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Can Allergies Make Your Throat Swell

Other Causes And Treatments Of Swollen Glands

What Causes a Sore Throat? HOME Remedies and Cures for Fast TREATMENT| Doctor Explains

Can allergies cause swollen glands? Sometimes. Other causes of swollen glands include:

Common Infections

  • Metastatic cancer affecting the lymph nodes

The treatment of swollen glands will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Swollen lymph nodes due to a viral infection tend to resolve on their own after the viral infection resolves. However, antiviral medications may be recommended.
  • Swollen lymph nodes due to a bacterial infection require antibiotic treatment.
  • Swollen lymph nodes due to HIV/AIDS infection require specific treatment for this medical condition.
  • Swollen lymph nodes due to immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus require treatment directed on the underlying cause.
  • Swollen lymph nodes due to cancers require specific treatment depending on the type of cancer. In general, treatments include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Seek immediate medical help in cases when swollen lymph glands are accompanied with:

  • Redness of the skin over the swollen lymph nodes

Do Allergies Cause A Sore Throat

Yes, allergies can impact your throat. To understand why, you have to know why allergies happen in the first place: If youre allergic to something, your body sees proteins in that substance as a foreign invader. And when those proteins get into your systemsay, by breathing in a whiff of dust or getting pollen blown into your eyesyour immune system launches an inflammatory response in an attempt to protect you.

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Part of that inflammatory response involves producing lots of extra mucus. The mucus helps propel the debris out of your body, but it can give you congestion and a runny nose, which drains into your throat. The ears, nose, and throat are all physically connected, so problems in one area can affect another, explains William Reisacher, M.D., director of allergy services at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

As a result, that mucus can cause post-nasal drip, when the goopy stuff dribbles down the back of your throat and makes it feel raw and irritated. Allergens can also trigger the tissues in the back of your throat to become inflamed, which only adds to the discomfort, Dr. Mehdizadeh says.

Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis

Your symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:

  • Pressure in the nose and cheeks
  • Ear fullness and popping
  • Watery, red, or swollen eyes
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Trouble smelling

Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge is thin, watery, and clear. Nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing occurs more with hay fever. You may even have severe sneeze attacks.

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Strep Throat Is Lurking

Though its not as common in adults, strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause swollen tonsils and inflammation, says Dr. Zalvan. Besides difficulty swallowing, you might also experience bad breath and have trouble opening your mouth.

Left untreated, bacterial tonsillitis can lead to a more complicated infection that causes pus to collect around the capsule of the tonsil. This infection may require intravenous antibiotics and a drainage procedure to remove the abscess, says Brad DeSilva, M.D., otolaryngologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Because strep is sometimes associated with sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia, it can be hard to tell if your swollen tonsils are the victim of a viral or bacterial infection. If symptoms persist, Dr. DeSilva recommends having your doc run a rapid strep test to determine if antibiotics are needed.

How Are Allergies Treated

Allergies And Throat

Although avoiding the allergen is an important treatment approach, it usually doesnt completely end the allergic reaction.

Medications such as antihistamines , decongestants , or a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications, are used to treat your allergy symptoms. Nasal sprays such as topical nasal steroids , cromolyn sodium, and topical nasal antihistamines also can be used to treat allergy symptoms.

Asthma medications, which reduce allergy symptoms, include:

  • Inhaled bronchodilators.
  • Oral anti-leukotrienes .
  • Injected medications, such as omalizumab , dupilumab , reslizumab , benralizumab , or Mepolizumab .

Immunotherapy or allergy oral immunotherapy is recommended if your symptoms arent adequately controlled with a combination of avoidance measures and regular medication use. This shot has been shown to be effective in properly selected patients with allergic rhinitis and/or allergic asthma.

Another treatment option is saline irrigation using a sinus rinse kit. These rinse kits are sold over-the-counter or can be made at home. To make your own rinse, combine one-half teaspoon non-iodinated salt with one-half teaspoon baking soda in eight ounces of distilled or boiled water. This mixture rinses out allergens and decreases the amount of inflammation they cause.

Also Check: Does Benadryl Help With Food Allergies

Its A Symptom Of Certain Stds

Both syphilis and gonorrhea can flare up in the throat area. Syphilis usually appears as sores in the early stages, called chancres, and can crop up at the back of your throat, swelling your tonsils in the process. Symptoms of gonorrhea are more subtle, and can include mouth soreness and burning in the throat.

Although both STDs have been increasing in prevalence, theyre still considered uncommon, says Dr. Zalvan. The sooner you catch them, the easier they are to treat. If you suspect an STD might be the cause of your swollen tonsils, your doc can do a throat swab to be sureand if positive, prescribe antibiotics, according to the American Dental Association.

