Is It Strep, or Just Winter Allergies?

November 20, 2017

Sore throats are a staple of fall and winter. And while strep throat is common enough (although it’s more likely to hit kids and teens) to often be a cause, there are plenty of other possibilities, including winter allergies or just a common cold. Luckily, there are some ways to cut down on your risk of every type of sore throat.

Start at home. Dead leaves are cleared and snow is coming to cover the ground, besides a rare allergy to the cold, what’s there to worry about? Indoor allergies! Allergies trigger inflammation which can lead to swelling, post nasal drip, coughing, sneezing, and other throat irritating reactions, and the home can be a trigger.

The heating vent kicks on and burns or circulates dust and debris, wet boots, pet beds, and even carpet could generate mold, and more pet dander could gather if an outdoor pet is suddenly spending more time indoors. In other words, we spend more time inside and it creates more opportunities for indoor allergies. Prevent them by changing filters, vacuuming under your big furniture items (especially the fridge, couch, and bed), and cleaning fabrics like drapes. Then look around (especially up high and down low) for places that might be collecting dust.

Always be working to prevent one of the biggest causes of sore throats, infection. Strep throat gets around this time of year (many clinics can now diagnose you on the spot), but any virus (like the common cold) can trigger a sore throat, or symptoms like a runny nose or coughing the indirectly lead to a sore throat. Although irritating, sore throats should clear in about a week, with symptoms mostly gone after two weeks. Severe symptoms (trouble breathing, talking, eating, or other concerns like a chronic sore throat) should be checked by a doctor, but most sore throats will clear up on their own (not much to be done for a virus, anyway!).

A spoonful of honey can help instantly soothe sore throat symptoms. Clearing your sinuses with a sinus flood can remove irritants, and some warm water or tea with lemon can also cut through the gunk. Prevention like a daily immune supporting dose of colloidal silver is also useful.

Share your best sore throat home remedies with us in the comments:

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