Here in Florida, we are experiencing Chamber of Commerce weather with mild temperatures during the day and cooler at night, low humidity and little rain.
Some of us are actually giddy about what seems like a dramatic meteorological change for the better, until the suffering begins.
The ragweed season is already in full bloom in Florida due to our warmer temperatures; plus, fall usually brings an increase in mold spores after the warm, rainy summer.
While sniffling and sneezing are common symptoms of allergies, some sufferers experience throat irritation that can be painful and may feel like strep. There may not be other symptoms associated with this allergic outbreak, but it can be just as debilitating as the viral infection.
The main culprit in an allergy-induced sore throat is postnasal drip caused when sinus drainage flows down the throat triggering frequent episodes of throat clearing. The increased drainage may be triggered from exposure to airborne allergens which, when inhaled, can cause a scratchy, raw feeling in the throat.
The most important thing to do when you start to experience symptoms is to remove yourself from the irritants as much as possible. Recognizing that it can be a difficult thing to do, Frances “Ed” Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Lady Lake, Florida recommends other tactics for relief:
- Use a saline based nasal spray to clean your nasal passages of the allergens and irritants that may be trapped in your sinuses.
- Avoid dairy products at this time as they may have a tendency to thicken the nasal drainage.
- Avoid hot or spicy foods as well as food higher in acid content such as fruits and tomato products.
- Gargle with an antiseptic throat gargle; and, for irritation, an over the counter throat spray (check with your pharmacist for assistance) may reduce the painful irritated feeling.
While not dangerous or contagious, the allergy symptoms can be enough to keep someone home from school or work. Neuzil recommends seeing your medical practitioner if symptoms persist.