Can seasonal allergies cause dry mouth?

Dry throat is one of the more surprising signs of rhinitis, but it is no less problematic than, say, hyperemia or watery eyes. Can seasonal allergies cause dry mouth?

Seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), can maintain sinus irritation, causing tissue dryness and inflammation. This can lead to thickened or sticky mucus, which aggravates the problem. Allergic rhinitis can be caused by allergies to:

  • pollen
  • flowering plants
  • grass
  • trees
  • mould

Sometimes over-the-counter or prescription antiallergic drugs can also cause your sinuses to dry out.

Depending on where you live and the flowering date of some plants, allergies may occur more often than once a year. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • itchy or watery eyes
  • sneezing
  • itchy throat, sinuses or ear canals
  • postpartum drainage
  • fluid on the ears
  • headache
  • cough
  • wheezing
  • dyspnoea
Can seasonal allergies cause dry mouth?

Links between allergies and dry mouth

There are three basic relationships between allergic reactions and dry mouth, including:

  • Allergic rhinitis – which is caused by a significant number of allergies – is a common culprit, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). This clogs the sinus cavity. When your nasal passages are blocked, you are forced to breathe through your mouth more than usual. The oral tissues become dry from constant contact with air and the presence of bacteria.
  • Lack of fluid associated with allergic rhinitis may cause mild dehydration.
  • Antihistamines, which are recommended by doctors and pharmacists to treat allergies, are a known cause of dry mouth.
  • A combination of allergies, dry mouth and bad breath
  • Almost a third (31 percent) of those surveyed said they felt bad breath as a result of seasonal allergies, and as many as 44 percent said they had dry mouth because of allergies. Even more respondents (52 percent) said that allergies cause postnatal drip. Dry mouth and drip can cause bad breath.
  • This is because one of the many tasks saliva is to remove bacteria and food debris; when your lips are dry and low in saliva, bacteria and debris remain in place. The bacteria then begin to break down food debris, creating a smell.

How to tell if allergic rhinitis causes a dry throat

A dry throat can be the result of several things, but if the cause is allergic rhinitis, there are several things that set it apart.

Frequency – if dry throat is a problem for you regularly, it may be because the cause of the problem is allergic rhinitis.

Other problems – when allergic rhinitis is caused, a dry throat is usually accompanied by problems such as congestion and sneezing, not an independent problem.

Season – pollen is the most common cause of allergic rhinitis, so if symptoms appear between March and June, when plants pollinate, it can also be a sign that the cause is allergic rhinitis.



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