You might well know swollen lymph nodes are indications your body system works well to fight infections like bacteria, cancerous cells, and viruses.
However, do you also know allergies may cause your swollen lymph nodes?
If you often have allergic reactions, it might bother you why you develop sudden swellings in your neck region and other parts of your body.
Is it merely a coincidence? Perhaps yes, and maybe it isn’t. As we proceed, we’ll discuss a few things you should know about how your allergies are associated with your swollen lymph nodes.
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is simply an overreaction of the immune system. It occurs when an individual’s immune system freaks out and sees a harmless substance as harmful.
Therefore, exhibiting an endless array of allergic reactions. This reaction often ranges from mild to severe depending on that substance present in the body system.
These harmless substances perceived as harmful are called allergens, and the toxic or foreign substances the body fights against are called antigens.
In allergic persons, the lymphocytes get confused between allergies and antigens. Instead of attaching the antigens alone, it attacks both allergens and antigens and breaks out with a series of reactions.
Many people believe that the constant change in our environment is the reason for the continuous rise in cases of allergies. However, we cannot precisely say why some people have allergies, and others don’t.
Studies show that if you suffer from allergies, there is a 30% chance that your children will suffer from allergies as well, and if both parents have allergies, that percentage increases by 40%. Allergies can be hereditary and passed on from parent to offspring.
Swollen Lymph Nodes And Their Causes
Lymph nodes are integral parts of the immune system. The lymphatic vessels often bring fluid which filters harmful substances such as infections and cancer.
When the lymph nodes come into contact with these things, it enlarges because it is mobilizing cells to fight against the disease or the infection it has filtered out is growing inside it.
Lymph nodes are found all over the body, and they often vary in size; they get enlarged when they fight infection.
Symptoms that show swollen lymph nodes include:
- Night sweats
- Unexplainable weight loss that is over 10% of the initial body weight.
- Inexplicable fever that is greater than 38 degrees Celsius.
- Running nose, fever, sore throats, or other typical symptoms shows upper respiratory infections.
The primary cause of lymph nodes is infections. As earlier stated, it is one of the body’s ways of fighting against infections. However, other factors could cause the development of swollen lymph nodes. These causes include:
- Immune system disorders
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Skin problems
- Cancers e.t.c.
In most cases, the location of your swollen lymph nodes can help identify the causes. Most swollen lymph nodes occur in groups and are often found in the neck region, beneath the chin, the groin area, and armpits.
Relationship Between Swollen Lymph Nodes And Allergies.
The primary purpose of the immune system is to defend the body against infections and bacteria. The lymph nodes are essential components of the immune system. It is also necessary to note that anything that sets off the immune system can cause swollen lymph nodes.
When allergies get triggered and a series of reactions occur, the body responds to this immunological crisis; lymph nodes get swollen. These lymph nodes are often felt in the neck region, around the throat and chin area, or in the armpits. Lymph nodes might not appear in mild cases of allergies. They mainly occur in severe or life-threatening cases of allergic reactions.
It is common for most people to develop lymph nodes as secondary symptoms or infections from allergies. It isn’t unusual, but an indication that the immune system hasn’t stopped performing its daily functions.
Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Lymph Nodes?
Seasonal allergies are allergies that occur in specific seasons of the year. They’re the kinds of allergies that occur when your body responds adversely to outdoor pollens from wind-pollinated plants.
In most cases, their symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing.
Although, seasonal allergies do not directly cause swollen lymph nodes. However, they can cause a series of infections that can lead to swollen lymph nodes.
Seasonal allergies come with a series of conditions like congestion, runny nose, and excess mucus production. These symptoms are known to be the leading cause of sinus inflammation. When the sinuses get inflamed, the lymph nodes enlarge and get swollen.
Although seasonal allergies are indirectly connected to the development of swollen lymph nodes. You cannot be sure if your reactions don’t include runny nose, congestion, and other related allergic reactions.
If your allergic reactions are entirely unrelated, then it probably has nothing to do with your allergies. In such cases, it is advised that you take specific tests or visit your doctor to find out the causes of your swollen lymph nodes.
How To Treat Allergies From Swollen Lymph Nodes.
When swollen lymph nodes occur, it shows that your body is fighting against a series of infections. To treat your swollen lymph nodes, treat the underlying causes of these infections. With allergies, treating your allergies can also work to cure your swollen lymph nodes.
The first step and easiest step to preventing your allergic reaction are to avoid or completely stay away from the substances your body reacts to.
This will help you avoid getting any allergic reactions in the first place; however, if you find it challenging to do that. Treating your allergies can also be possible with allergy medications.
A typical example of allergy medications that work is antihistamines. Visit your allergist for the potential medicines that you can use for your allergies.
Aside from the use of medications, there are other remedies for your allergies. Some of these remedies include:
- Washing off your sinuses with saline solutions to prevent further inflammations.
- Keeping your triggers at bay, especially during allergy seasons. If pollens trigger your allergies, refrain from too many outdoor activities and keep your window shot often.
- Use of supplements that help nasal passage. Ensure you check in with your doctor before using any supplements, as some of them might cause damage to your health.
- Eating less spicy foods can also help relieve your allergies, as spicy foods are known to irritate your throat or cause coughing all day.
- Use of nasal sprays: nasal sprays are known to be effective in curing nasal allergies. They’re over-the-counter allergy treatments that are effective and easily accessible.
Asides from treating your allergies, you can also take steps to ease your swollen lymph nodes. Some helpful tips to doing that include
- Applying warm water to compress the area; get a warm cloth, rinse in moderately warm water and place continuously on the site that hurts. Do that consistently for a short period, and it will help ease the pain.
- Use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications: some antibiotics can help fight the infections causing this swollen lymph node. Talk to your doctor about medical prescriptions that are effective.
- If your lymph nodes are present in the neck region, you can gaggle some warm salt water to soothe your swollen lymph nodes. This is not a cure, but it will help numb the pains.
A Surgical procedure can be necessary for the removal of your swollen lymph nodes. It might have to be taken out in severe cases when it becomes chronically infected or the swelling becomes recurring. Medical practitioners often do the procedure in a safe medical environment.
If your swollen lymph nodes continue to occur, the next option is to visit your doctor. In severe cases where swollen lymph nodes have nothing to do with allergies, they might be from painful infections or cancerous cells. In such cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy can be the next step towards curing the swollen lymph nodes.