Causes: What Triggers Hay Fever

Hay fever is triggered by allergens that the affected person is allergic to, i.e. pollen. Grass pollen is one of the most common triggers of hay fever. However, tree, herbal and flower pollen also can lead to an allergic reaction.

Hay fever is triggered by contact with a particular allergen pollen of a particular plant.

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Food Allergies In Children

No parent wants to see their child suffer. Since fatal and near-fatal food allergy reactions can occur at school or other places outside the home, parents of a child with food allergies need to make sure that their childs school has a written emergency action plan. The plan should provide instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing food allergies and should be available in the school and during activities such as sporting events and field trips. If your child has been prescribed an auto-injector, be sure that you and those responsible for supervising your child understand how to use it.

In November 2013, President Barack Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act , which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand. As of late 2014, dozens of states had passed laws that either require schools to have a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors for general use or allow school districts the option of providing a supply of epinephrine. Many of these laws are new, and it is uncertain how well they are being implemented. As a result, ACAAI still recommends that providers caring for food-allergic children in states with such laws maintain at least two units of epinephrine per allergic child attending the school.

How Is Allergic Esophagitis Treated

Can Allergies Cause an Itchy Throat?

Allergic esophagitis may not go away completely. Treatment may help relieve your symptoms.

  • Steroid medicine may help decrease swelling in your esophagus. You will swallow the medicine so it coats your esophagus.
  • Stomach acid medicine helps keep heartburn symptoms under control.
  • Dilatation is a procedure used when the esophagus narrows from swelling. An endoscope is placed into your mouth and down your throat. Tools on the endoscope press against the tissues to widen your esophagus. Dilatation can improve your symptoms but will not stop allergic esophagitis from happening.

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How Can You Treat A Sore Throat Caused By Allergies

Allergy medications are usually the best place to start if pollen or other irritants are causing your sore, scratchy throat. Antihistamines, including Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl, can help tame inflammation and ease your symptoms overall, Dr. Mehdizadeh explains. Nasal sprays and nasal glucocorticoids are ideal for easing post-nasal drip, too.

Natural remedies could also make a difference, the experts say. Gargling with warm salt water can help get rid of irritating mucus, and drinking plenty of water or inhaling steam may soothe scratchiness.

Of course, prevention might be the most effective tactic of all. Minimizing your exposure to allergenssay, by keeping your windows closed and showering as soon as you come inside after being outdoorscan keep your symptoms from flaring up and help stop that sore throat before it starts.

What Are The Treatments For Allergic Rhinitis

The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your nasal allergies . When prevention is not enough, consider using over-the-counter or prescription medicines:

  • Antihistamines are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
  • are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages which relieves nasal stuffiness. These nose drops and sprays should be taken short-term.
  • Nasal corticosteroids are used in nasal spray form. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers other than histamine that are involved in allergic reactions.
  • Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.

Nasal allergy symptoms may disappear completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.

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How To Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes

Treatment is not usually necessary. As your body begins to heal from the infection or illness the lymph nodes should return to normal size within 3 weeks. The treatment for swollen lymph nodes is usually home care to ease symptoms.

My Health, Alberta gives some great advice on how to treat swollen glands.

Your Lymph Nodes Could Swell Up Due To A Secondary Infection

Will Nasal Drainage Cause Sore Throat

People with allergies may be more likely to develop secondary infections like sinus infections, especially if their sinuses tend to get clogged up due to seasonal allergies. If youâre experiencing allergy symptoms and your lymph nodes are swollen, itâs most likely due to some kind of secondary infection.

Also Check: What Can Cause Skin Allergies

When To See A Doctor

You should see a doctor for your swollen lymph nodes if the symptoms dont resolve with self-care, you are experiencing new symptoms, your symptoms are getting worse, or if you have not been seen for this condition in the past.

It is always recommended to talk with your healthcare team for a diagnosis and treatment options.

Tests And Diagnosis For Tonsillitis

If you think you might be dealing with tonsillitis, visiting a doctor is the best first step.

Your physician will want to determine the root cause of your condition. Theyll do this by asking you about your symptoms and looking at the back of your throat with a small flashlight.

Two additional tests may also be performed via a cotton swab thats used to gently take a sample from the back of the throat and tonsils:

  • a rapid strep test, which lets you know within minutes if you actually have strep throat
  • a throat culture, which has to be sent to a lab and takes a few days to process

If the strep test is negative, your doctor will most likely want to wait for the throat culture to be sure of your diagnosis.

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How Do Allergies Cause Dry Throat

Allergies are commonly caused by hay fever, cold weather, and other environmental allergens, such as dust, dander, mold, and pollen.

Hay fever: The term “hay fever” is a bit misleading since fever isn’t one of the symptoms of this condition. Hay fever is also called allergic rhinitis because it includes a variety of symptoms that affect your nose. Symptoms can include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and throat
  • Red, swollen eyes

Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus drains from your sinuses and nasal passageways into the back of your throat. This can lead to the feeling of dryness or scratchiness, and it often makes you feel like you constantly need to clear your throat.

