Allergies affect millions of people worldwide. Some individuals do not realize that those mild cold-like symptoms or swollen lymph nodes they experience may indicate an underlying condition. Some find it easy to manage their symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes, and others rely on remedies and medications. Some are not fully aware of managing their symptoms, mainly if they occur seasonally.
Though the most common signs of allergy attacks include red or watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, or fatigue, some allergy sufferers experience additional side effects, such as neck swelling and a sore throat. Usually, these symptoms are no cause for serious alarm. However, swelling in the neck accompanied by fatigue or head or throat pain may indicate another health concern—swollen lymph nodes. Healthy lymph nodes are vital to your body’s defenses.
Continue reading to learn more about when you should be concerned about swelling in your lymph nodes if you have allergies.
What Are Lymph Nodes?
The lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands that help filter, trap, and destroy harmful substances like bacteria, viruses, and dangerous pathogens to keep them from spreading throughout the body and compromising overall health. There are hundreds of lymph nodes situated throughout the body.
The most common places that tend to swell to harmful substances in the body are lymph glands in the neck, armpits, behind the ears, lower back of the head, and jaw or groin areas. When it comes to allergies, swelling in the neck or throat can easily be confused with other ears, neck, and throat disorders, or medical conditions.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies signify that your body is fighting off an adverse reaction to allergens, such as dust, mold, and other irritants. Most allergic reactions are dependent on the trigger and the severity of the sensitivity to the stimulus. Though coughing, sneezing, itchy or watery red eyes, and nasal congestion are pretty common, it is not unusual for some individuals to also experience more severe symptoms such as hives, airway inflammation, and swollen lymph nodes.
The Connection Between Allergies and Swollen Neck Lymph Nodes
While allergies do not cause the lymph nodes in the neck to swell, they do not cause infections. Remember, swollen lymph nodes indicate your body is overwhelmed by pathogens it's trying to fight off. It means your body defenses are slightly lower than usual. Infections can trigger allergic reactions and lower immunity, increasing susceptibility to getting sick.
Here are some suggestions on knowing when to discuss those allergy symptoms or swollen lymph nodes with your doctor.
- Neck soreness or enlargement that persists longer than a few weeks or gets worse
- Headaches accompanied by a fever or chills
- Severe nasal congestion that interferes with breathing function and comfort
- Lymph node areas feel hard or warm to the touch
- Sudden, unexplainable weight loss
- Profuse sweating that primarily occurs at night
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble or painful swallowing
- Lymph nodes that do not move or feel lumpy
People who develop swollen lymph glands while battling allergic reactions often have an underlying infection, such as sinusitis. This can make allergy symptoms and mild upper respiratory and sinus infections more severe and challenging.
There are circumstances where the lymph node swelling and pain may persist and require medical, or in some cases, dental attention. Common reasons neck lymph nodes swell is adverse reactions to medications, skin, ear or dental infections, mouth sores, and stress.
Dealing with Swollen Lymph Nodes and Allergy Symptoms
Some people are more prone to lymphatic swelling than others. Ways to prevent lymph nodes from swelling include:
- Boost immunity naturally with diet, exercise, and good sleep hygiene.
- Drink more water and clear fluids.
- Avoid allergy triggers if possible.
- Manage allergy symptoms.
- Maintain good overall health. That includes having routine physicals and adhering to medical treatment recommendations.
Managing Swollen Lymph Nodes
When you consider the impact, seriousness, and highly contagious viruses, such as the flu, common cold, strep throat, COVID-19, and even sinus infections, can have on your body and life, it’s imperative to remain vigilant about your health and take appropriate action to mitigate any potentially serious concerns as soon as possible.
Below are some measures you can use to help lessen your allergy symptoms and discomfort associated with swollen lymph nodes.
- Apply a warm damp compress to your neck to help relieve some of the swelling, tightness, and soreness. The heat from the compress can help reduce inflammation and pain while you wait for the swelling to subside.
- Try over-the-counter allergy or cold medications that can help make nasal congestion, red or watery eyes, hives, chest tightness, and other symptoms less severe and easier to live with until they resolve on their own.
- Use remedies and other medications or therapeutics that you usually rely on to make your allergy symptoms less taxing on your body.
- Monitor and document all symptoms so you can report them to your doctor.
As long as your lymph nodes remain swollen or your allergy symptoms persist, the longer your health is vulnerable to additional infections and diseases. Treatment of the underlying condition is necessary to help reduce allergy symptoms and prevent future flare-ups, unusual lymph node swelling, and further infections.
Get Relief With C/V ENT Surgical Group
Allergy sufferers need to pay attention to sudden or unusual changes in their health that may mimic or be mistaken for allergies or swollen lymph nodes. If your neck seems larger than expected and there’s pain, see your doctor immediately. Though you could try to manage the symptoms on your own and wait to see if the swelling goes down, there’s no need to suffer in pain and distress if you don’t have to.
Contact C/V ENT Surgical Group today at (818) 888-7878 to see an ENT specialist to get the relief you deserve from allergies, sinus infections, swollen neck lymph nodes, and other ears, neck, and throat conditions or concerns that make living and breathing more difficult than usual.