Your tonsils might be the most underrated parts of your body. They’re also prone to be impacted by many genetic and environmental factors that limit or even stop their performance. Why are tonsils so important to your health, and can something as simple as allergy season affect them negatively?
WHAT ARE TONSILS?
Your tonsils are two round lumps of soft tissue located in the back of your throat. They are part of the body’s lymphatic system and work with the immune system to help fight germs and pathogens that enter your mouth or nose with white blood cells. However, as a result of their location and function in filtering, the tonsils are also prone to infections.
WHAT ARE COMMON TONSIL ISSUES?
One of the most common conditions affecting tonsils is tonsillitis. This is an inflammation of the tonsils accompanied by other symptoms such as sore throat, white or yellow coating, and a fever. Tonsilitis appears in three forms: acute (symptoms up to two weeks), recurrent (multiple times a year), and chronic (long-term). Another issue for your tonsils is tonsil stones, or tonsiliths. These pieces of yellowish-white hard material cause many of the same symptoms of tonsillitis but are caused by debris caught in the tonsillar crypts (openings in the tonsils).
CAN ALLERGIES CAUSE TONSIL ISSUES?
Allergic reactions in general can cause sore throats due to increased nasal drainage, but they can also impact your tonsil health. Your tonsils work as a filtration system against bacteria, viruses, and debris, the latter of which includes allergens like pollen and food particles. If one was to have an allergic reaction to certain types of food or other allergens, it could lead to upper respiratory inflammation and, as a result, swollen tonsils. This swelling can also affect your appetite and sleep habits with obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Jonathan Moss, a CEENTA allergy specialist who sees patients in our Matthews office, knows exactly how prevalent these symptoms can be in his community due to environmental factors. “With pollen levels that we see seasonally in Charlotte, symptoms outside the nose and eyes are not uncommon. Tonsils can be affected and, at times, not respond to allergy medications. If these symptoms are new or persist, an evaluation by an ENT physician would be worthwhile.”
Whether your tonsil conditions are caused by infection or allergies, it is important to seek medical help whenever they occur. At CEENTA, we offer ENT services to treat tonsil-related issues along with allergy tests to diagnose and relieve allergy symptoms due to pollen, ragweed, and other environmental causes. Schedule an appointment with specialists like Dr. Moss today to get the comprehensive care you need any time of year.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with any of our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.