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Do Allergies Cause a Sore Throat?

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Updated August 07, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Do Allergies Cause a Sore Throat?
Answer: Though there are a number of potential causes, yes, allergies can be the cause of your sore throat. This has a lot to do with the fact that people use the term 'sore throat' to refer to a lot of things.

Pharyngitis, the medical term for a sore throat, usually describes inflammation of the throat. It most often involves infectious causes such as streptococcus or mononucleosis. Symptoms of pharyngitis caused by an infection often include painful swallowing, redness of the throat or tonsils, and tenderness of the lymph nodes in the neck. Usually, pharyngitis is associated with other symptoms of an infection, such as a fever, chills, and body aches and pains.

Some people describe any discomfort of the throat as a sore throat. Causes of this discomfort may include post nasal drip, which certainly may be caused by allergies. A dry, irritated throat may also be caused by the side effect of older antihistamines, or as a result of nasal congestion resulting in mouth breathing. Frequent morning sore throats may also be caused by gastroesophageal reflux, as a result of stomach acid irritating the throat during the night.

Learn more other symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Sources:

Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, chief editors. The Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: An Updated Practice Parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;122:S1-84.

Buttram J, More D, Quinn J. Allergy and Immunology. The Complete History and Physical Exam Guide. 2003:53-69.

Bousquet J, van Cauwenberge P, Khaltaev N. Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma. J Clin Allergy Immunol. 2001;108:S147-344.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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