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Do Allergies Cause Tonsils To Swell

Viral Infections Causing Your Tonsils To Become Swollen

Allergies, swollen tonsils gone after 20 years, without drugs or surgery

Swollen and inflamed tonsils is known as tonsillitis. Although this condition is usually more common in children, adults can also get tonsillitis. When accompanied by fever, weight loss, lumps in the neck or elsewhere in the body, and if it becomes a chronic problem, adults should see Premier Urgent Care Center right away for treatment.

Viral infections causing swollen tonsils include the following:

  • Adenovirus is the virus that causes the common cold, which is usually accompanied by a sore throat and sometimes bronchitis.
  • Known as the kissing disease, mono or Epstein-Barr is caused by infected saliva.
  • The HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus can lead to cracked blisters on the tonsils.
  • HHV-5 is a virus which stays dormant in the body, but will flare up in a person with a compromised immune system. This can also occur in pregnant women.
  • Measles is a very contagious virus affecting the respiratory system.

Frequently Asked Questions: Advice From An Ear Nose & Throat Doctor

Since we visit with many patients who have swollen tonsils, its common for us to answer similar questions about this condition. Here are the answers to a few of your most common questions:

  • How do you get swollen tonsils to go down? When the symptoms are minor, then its possible for swollen tonsils to go down with self-care treatment at home. Drink plenty of liquids, get some rest, use a humidifier, and suck on lozenges to reduce the pain.
  • What causes tonsils to swell? Swollen tonsils are often caused by an underlying health condition, such as a viral or bacterial infection.
  • How long do swollen tonsils last? Most of the time, tonsillitis clears up within 4 to 10 days. Chronic tonsillitis can persist for weeks or months.

Do You Need to See an ENT for Swollen Tonsils?

Just because your tonsils are swollen doesnt mean that you need to schedule an appointment right away. Here are a few common indications that you need to talk to an ENT:

  • Timeline: If tonsillitis lasts for more than a few days, then it might be time to talk to a doctor about your symptoms.
  • Breathing: When the swelling of the tonsils interferes with breathing, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
  • Discomfort: When symptoms are severe or you are experiencing extreme discomfort.
  • Asymmetrical: When one tonsil is larger than the other, then it could be a sign of cancer or other health conditions.

What’s The Best Way To Manage A Sore Throat From Allergies

Fact: You dont need to suffer through this, and allergists say there are a few things you can do to try to relieve your pain. Ultimately, Dr. Wada says, the best treatment is a combo of tackling your nasal symptoms and sore throat. Try these treatment options.

  • Use an antihistamine. Antihistamines block the effects of histamines, lessening the risk youll develop allergy symptoms, including a sore throat, Dr. Wada says.
  • Try a nasal steroid spray. Nasal steroid sprays help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages, Dr. Wada says, and could help tamp down on post-nasal drip.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. Not only does it feels soothing on your throat, Dr. Wada says, the salt in the water can help pull mucus out of the area and make you feel better.
  • Have some honey. If a cough is behind your sore throat, consider having a spoonful of honey. Research has found that honey can reduce how often and how intensely you cough when youre sick. Honey can also be soothing for sore throats for anyone over age one, Dr. Wada says.

If you have a sore throat from allergies and this is a regular thing for you, Dr. Parikh recommends talking to your doctor or allergist about allergen immunotherapy, which are shots you can take to help reduce your reaction to allergens. These can make you less allergic to the trigger over time, Dr. Parikh says.

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How Long Does It Last

It can be easy to confuse tonsillitis and a common strep or sore throat, but the easy distinction is how long they both last. Tonsillitis can last over a week, while you may only suffer from a sore throat for a few days. If you do notice that you have tonsillitis for a decent amount of time, you should go see the doctor for further treatment.

Might I Need A Tonsillectomy

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Tonsillectomy used to be routine but is far less common now. Interventions like these are often unnecessary because acute tonsillitis heals without a problem in most people.

A tonsillectomy might be necessary for recurring or chronic tonsillitis, or when your tonsils are so swollen, they’re interfering with breathing or swallowing.

If you or your child are having problems with persistent tonsillitis, you could benefit from expert treatment at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology. Call their nearest office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

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Other Symptoms Of Tonsillitis

In addition to swollen tonsils, its common for other symptoms to be present. Sometimes, these symptoms are noticed before a patient sees that the tonsils are swollen. Or, you might see the swollen tonsils before additional symptoms develop.

What do swollen tonsils feel like? Watch for these symptoms to see if you have tonsillitis:

  • Scratchy, sore throat
  • Coating or white spots visible on the tonsils
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath

Its possible that swollen tonsils without other symptoms are normal, especially in children. But if an adult has swollen tonsils with no other symptoms, then it could be an indication of cancer. When you notice that your tonsil swelling doesnt go away, then it might be time to talk to an ENT for a professional diagnosis.

