During allergy season, many of us suffer from the itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, sore throat, headache, and cough, common with seasonal allergies. Allergies are widespread and are our bodies’ answer to environmental factors such as pollen, dust, mold, and pollution. However, other health issues may be causes of sore throat irritation and coughing.
The Root of Your Cough
Although allergies can definitely produce voice changes, increased clearing of the throat, runny nose, and other symptoms, if you are suffering from these problems it is usually wise to see a qualified ear, nose, and throat physician to rule out any other medical conditions.
Asthma may cause a chronic cough that can irritate the throat. Asthma may also be associated with shortness of breath and wheezing, which can be especially noticeable during physical activity. Post-nasal drip can be one of the Common Causes of Sore Throat if an increase or change in mucous secretions occurs, as with seasonal allergies or sinus problems.
Acid reflux is the sometimes-overlooked culprit of throat symptoms. Acid reflux occurs when contents from the stomach reflux, or go backwards, into the esophagus and throat. These acids can be extremely irritating to the lining of the throat and esophagus, and can contribute to chronic cough and itching of the throat.
These are just a few of the more common issues that can lead to a sore, irritated throat, hoarseness, and cough. It is important to have your symptoms evaluated by a medical professional. An otolaryngologist will know what questions to ask and what tests to perform in order to find out the specific cause of your symptoms. A proper diagnosis is paramount for deciding on the appropriate course of treatment.
What Tests May be Performed?
Sometimes the causes of sore throat can be made simply by a careful history and physical, which your doctor will perform during your evaluation. The patient’s subjective history, or their account of the symptoms they have experienced, will be taken into account, as well as what symptoms are present upon evaluation. After a thorough examination of the throat and neck, other tests may still be needed to rule out conditions that are more serious. An otolaryngologist may recommend a variety of tests in order to determine the causes of sore throat or chronic cough.
The treatment options for sore throat and chronic cough are as varied as the diagnoses. Depending upon what is causing the symptoms, treatment may start with specific medication as determined by your physician. These could include antibiotics, allergy medication, antihistamines, or medicines to treat heartburn and acid reflux. There are a number of other medicinal options that may be prescribed by your ear, nose, and throat physician. Minimally invasive surgery may be helpful to treat your problem, but only when performed by an experienced and knowledgeable otolaryngologist. The first step in feeling better is seeking care from a doctor who has the ability to get to the root of your problem and who will work with you to find solutions.