How Do Allergies Affect My Tonsils?

Do you have allergies? Still have your tonsils? If you said yes to both, you will likely experience some problems with your tonsils at some point. Let’s investigate the connection. How do allergies affect my tonsils?

Your First Protective BarrierWoman holding her throat.

We don’t think much about our tonsils unless we get a sore throat or some other infection. What exactly are tonsils for and are they really of any use? These two clumps of tissue in our throat actually play an important part of your immune system and act as a filter. They fight off germs and other pathogens that enter our mouth and nose.

They filter out bacteria, viruses, and debris like allergens, especially pollen and food particles. Unfortunately, and ironically, they are prone to infections.

Problematic Tonsil Issues

You may experience tonsillitis, where your tonsils become inflamed and swollen. This is normally accompanied by a sore throat, fever, and white or yellow patches on the tonsils.

You can experience tonsillitis as an acute condition where symptoms last up to two weeks. You can also have tonsillitis multiple times a year known as recurrent, or chronic tonsillitis, meaning long term.

Environmental irritants including dust, allergens, and pollution can also cause throat irritation and inflammation. Sometimes these irritants can work together with sinusitis and seasonal allergies to trigger inflammation in the upper airways causing swollen tonsils.

Don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself. This is the time to seek help from an ENT specialist like Southern California Ear, Nose, & Throat.

A Tonsillectomy May Be In Your Future

Decades ago a child’s tonsils were removed quite frequently, and many adults remember having that jello and ice cream dinner.

Today physicians are more conservative. Adults who need to have their tonsils surgically removed suffer with certain issues, which include the following:

  • If you have 7 cases of tonsillitis within a year – or 10 cases within 2 years
  • Having adult-onset sleep apnea
  • Enlarged tonsils that require your airway opened
  • When allergy treatments don’t work any more

In addition, if these symptoms are coupled with chronic ear infections, frequent nosebleeds, hearing loss, being a mouth breather, abnormal speech or difficulty swallowing, a tonsillectomy may be recommended.

Contact Southern California Ear, Nose, & Throat for an evaluation of your tonsil-related issues caused by infections or allergies.