It’s allergy season once again, which means, more and more people will start asking the question, “can allergies cause swollen lymph nodes?”
The abundance of pollens and other allergens in the air can result into any or a combination of the following things: runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin, and excess mucus that often leads to congestion when not taken care of immediately. Often times, seasonal allergies may also result into swollen lymph nodes, although the connection between the two is not always direct.
For example, while seasonal allergies don’t necessarily always cause swollen lymph nodes, it can cause ear or sinus infections, which are some of the most common causes of having swollen lymph nodes.
Swollen lymph nodes are very rarely a sign of something worse. Often, they just come and go. But, if your swollen lymph nodes last for far longer than you are comfortable with, or to the point that it starts to bother you, always consult your physician for their expert opinion.
Why do Lymph Nodes Swell?
The human body is littered with lymph nodes. You can find them on your neck, ears, armpits, groin, and more. Their function is basically similar to policemen – they enforce and monitor the “law” in specific areas of the human body, fighting off any signs of infection as soon as they show up.
When these infections show up in any of their areas, the lymph nodes start going to work. This is why the lymph nodes swell. If you’re feeling down and have a cold, you’ll notice that the lymph nodes on the back of your neck will start swelling. Don’t be alarmed if it starts swelling to about an inch in diameter. That’s just a sign that your body is fighting off the foreign invaders.
Is It Possible for Lymph Nodes to Swell All of the Sudden?
Yes. It is.
There are cases where the lymph node starts swelling without really any particular reason at all. It happens. However, this does not mean that you should take lymph node swelling lightly and treat it as something harmless. In fact, swollen lymph nodes could be a something of something far worse.
Again, that rarely happens.
If you notice that your lymph nodes are swelling, check if you’re feeling well or if your allergies are acting up. If you’re showing no other signs or symptoms, you can choose to let it be for a while. But, if it appears all of a sudden and lasts for weeks, or even months, you can check in with your doctor for further testing, such as a biopsy, to find out if it’s something that you should be worried about.
More often than not, when lymph nodes swell, it’s a good sign. But it may also be a symptom of a form of cancer known as lymphoma.
As alarming as that may sound, lymphoma is very rare and one of the rare forms of cancer that is curable. So, if you notice that your lymph nodes are swelling, try not to overreact. Observe and watch how long it take for it to go away. Don’t be too relaxed either. Because persistent lymph node swelling can be a sign, requiring biopsy to confirm.