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Is it a sore throat or winter allergies?

sick woman wrapped in a blanket

Cold weather has arrived, and a sore throat can make this season unbearable. It’s important to know if your sore throat is caused by winter allergies or a virus so you can take the appropriate steps for relief. Allow us to explain the difference:

Sore Throat: Causes & Symptoms

The flu and the common cold are the two main culprits of a sore throat. They are spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or touching a contaminated surface. These viral infections will resolve on their own within 7 – 10 days, but they will first create frustrating symptoms, such as:

  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

The flu and the common cold occur most often in the fall or winter months because the virus can survive longer in cold temperatures.

Winter Allergies: Causes & Symptoms

Unlike a virus, allergies can be yearlong. You may experience symptom “spikes” in certain seasons such as the cold of winter or the heavy pollen of spring. Overall, your symptoms will not go away on their own unless you eliminate the trigger or teach your immune system to stop overreacting to the allergen. If you’re suffering from winter allergies, you may deal with symptoms such as:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes & nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

These symptoms look familiar, right? Other than a fever and muscle aches, winter allergies and a sore throat share many of the same symptoms! It’s safe to assume that if you have a fever and muscle aches, those symptoms are not linked to winter allergies.

To add to the complication of determining if you’re dealing with a sore throat or winter allergies, your throat may become sore due to allergies, more specifically, post-nasal drip because of the presence of an allergen! Allergens such as tobacco smoke, dust, and pet dander can cause post-nasal drip to ramp up its production, causing an itchy and scratchy throat. If you cannot remove yourself from this allergen, it may be beneficial to talk to an allergist about immunotherapy.

Are Winter Allergies Afflicting You? The Langford Allergy Team Can Help!

No matter the season – the Langford Allergy team can diagnose which allergen is causing your frustrating symptoms and create a treatment plan to eliminate the root of the problem. We are passionate about helping you live a full and healthy life, free of allergies. Give us a call today: 478-787-4728