When I get allergies, my symptoms are in the back of my throat, not my nose. Is that weird?
Normal! Allergic reactions are different for everyone. Your nose and throat are lined with glands that continually produce mucus—an amazing 1 to 2 quarts per day. This mucus keeps your upper respiratory tract moist and clean, protecting you from infection.
Usually you swallow it without noticing, but when you encounter an allergen, like dust or pollen, your body releases chemicals that amp up mucus production, leading to excessive (and annoying) secretions. In some people, this causes a runny nose. In others, the extra mucus drains down the throat—a symptom called postnasal drip, which can cause tickling, coughing or soreness.
If it's allergies, you'll likely also have itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. Try taking an antihistamine. If you're really congested or feverish, it could be a sinus infection or strep throat. Problems such as acid reflux cause symptoms akin to postnasal drip, so see your doctor if allergen avoidance and drugs don't do the trick.
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Health's medical editor, Roshini Rajapaska, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.