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What Are the Common Causes of an Allergic Reaction in the Throat?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many possible causes of an allergic reaction in the throat. Among the most common are foods, particularly seafood; wheat; and certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Hay fever is often at fault as well, and can develop because of such allergens as pollen, mold, and dust. Even animal dander can cause throat allergy symptoms, which can occur on a seasonal or year-round basis.

Food is one of the most common causes of an allergic reaction in the throat. Among the most frequent culprits are seafood, wheat, apples, plums, nectarines, apricots, and pears. Vegetables such as carrots and celery often cause allergy symptoms, and some people also react to tomatoes and green peppers. As far as nuts, legumes, and seeds are concerned, walnuts, almonds, peas, peanuts, and sunflowers can cause throat allergy symptoms.

Interestingly, people who suffer from food allergies, may not always develop an allergic reaction in the throat when consuming all forms of the allergen. For example, if a person develops allergy symptoms when he eats raw apples, he may find that he is symptom-free when he consumes a processed form of apple instead, such as applesauce or apple butter. Other foods, however, such as nuts, may prove more likely to cause throat allergy symptoms in both their raw and processed forms.

Hay fever is also among the most common causes of allergic reaction in the throat. Also referred to as allergic rhinitis, this respiratory allergy is often the result of pollen, mold, dust, animal dander, and other substances in the air or on surfaces with which one comes into contact. When a person has this type of allergy, he may have an itchy throat; an urge to cough; a runny nose; watery, itchy eyes; and sneezing. Some people may also suffer from nasal congestion or develop headaches with this type of allergy. Not everyone is sensitive to the substances that cause hay fever, however, and those who are may be affected in varying degrees.

Some people who have non-food-related throat allergy symptoms develop them seasonally. For example, a person might experience significant symptoms during the spring and summer but not at any other time of the year while others may experience symptoms all year round. An allergy that causes an allergic reaction in the throat only at certain times of the year is called a seasonal allergy. One that is present throughout the year is called non-seasonal or perennial allergy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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