Allergies, Sinus Issues & Sore Throats in Denver
Don’t suffer with a sore throat any longer. Allergies or sinus issues could be the true cause of your discomfort. Our specialists can help you determine the source of your sore throat, so you can find a treatment that works for true, lasting relief.
Symptoms of Chronic Sore Throat
A sore throat can be caused and worsened by many different factors, including sinus and nasal problems. The symptoms that can accompany a sore throat caused by sinus issues include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry throat
- Swollen neck or glands
- Swollen or inflamed tonsils
If sinusitis or infection is responsible for your sore throat, you may also experience:
- Runny nose
- Muscle and joint aches
Many of these symptoms are often associated with cold or flu. However, all of these sore throat symptoms can be caused by issues such as sinus infection (sinusitis) and other problems that lead to post-nasal drip.
What Sinus Issues Cause Sore Throat Symptoms?
Sinus infections frequently cause swelling and limit proper airflow through the sinus and nasal air passages. This blockage then causes drainage, congestion and further irritation. When an infection in the sinuses continues or returns for many weeks, it can develop into chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis can be very difficult to diagnose as an underlying cause, but an experienced ENT doctor will be able to address this problem to relieve a sore throat.
Certain bacterial infections are known for having a particular effect on the throat, causing pain and other sore throat symptoms. Some of the most common bacterial infections that can cause sore throat include strep throat, tonsillitis, whooping cough and diphtheria. These infections will need to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor in order to heal and relieve your symptoms.
Nasal issues that irritate the nose and cause extra mucus production or drainage can be at fault for your sore throat. Problems like enlarged turbinates, nasal polyps, and even a deviated septum can cause inflammation, irritation, and ultimately result in the congestion or post-nasal drip that can cause a sore throat.
Other Causes of a Sore Throat
Regular cold and flu can also cause a sore throat, as can other environmental factors like extreme heat, cold, or dry air. Swallowing something incorrectly or choking can also lead to a sore throat afterwards. Occasionally a more serious condition, such as HIV or a tumor, can be the underlying cause of a sore throat.
Can Allergies Cause a Sore Throat?
Allergies are frequently the underlying source of sore throat symptoms. When allergens floating in the air trigger a histamine reaction, the body’s response often leads to inflammation and irritation of the throat or “pharynx.” If you are diagnosed with a sore throat as a result of allergies, this can also be termed “pharyngitis.”
Other common symptoms that go alongside a sore throat from allergies include dry throat, trouble swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes or throat. Since many of these symptoms can also be associated with other causes, an allergy test will be the best way to determine if this is the true source of your sore throat issues. One sign that allergies may be the root cause is the sore throat persisting beyond a week and becoming a chronic problem. In this case you should see a doctor and discuss any potential for allergies.
Some of the most common allergies that cause sore throat symptoms are:
- Pet Dander
- Certain foods
- Certain fragrances
- Smoke or Pollution
Persistent Sore Throats in Children
Children are more susceptible to conditions or viruses that can cause chronic sore throat symptoms, such as the common cold and other viral or bacterial infections. Usually, children are more prone to tonsillitis, which can cause severe throat pain, although this can affect people of any age. The best treatment for children with a chronic sore throat will depend on whether the source of the issue is a bacterial infection, a viral infection, or underlying allergies.
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Remedies for a Sore Throat from Sinus Issues
Treating sinus issues can be an effective way to treat the symptom of a sore throat if this is the underlying cause of your discomfort. The best treatment to relieve a sore throat from sinus issues will depend on the specific sinus or nasal problem the patient is dealing with. In addition to asking questions about your symptoms, an experienced ENT doctor will often completely examine the nose and airways with an endoscopy to determine the reason for obstruction, drainage or inflammation. After a diagnosis has been made, a treatment plan can be developed to match the sinus problem at hand.
If chronic sinusitis is the underlying source of your sore throat, you may need to take action to reduce the swelling and draining that can stem from this infection. One of the best ways to treat the infection and ensure it doesn’t come back is a balloon sinuplasty procedure. In this procedure the sinus openings are enlarged, allowing the airways to open and the infection to clear. Larger sinus openings allow the sinuses to drain properly, resulting in fewer problems or symptoms like sore throat in the future.
Another common nasal issue that can to congestion, inflammation, and sore throat is having enlarged turbinates or swollen nasal structures inside the nose. When your nose gets stuffy it is often because of turbinates swelling, causing problems with airflow and drainage. If this becomes a consistent problem causing your sore throat, a turbinate reduction procedure may be considered. Shrinking the size of the turbinates can help eliminate excessive post-nasal drip, which is often what leads to a sore throat.
Deviated Septum and Other Nasal Issues
Most sinus and nasal issues that lead to improper drainage can also lead to a sore throat. There are many different minor procedures that can be performed to help fix these issues. A nasal polyp removal can be performed if polyps are causing your sore throat. A septoplasty procedure is a potential treatment to consider for perforated or deviated septum issues causing discomfort.
Treatment for Chronic Sore Throat from Allergies
If it is determined that allergies are the reason for your sore throat, there are several ways to treat these allergies in order to relieve throat pain. Consulting with an ENT specialist will help you determine which is the best approach for your lifestyle and allergies.
Allergy medicine such as oral antihistamines can be taken daily to help alleviate allergy symptoms like sore throat. This is a good solution for short term relief, but you can end up relying on the daily oral medicine and even building a tolerance to the medication making it less effective. If sore throat is being caused or worsened by acid reflux, oral antacid medicines can also be effective to reduce this symptom.
Allergy experts recommend immunotherapy to treat allergies, which involves small regular doses of the allergen to prevent a histamine reaction. Traditionally, immunotherapy was delivered by doctors through a monthly allergy shot. These days, sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops allow patients to simply put a few drops under their tongue each day at home to effectively eliminate and prevent allergies. These drops are customized for each person’s unique allergies, which are determined through an easy and accurate allergy test.
Home remedies don’t treat the source of your allergies, so they can’t relieve the problem long term, but there are several things you can do at home to reduce and soothe a sore throat. Drinking hot tea can help humidify and coat the throat which can make it less scratchy and sore. Adding honey to your tea is another great way to soothe the throat. Taking a hot shower or breathing in steam can help alleviate congestion and irritation which can also reduce sore throat symptoms.
When to See a Doctor for Chronic Sore Throat
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if a sore throat lasts longer than five to seven days. If you’ve experienced a consistent sore throat for several weeks, you should consult with a doctor. Diagnosing the cause of a sore throat is often easy and treatment can be very effective, but its important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- high fever
- difficulty turning your head
- swelling in the throat that makes breathing, talking, or swallowing difficult
- severe pain on one side of the throat
- severely swollen glands
- a lump or obstruction in the throat
Seeing a doctor is the best way to stop your chronic sore throat at the source. Home remedies can be helpful to soothe an irriateted throat, but a doctor will be able to diagnose the root cause and recommend a treatment to help you find lasting relief.
Finally Find Relief with Sore Throat Specialists
A sore throat can be frustrating, and even worse is not knowing the reason why you’re suffering. The experts at Advanced ENT & Allergy Center specialize in the sinus and allergy issues that may be causing your sore throat. Our doctors will get to the source of your sore throat symptoms, developing a treatment plan to help you find true, lasting relief. Don’t wait to get rid of your sore throat–connect with our specialists today.