to breathe through your nose. This forces you to breathe through your mouth, and as your mouth is not lined with hair and mucus in the same way that your nose is, your mouth and throat quickly become dry, red and sore.
In addition, excess mucus in inflamed nasal passages and sinuses drain to the back of the throat, in a process called post-nasal drip. This irritates the lining of your throat.
Are there home remedies for a sore throat?
As your sore throat is likely to be caused by dryness from breathing or irritation from post-nasal drip, it is important to drink plenty of water. This will keep the back of your throat moist, but will also help to thin the mucus building up at the back of your throat, reducing irritation. If your throat is feeling itchy, then drinking plenty of water will also ease the symptom.
If you are not fond of the taste of plain water, then drinking a concoction of warm water and honey has been used for years to ease the symptoms of a sore throat. Aside from the soothing effect this drink has, it has also been shown to be an effective wound healer, so may speed up recovery from the symptom.
Gargling salt water is another age-old remedy for sore throats. The antiseptic properties of salt should also prevent an infection from setting in.
Of course, as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so trying to keep out of the way of pollen is probably the most effective remedy. Although it may be impossible to avoid pollen altogether, minimising your exposure to it by avoiding areas of freshly cut grass, for example, are measures worth employing.
Are there herbal remedies to help me?
If you are suffering from a sore throat with your hayfever, you are also likely to be experiencing other symptoms such as sneezing or nasal congestion. If this is the case, then a remedy tackling all symptoms of hayfever is likely to be the most effective. For example, Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets combine several different herbs in a formula devised by Alfred Vogel to target the symptoms of hayfever.
However, as this remedy can be taken alongside other remedies, you may also benefit from a sore throat spray, such as Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray, which combines extracts of Echinacea and sage.
What about conventional medicines?
If your sore throat is the result of hayfever or some other type of allergic reaction, then often anti-histamines are the most effective remedy for easing the symptoms. However, some people develop a tolerance to anti-histamines, or experience side-effects such as drowsiness which can prevent you from driving or using machinery.
There are also various types of sore throat lozenges or painkillers which are available from a pharmacist to help to ease pain and inflammation in the throat. You should be careful to follow instructions which come with the medication as the wrong dosage can be potentially harmful.
When to see a doctor?
If the pain and irritation in your throat is severe and accompanied by difficulty in breathing or swallowing, seek medical attention immediately. This is because in rare circumstances, allergies can give rise to swelling in the back of the throat to the extent that it becomes a medical emergency.