Swollen Tonsils Caused By Allergies

Few allergies trigger swollen tonsils as a sole symptom. However, if you have pollen, fiber, food or other allergies then swollen tonsils might occur alongside other familiar symptoms. In some cases this will subside after a few hours.However, if your allergy triggers a serious reaction, it may swell the tonsils and throat to a point where they restrict breathing.

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Sore Throat From Allergies: Symptoms And Remedies

Among the allergy symptoms that can affect day-to-day life, getting a sore throat from allergies can be especially irritating. Together with a runny nose and itchy eyes, a sore throat can cause discomfort and disruption to your routine.

Allergy symptoms of a sore throat can include a dry, scratchy feeling in your throat. It could be caused by different kinds of allergies, whether seasonal or something in your home that is affecting you.

There are various steps you can take to help manage or even reduce the symptoms.

Find out more about potential sore throat allergy remedies with our helpful guide.

Enlarged Adenoids And Their Symptoms

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If your or your childs adenoids are enlarged, it may be hard to breathe through the nose. Other signs of constant enlargement are:

  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose most of the time
  • Nose sounds blocked when the person speaks
  • Noisy breathing during the day
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Breathing stops for a few seconds at night during snoring or loud breathing

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Bacterial Infections Are Another Possible Cause

Less common are swollen and inflamed tonsils caused by bacteria, but it shouldnt be overlooked. Getting a proper diagnosis is essential to receiving appropriate and effective treatment.

  • Streptococcus bacteria is the cause of strep throat. It leads to inflammation of the tonsils, difficulty swallowing, opening ones mouth, and bad breath. If not treated properly with antibiotics, strep can lead to rheumatic fever, especially in young children, which is an inflammatory disorder that affects the heart, joints, and other tissues in the body. In addition, there is an increased risk of poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is a kidney disorder.

Health Complications Associated With Swollen Tonsils

While tonsils may occasionally become swollen when you have an infection, swelling goes down for most people in a few weeks. But for some people, the swelling becomes a chronic condition that can lead to other health complications if not treated.

Swollen tonsils are commonly caused by an infection, bacteria, or viruses such as:

  • Strep throat
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes simplex virus

In some people, the swelling in their tonsils becomes a chronic condition that does not go away. Others may have recurrent tonsillitis, a condition in which frequent infections cause their tonsils to become swollen on a regular basis. The large size of the tonsils can lead to other health risks and complications.

While swollen tonsils alone can cause complications, each infection will also have other complications unrelated to the tonsils. For example, untreated strep throat can lead to kidney and heart problems.

This article will cover complications specifically related to the size of the tonsils due to swelling. Other than infections, swollen tonsils can also be caused by tonsil stones or, more rarely, cancer of the tonsils.

These are the typical symptoms and possible complications from swollen tonsils:

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Can Getting Your Tonsils Out Help With Allergies

If your child’s symptoms are persistent, severeand don’t respond to treatmentsurgery may be an option. Your ENT can use an instrument called an endoscope for the procedure. Your doctor may need to open up the sinus pathways so they can drain. If the tonsils are enlarged or inflamed, a tonsillectomy may be in order.

Common Causes Of Swollen Tonsils

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Keep in mind that swollen tonsils are often a symptom of another health condition. If tonsillitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, then you might be diagnosed with one of the following illnesses:

  • Adenoviruses: Viruses that cause the common cold and other related conditions, such as bronchitis or a sore throat.
  • Strep Throat: Streptococcus pyogenes is a bacterial infection, commonly known as strep throat. When this infection occurs, it often results in spots and swelling on the tonsils.
  • Herpes Simplex: Herpes type 1 affects the mouth, with people often experiencing cold sores on the lips. Sometimes, this virus can also lead to blisters that form on the tonsils and cause swelling.
  • Allergies: The immune response to allergy triggers can cause the tonsils to swell. This symptom is common in people with seasonal allergies.
  • Dental Infection: Sometimes gum disease or tooth decay can cause the tonsils to swell. You might need to talk to a dentist for the treatment of these mouth infections.
  • Epstein-Barr : This virus causes mononucleosis, which can have an inflammatory impact on the body. A sore throat or swollen tonsils are often a symptom associated with this disease.
  • Measles: The respiratory system is affected by the measles virus, causing swelling and discomfort through the throat and airways.

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Tonsillitis Inflammation: The Basics

Many medical issues can affect your ears, nose, and throat, which is why there are specialists that focus on these issues. One of the most common ENT issues that people suffer from is tonsillitis. Many people may be aware of a sore throat, but they may not always know whether its strep throat, tonsillitis, or simply a cold. If you have pain in your throat and tonsil inflammation and want to know the severity of your condition, here are the basics of tonsillitis inflammation.

Youre Fighting A Virus

Viral tonsil infections are very common, says Clare Morrison, MD, general practitioner and medical advisor at MedExpress. There are several different strains of virus that can affect the tonsils and trigger swellinginfluenza, adenovirus, Epstein-Barr , herpes simplexand they tend to go hand-in-hand with cold symptoms. Think: fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat.

