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Scratchy throat, swollen glands, lump in throat, hives. Does this sound like allergies? Do the white spots concern you?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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For a while now I've had something going on with my throat that I do not understand. I've suspected allergies and have always struggled with hay fever. This season was pretty bad with stuffy nose and post-nasal drip. I've had some strange reactions after eating. My throat gets scratchy, the glands under my jaw feel like they are swelling. Sometimes it feels like my throat tightens, or I have a lump/something in my throat I can't swallow. I've had a few times where I've had hives on my arms. A couple times I've noticed my lips swelling shortly after eating. After a while things go back to normal. I haven't found one specific food that I can tie it to. I tend to be a fairly anxious person, and at times I notice it happening when I am in a stressful situation. The only thing that I can truly say I've found to be a pattern is that I wake up every morning feeling fine, and as the day progresses and I eat a meal or hit something stressful I can feel my throat react. It does not feel like a sore throat where you want a cough drop to soothe it. It feels scratchy. It feels like my nose and eyes do when I have hay fever. I do not have a fever. I recently noticed some small bumps on my soft palate. They do not hurt. They kind of feel like a little spot of sandpaper on my soft palate. The glossopalatine arch (I looked it up so I could tell you where it is. I normally have no clue what a glossopalatine arch is!)is reddish and there are some small white dots on it. My left tonsil is a little enlarged, but I cannot see any white spots on it. My ears are kind of crackly when I yawn. I take Prilosec for heartburn. The white spots in the back of my mouth make me wonder if there is an infection, but I do not have a fever, and nothing in my mouth really "hurts". Other than my throat I feel fine.
Does this sound like alleriges to you? Do the white spots concern you? They haven't really gotten worse, but they do not seem to get better. It seems almost like an irritation of sorts, but I don't want to ignore and infection if that is what it is.
I'm 40 years old. Female. 5'7" 215 pounds. Other than what I describe above I'm in good health. I do not smoke, drink, or do any type of drugs.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 8 hours later

Thanks for the query and the elaborate history.

According to the history mentioned by you, it is suggestive of Allergic Rhinosinusitis with Globus pharyngeus.

The features suggestive of Allergic rhinosinusitis are:
1. Previous history of nasal allergy (Hay fever) with hives in the arms
2. Nasal stuffiness
3. Post nasal discharge
4. The granular sand paper appearance of the mucosa on the back of the throat (also called pharyngeal wall) and the soft palate

As you have also mentioned that you are very anxious and you feel a sort of discomfort in the throat, all these are related to a condition called Globus Pharyngeus (a subjective feeling of a lump in the back of the throat without actual dysphagia). Sometimes, when there is a lot of stress or anxiety involved, acid tends to increase in the stomach and regurgitates back into the throat causing irritation with discomfort in the throat.

At this juncture, I would like to suggest you to start on a short course of steroid nasal spray to relieve the nasal stuffiness, and a mucolytic (such as ambroxol or bromhexine) to reduce the post nasal discharge and relieve the throat discomfort. All the medications should be taken after consulting your physician or an ENT specialist. Do steam inhalation 3-4 times a day and drink plenty of warm water, this will reduce the nasal as well as the throat congestion and also helps in hydrating the tissues. Avoid coffee and those beverages which induces allergy.

Remember! There is no cure for allergy, only the preventive measures can get rid of you from allergy.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Scratchy throat, swollen glands, lump in throat, hives. Does this sound like allergies? Do the white spots concern you? 9 hours later
Thank you very much for your response. I know you cannot see my throat to make a diagnosis, but in your experience can Allergic Rhinosinusitis cause irritation to the point of a red area in my thoat with white spots on it?

Is there anything over the counter that can relieve symptoms until I get in to see my doctor?

Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 44 minutes later

Thanks for writing back

Yes, Allergic Rhinosinusitis can cause throat pain with granular appearance of the posterior pharyngeal wall (back of the throat), called as Granular Pharyngitis. These granules like structures are the hypertrophic lymphoid follicles on the posterior pharyngeal wall as a response to the inflammation in that area.

You can follow the household remedies as I mentioned in my previous posts such as drinking plenty of warm water, steam inhalation, use of saline nasal spray and avoiding coffee as well as chilled beverages.

Wish you good health

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Scratchy throat, swollen glands, lump in throat, hives. Does this sound like allergies? Do the white spots concern you? 2 hours later
Thank you very much. I do not have any more questions, I just wanted to thank you properly for your kind help.

Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 8 hours later

Thank you for your appreciation. We will always look forward to help you with any health related issues in future also.

I wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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