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How to Explain Swollen Lymph Nodes and Allergies

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How to Explain Swollen Lymph Nodes and Allergies

How to Explain Swollen Lymph Nodes and Allergies


There is no scientific evidence to suggest that swollen lymph nodes are caused by seasonal allergies. Most likely, swollen lymph nodes are caused by a medical condition that should be evaluated by a physician.

In many diseases, from minor throat infections to potentially fatal cancers, lymph nodes become inflamed or enlarged. Lymph nodes may feel firm or tender when inflamed or enlarged. Lymphadenopathy is the official medical term for lymph node inflammation.

Infections, tumors, autoimmune disorders, drug interactions, and illnesses like amyloidosis and sarcoidosis, as well as lymphoma or leukemia, are just a few of the conditions that can cause swollen lymph nodes. Blood tests and scans may be required in addition to a medical examination by a qualified professional to further investigate the cause.

Swollen Lymph Nodes With Allergies

It is, however, possible to experience swollen lymph nodes and seasonal allergies at the same time, which may explain why some people conclude that the two are related.

Furthermore, those who suffer from allergic rhinitis may be more vulnerable to secondary infections like sinus infections. This is especially true if their sinuses are prone to congestion as a result of seasonal allergies.

So, if you have swollen lymph nodes in addition to allergy symptoms, the most likely cause is a secondary infection of some sort.

Swollen Lymph Nodes With a Cold

It is certainly possible to have swollen lymph nodes at the same time as a viral infection or respiratory illness like the common cold or the flu. Swollen lymph nodes are typically a sign of such an infection rather than an allergy.

While the common cold is brought on by a virus infection, allergic rhinitis is a specific immune system reaction to an allergy trigger. In contrast to common cold symptoms, which appear 2-3 days after virus exposure, allergic rhinitis symptoms appear immediately after exposure to a trigger.

But for many people, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and the common cold are often confused because they are so similar. This could further explain why people make the connection between swollen lymph nodes and a nasal drip.

When to See the Doctor

If you're worried about your swollen lymph nodes, especially if they've developed for no apparent reason, consult a doctor. It may be cause for concern if the glands continue to enlarge or if they have been present for two to four weeks. Additionally, watch out for lymph nodes that feel dense, rubbery, or don't move when you press on them.

If you experience severe seasonal allergy symptoms, such as recurring sinus infections, nasal congestion, or breathing problems, along with swollen lymph nodes, you should see your doctor right away. This will enable you to receive a definitive diagnosis of the infection and treatment recommendations.

Swollen lymph nodes should improve as your body recovers from the infection. However, another compelling reason to consult your doctor is if your glands are noticeably swollen or if the pain continues.

How to Relieve Swollen Lymph Nodes

In conjunction with your doctor's advice, you may get some relief from swollen or painful lymph nodes by following these home remedies:

  • Apply a warm compress. Use a hot, wet washcloth that has been wrung out to apply a soothing, moist compress to the injured area. A warm compress may aid in opening the airways and enhancing breathing if you also experience seasonal allergies.
  • Take pain medication. Take a pain reliever that is available over the counter, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Antihistamines taken orally may also help ease allergy-related symptoms. When giving aspirin to children, especially those who have flu or chickenpox symptoms, use caution. Talk to your doctor first if you are concerned.
  • Get enough sleep. To recover from the underlying infection that is causing your swollen lymph nodes and allergy-like symptoms, you most likely would benefit from getting lots of rest.

Final Thoughts

Multiple infections can cause swollen lymph nodes, which can feel painful below the chin, on the sides of the neck, in the groin, or under the arms. While it is unlikely that seasonal allergies are the cause of swollen glands, it is possible to experience both symptoms simultaneously. Furthermore, allergy symptoms like a runny nose can simply be mistaken for signs of a respiratory illness which may more likely be the cause of glandular swelling.

Your doctor will be able to properly diagnose and treat the infection. In the meantime, you can help reduce symptoms with the use of a hot compress, over-the-counter medications, and by getting lots of rest. As the underlying cause gets better, the inflammation and discomfort typically subside within two weeks.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Louise