When tonsillitis is caused by a virus, itll usually go away once your bodys fought off the infection . While your bodys in battle mode, the best thing you can do is soothe your throat with plenty of fluids, salt water gargles, and the occasional acetaminophen or ibuprofen tablet.

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When To Seek Medical Help

Postnasal drip can be annoying, but it usually isn’t dangerous, as Harvard Medical School explains. However, there are some circumstances when you should seek medical help. See your doctor or dentist if your symptoms get worse or if they aren’t relieved by home remedies. You should also see your doctor if your sore throat is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as an unexplained fever or bloody mucus.

Allergy season has arrived, and while you may experience a sore throat from allergies, rest assured that there are many home remedies that can help to soothe your symptoms. If these home remedies aren’t enough, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

What Helps A Sore Throat From Allergies

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Some home remedies only mask painbut these solutions can help you get rid of your sore throat completely.

  • Gargle with salt waterbut steer clear of apple cider vinegar. …
  • Drink extra-cold liquids. …
  • Suck on an ice pop. …
  • Fight dry air with a humidifier. …
  • Skip acidic foods. …
  • Sip herbal teas.

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Treatment Options: Sinus Throat And Overall Health

The most effective way to reduce tonsil swelling is to find the underlying reason why your tissue is inflamed. When we identify the illness or disease that is causing the immune response, then we can treat the condition to eliminate these symptoms.

For example, if a sinus infection is resulting in a post-nasal drip that causes the tonsils to swell, then treating the sinus infection will often clear up tonsillitis.

The approach to tonsillitis treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and the timeline of your condition.

Short-term swelling related to a head cold often requires minimal treatment to ease your discomfort such as sucking on lozenges, gargling with salt water, and drinking plenty of fluids. As your body fights off the infection, then the swelling will go down. A cold virus usually needs to run its course before you start feeling better.

On the other hand, chronic tonsillitis requires treatment from a medical professional. Certain causes of tonsillitis wont clear up without treatment.

For example, strep throat requires an antibiotic prescription to avoid the bacteria spreading to other parts of the body. Certain viruses can be treated using antiviral medication as needed.

What Can I Expect If I Have An Inflamed Uvula

Your healthcare provider will examine you to determine what caused your uvula to swell. Then, theyll treat the underlying problem. In most cases, this involves taking antibiotics, antivirals or corticosteroids.

If nonsurgical treatments dont work, or if you have severe or chronic uvulitis, you might need uvula removal. During this procedure, your surgeon removes part or all of your uvula to help ease your symptoms.

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How To Prepare For Surgery


  • Talk to your child about his/her feelings and provide strong reassurance and support
  • Encourage the idea that the procedure will make him/her healthier.
  • Be with your child as much as possible before and after the surgery.
  • Tell him/her to expect a sore throat after surgery.
  • Reassure your child that the operation does not remove any important parts of the body, and that he/she will not look any different afterward.
  • If your child has a friend who has had this surgery, it may be helpful to talk about it with that friend.

What Are Swollen Tonsils

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Your tonsils are oval-shaped soft tissue masses located on each side of your throat. Tonsils are part of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system helps you avoid illness and infection. Its your tonsils job to fight off viruses and bacteria that enter your mouth.

Tonsils can become infected by viruses and bacteria. When they do, they swell up. Swollen tonsils is known as tonsillitis.

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How Is A Sore Throat From Tonsillitis Treated

If the tonsillitis infection is bacterial like strep throat, then antibiotics are given. If the tonsillitis infection is viral, antibiotics will not help. The virus must run its course for the sore throat to resolve. For either type of throat infection, the following treatment measures may help:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Eating smooth, soothing foods like gelatin, ice cream, shakes, frozen desserts, and soup
  • Avoiding crunchy or spicy foods
  • Using a vaporizer
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen. Children should not take aspirin.

If the tonsillitis infections occur repeatedly, or if the tonsils are interfering with sleep and breathing, the doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, which is the surgical removal of the tonsils.

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What If My Strep Throat Isn’t Getting Better

If your strep throat is not getting better, let your healthcare provider know right away. Do not stop taking your prescribed medicine unless your health care provider tells you to. Call your healthcare provider if these symptoms occur:

  • Fever one or two days after feeling better
  • Dark urine, rash, or chest pain

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What’s The Difference Between A Cold Strep Throat And Tonsillitis

A sore throat is often the first sign of a cold. However, a sore throat from a cold often gets better or goes away after the first day or two. Other cold symptoms such as a runny nose and congestion may follow the sore throat.

Strep throat, which is an infection due to streptococcus bacteria, is another cause of sore throats and tonsillitis. With strep throat, the sore throat is often more severe and persists.

Tonsillitis is a painful inflammation or infection of the tonsils, the tissue masses located at the back of the throat.


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