How to treat a sore throat from allergies

How to treat a sore throat from allergies

Sore throats can be caused by a wide variety of infections, irritants and allergens, so it can be hard to determine what the cause of your symptoms is[1]. Some treatments, such as Chloralieve’s soothing honey and lemon throat lozenges, are designed to tackle any sore throat. Chloralieve’s lozenges contain antiseptic compounds to fight off infection, plus local anaesthetic to ease the pain. 

However, sometimes you need specific treatments that target the cause of your symptoms as well. If this is the case, knowing if your sore throat is caused by an allergy (and finding out what that allergy is) can be very helpful.

How long does a sore throat from allergies last?

When you have a sore throat caused by an infection, you can typically expect it to last around two weeks – although it can last longer[1]. Sore throats from allergies are a little more complicated because allergy symptoms usually stick around for as long as you’re exposed to the allergen[2].

If it’s hay fever, for example, you might have a sore throat for several weeks, but it might be less intense if you haven’t been outside or exposed to pollen[3]. Alternatively, you might not have a sore throat until you are exposed to a large amount of the allergen, or you’re exposed to it for a long time.

There’s no hard and fast rule for how long a sore throat can last when caused by allergies, but soothing treatments can help to make the symptoms more manageable.

How to get an allergy test

If your symptoms last for several weeks or have a significant impact on your day-to-day life, it’s worth going to see your GP. You’ll be asked about any other symptoms you have on top of your sore throat, and you may be asked about the frequency and severity of these symptoms. Your doctor can perform tests to rule out some infectious causes such as glandular fever or tonsillitis, and they can also carry out allergy tests. There are three main types of allergy test:

  • Diet – your GP will ask you to systematically cut out certain foodstuffs to see if your symptoms go away. This can help to determine which, if any, you are allergic to. It can take a while as lots of foods can also be allergens, but it’s worth trying.
  • Blood – your GP can take a sample of your blood and have it tested for allergens.
  • Exposure – this involves exposing your skin to small amounts of various allergens to see which of them causes an allergic reaction.

These tests aren’t usually dangerous, and your GP will discuss with you which ones are most suited to help you[2].

How to soothe a sore throat caused by allergies

As we’ve mentioned before, there are two different types of treatment: 

  • Those that can be used regardless of the cause of the sore throat
  • Those that are specific to the underlying condition

Naturally, it’s best to stick to the more general sore throat remedies until you can be sure that allergies are causing your symptoms. These remedies could include:

  • Topical sore throat treatments such as Chloralieve’s dual action blackcurrant flavour lozenges, which ease pain and fight infection
  • Hot lemon and honey drink
  • Staying hydrated
  • Gargling salt water – this isn’t recommended for children
  • Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air

Once you and your doctor have established the cause of your sore throat, you can also use more targeted treatments. For an allergy-driven sore throat, this might include[2]:

  • Avoiding the allergen wherever possible
  • Anti-allergy medications such as antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays or steroid creams
  • Desensitisation – an exposure therapy that aims to reduce the severity of intense allergic reactions. This should only be done by a medical professional, and most allergies can be managed without this treatment.

As with any sore throat, it’s always a good idea to check with your pharmacist if you’re already taking other medications. Some medicines can interfere with each other, so checking before you take them can help to get you back to full health quicker.