Strep Throat or Allergies? Learn How to Tell the Difference

The minute your little one tells you they have a sore throat, moms tend to get into panic mode. Strep throat is one of the leading illnesses for school-aged children and is highly contagious. But a sore throat alone is not necessarily cause for too much concern as it could just be from seasonal allergies. Here are a few common symptoms to help differentiate the two before calling the doctor.

Seasonal Allergies Vs. Strep Throat Symptoms



  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Runny nose 
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Slight cough

Strep Throat:


  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Red tonsils or throat with white spots (pus)
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain

Typically, if sneezing and coughing are present, it's not strep. If unsure, take an at-home strep throat test. Either way, an itchy, scratchy sore throat can throw off your day. Every swallow of saliva, food, or drink makes you cringe. If you aren’t one to go straight to the medicine cabinet to ease your pain, you may be left thinking you are at a loss for relief. 

Check out natural ways to treat a sore throat

Drinking apple cider vinegar can help reduce sore throat pain through a healing active ingredient, acetic acid, which helps in fighting bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. To drink apple cider vinegar, you will want to mix 1 cup of water with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Due to its pungent taste, you may want to add up to a tablespoon of honey to sweeten the taste. 


Eating honey can help fight infection and provide pain relief due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. You can add honey to any food or beverage or eat a small dose on its own. Honey cannot be given to children under 1 year old, so please avoid this method of relief for your little one. 


Drinking warm tea can also aid in the relief of a sore throat. There are many different types of tea that can be used to help reduce sore throat symptoms. It is recommended to try one of the varieties below: 

  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile
  • Licorice root
  • Echinacea
  • Lemon


Sipping on bone broth has been proven as a sore throat, cold, and flu remedy. The bones used in the broth are rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. On top of all that healthy goodness, it has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. For an easy bone broth recipe, you can check out How To Make Bone Broth (And Why You Should) by Wholefully. 


If you have or your child has symptoms of strep, make sure to get tested and treated! If strep throat goes untreated, the bacteria could continue to grow and, in return, create an ongoing immune response from the body. Try an at-home strep throat test for peace of mind.