When most people think of allergies and allergic responses, they imagine the never-ending runny nose or itchy red hives. Most people don’t realize that trouble swallowing can also signal an allergy.
Trouble swallowing can be caused by post-nasal drip, which can aggravate and inflame the tissue in the throat. If trouble swallowing leads to trouble breathing, this could be a sign of a more dangerous condition called anaphylactic shock. Immediate medical intervention is necessary in that case.
Drainage From The Sinuses
Sometimes allergies will cause draining of mucus from the nasal cavities or sinuses down the throat. This can lead to an accumulation of phlegm which in turn irritates the throat causing inflammation. The mucus buildup can cause difficulty swallowing as well as the inflamed tissues.
Sometimes a sore throat can develop as a result of an infection caused by an allergy. This would be considered a secondary infection. Post-nasal drip, warm and wet, is a magnet for bacteria which can lead to an infection in the inflamed, susceptible tissue of the throat. This certainly adds to difficulty swallowing.
Part Of A Package Of Symptoms
Difficulty swallowing will not present as a stand-alone symptom. Since it is usually caused by post-nasal drip, a runny nose or stuffy nose is almost always present either with or before the throat becomes inflamed.
You may also experience congestion, coughing, watery eyes, sneezing or even popping in the ears. If you have difficulty swallowing but experience none of these other symptoms, you may have a different ailment and you should see a doctor.
Treating A Sore Throat With Allergies
First, you must address the allergy. Over the counter medications like Benadryl will usually help. If your doctor has recommended something else, follow his or her advice or call to confirm. Expectorants or cough suppressants will address a sore throat directly. An expectorant will thin the mucus, making it easier to swallow and more difficult for it to accumulate.