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Allergies & Trouble Swallowing

by
author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Allergies & Trouble Swallowing
Seasonal allergies can lead to trouble swallowing. Photo Credit houlque laineuse image by Ingrid from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Allergies are known for their reactions in the body such as sneezing, coughing and asthma-like symptoms. A less common symptom associated with allergies is trouble swallowing. Trouble swallowing caused by allergies is the result of postnasal drip or inflammation in the throat, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. If trouble swallowing leads to difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical advice. This could be a rare allergic reaction where the throat swells, cutting off the ability to breathe, according to MayoClinic.com.

Postnasal Drip Cause

Postnasal drip is a result of allergies that can make it difficult to swallow, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Postnasal drip is the constant draining of mucus in the throat from the sinuses, leading to an accumulation of phlegm. The phlegm irritates the throat, leading to inflammation. The mucus build up will also make it more difficult to swallow.

Secondary Infection Cause

MedlinePlus states that a sore throat can develop because of a secondary infection caused by allergies. The body is more susceptible to infection when it is experiencing an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction can cause the throat to become irritated. Postnasal drip creates a welcoming environment for bacteria, leading to an infection. Allergic bronchitis can further complicate the allergic condition, causing difficulty swallowing.

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Symptoms

Trouble swallowing form allergies will be accompanied with other typical allergy symptoms. If someone has difficulty swallowing without any other allergy symptoms, the swallowing issue may be the result of another condition. Other symptoms should include a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, watery eyes, sneezing, ear fullness or hives, according to FamilyDoctor.org.

Treatment

Treating trouble swallowing from allergies begins with addressing the allergens. Identify the allergens and avoid them whenever possible, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Use over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and antihistamines to prevent and treat allergy symptoms. Treat the difficulty swallowing with expectorants and cough suppressants, according to MedlinPlus. Expectorants are used to thin mucus and help the body clear the throat more effectively. Cough suppressants are commonly used to reduce the amount of coughing. The more someone coughs, the worse the throat will become irritated.

Warning

A food allergy that leads to swallowing difficulty may be the signs of anaphylaxis, according to MayoClinic.com. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction, affecting the entire body and could cause the throat to close-up completely. This condition is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

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References

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