Your Swollen Tonsil Could Potentially Be A Sign Of Cancer

How To Get Rid Of Phlegm and Mucus

Cancer is always the most concerning, and what most people are afraid of, says Dr. Zalvan. Tonsil cancers are almost always concentrated on one side, and can present with swelling and pain with no other symptoms.

If your swollen tonsil persists or gets worse over time, see your doctor ASAP.

Chronic smoking and alcohol used to be the most common cause of tonsil cancer. Now, theyre more commonly caused by the human papilloma virus , which have a far better rate of cure, Dr. Zalvan adds. This type of cancer is now completely preventable by getting the HPV vaccine.

Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, can also present with swollen tonsils: It can be on one or both sides, often with lumps or lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin, says Dr. Zalvan. Your doctor will complete a thorough exam to determine whats causing your swollen tonsils and map out the best course of action.

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Minimise Exposure To Allergens

If you know which allergens trigger your hay fever, reducing your exposure to them may reduce symptoms.

If pollens are causing your hay fever, these tips may help:

  • Stay indoors until after midday, especially when the pollen count is high, its windy or after thunderstorms .
  • Wear sunglasses, carry tissues, shower when you arrive home, and rinse your eyes with water.
  • If your trigger is grass, avoid mowing, playing or walking in grassy areas, and don’t go camping.
  • Keep windows closed at home and in the car, and use recirculating air conditioning in the car.
  • Avoid outdoor picnics during pollen season.
  • Try to plan holidays out of the pollen season, or holiday at the seaside.
  • If gardening at home, research which plants are less likely to trigger hay fever. Remove any weeds or vegetation outside your bedroom window that might trigger symptoms.

How To Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes From Allergies

Swollen lymph nodes are a sign that something is off in your body. To reduce the swelling, you need to treat the underlying cause, Dr. Parikh says. Here are a few things you can do:

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  • Take an allergy medication. If you suspect that severe allergies are behind your swollen lymph nodes, taking a fast-acting allergy medication like an antihistamine may help. If the allergy symptoms are controlled, the lymph node swelling should go down, Dr. Besser says.
  • Apply a warm compress to the area. Its unlikely to make the swelling go down, but it may help you feel a little better, Dr. Besser says.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. Dr. Monteleonerecommends this soothing home remedy if you have swollen lymph nodes in your throat.

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What Are Lymph Nodes Again

Lymph nodes are part of your lymphatic system, a network that routes lymph fluid throughout your body, according to the American Cancer Society . Your lymph system is a crucial part of your immune system.

The job of your lymph system is to collect fluid, waste material, viruses, and bacteria that are in your tissues and send them to your lymph nodes. These nodes are small structures that work as filters for harmful substances, the ACS explains. They help fight infection by attacking and destroying germs that are carried to them by lymph fluid.

You have hundreds of lymph nodes located all around your bodysome are deep in your body, like between your lungs or around your bowel, and others are closer to your skin.

After lymph fluid flows around your body, it dumps filtered fluid, salts, and proteins back into your bloodstream.

How Can You Lower Your Risk Of Swollen Tonsils

Is It a Sore Throat or Strep Throat? [Infographic]

Some people are just prone to repeatedly getting swollen tonsils, Dr. Nelson says.

But, in general, good oral hygiene and good hand hygiene to limit your exposure to bacteria and viruses can help, says Arashdeep Litt, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Spectrum Health.

If you tend to develop swollen tonsils more than youd like, Dr. Litt says using mouthwash may help. Some data has shown that the use of mouthwash regularly cleans food particles that can get stuck in tonsils, she explains. Although the mechanism of action is not entirely clear, the fact that chlorhexidine mouthwash significantly reduces the number of bacterial microcolonies is a potentially clinically significant finding. You also dont need a prescription for this, she points out.

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Can Allergies Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

Possibly. Anything that activates the immune system can cause swollen lymph nodes, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network.

Susan Besser, M.D., a primary care physician at Baltimores Mercy Medical Center, agrees. An upper respiratory infection, a cold, allergiesall can cause lymph nodes to swell as the body responds to the immunologic crisis, she explains. These are most often felt on either side of the neck, under the jaw around the throat, or behind the ears.

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Children are more likely to experience swollen lymph nodes due to allergies, but it can happen in adult allergy sufferers, notes Catherine Monteleone, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

That said, its not a typical symptom and it is unlikely that seasonal allergies would cause someone to have swollen lymph nodes, Dr. Parikh says. The only time that would happen is if your allergies are very severe, she notes.

It is more common, though, to develop swollen lymph nodes as part of a secondary infection from your allergies, like a sinus infection, says Omid Mehdizadeh, M.D., an otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.


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