Where are your neck lymph nodes located: Swollen lymph nodes Information | Mount Sinai
Swollen lymph nodes Information | Mount Sinai
Swollen glands; Glands – swollen; Lymph nodes – swollen; Lymphadenopathy
Lymph nodes are present throughout your body. They are an important part of your immune system. Lymph nodes help your body recognize and fight germs, infections, and other foreign substances.
The term “swollen glands” refers to enlargement of one or more lymph nodes. The medical name for swollen lymph nodes is lymphadenopathy.
In a child, a node is considered enlarged if it is more than 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) wide.
The lymphatic system has two main functions. Its network of vessels, valves, ducts, nodes, and organs helps balance the body’s fluid by draining excess fluid, known as lymph, from the body’s tissue and returning it to the blood after filtering it. Some types of blood cells are also made in the lymph nodes.
The lymphatic system also plays an important role in the body’s immune system.
Infection, even a trivial infection is, the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes.
Let’s look at a cut section of a lymph node to see what happens.
Afferent means towards. Afferent lymph vessels bring unfiltered fluids from the body into the lymph node where they are filtered.
Efferent vessels, meaning away from, carry the clean fluid away and back to the bloodstream where it helps form plasma.
When the body is invaded by foreign organisms, the swelling sometimes felt in the neck, armpits, groin, or tonsils comes from the microorganisms trapped inside the lymph nodes.
Eventually, these organisms are destroyed and eliminated by cells that line the node walls. Then the swelling and pain subside.
The lymphatic system filters fluid from around cells. It is an important part of the immune system. When people refer to swollen glands in the neck, they are usually referring to swollen lymph nodes. Common areas where lymph nodes can be easily felt, especially if they are enlarged, are the groin, armpits (axilla), above the clavicle (supraclavicular), in the neck (cervical), and the back of the head just above hairline (occipital).
Swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, fatigue and headache are some of the symptoms of mononucleosis, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is generally self-limiting and most patients can recover in 4 to 6 weeks without medicines.
The lymphatic system is a complex system of fluid drainage and transport, and immune response and disease resistance. Fluid that is forced out of the bloodstream during normal circulation is filtered through lymph nodes to remove bacteria, abnormal cells and other matter. This fluid is then transported back into the bloodstream via the lymph vessels. Lymph only moves in one direction, toward the heart.
Lymph nodes produce immune cells to help fight infection. They also filter the lymph fluid and remove foreign material, such as bacteria and cancer cells. They can become swollen from inflammatory conditions, an abscess, cancer, and most commonly from infection. Common areas where lymph nodes can be felt include the groin, armpit, behind the ears, back of the head, sides of the neck and under the jaw and chin.
Lymph nodes play an important part in the body’s defense against infection. Swelling might occur even if the infection is trivial or not apparent. Swelling of lymph nodes generally results from localized or systemic infection, abscess formation, or malignancy.
Common areas where the lymph nodes can be felt (with the fingers) include:
- Neck (there is a chain of lymph nodes on either side of the front of the neck, both sides of the neck, and down each side of the back of the neck)
- Under the jaw and chin
- Behind the ears
- On the back of the head
Infections are the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes. Infections that can cause them include:
- Abscessed or impacted tooth
- Ear infection
- Colds, flu, and other infections
- Swelling (inflammation) of gums (gingivitis)
- Mouth sores
- Sexually transmitted illness (STI)
- Skin infections
Immune or autoimmune disorders that can cause swollen lymph nodes are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Cancers that can cause swollen lymph nodes include:
- Hodgkin disease
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Many other cancers may also cause this problem.
Certain medicines can cause swollen lymph nodes, including:
- Seizure medicines, such as phenytoin
- Typhoid immunization
Which lymph nodes are swollen depends on the cause and the body parts involved. Swollen lymph nodes that appear suddenly and are painful are usually due to injury or infection. Slow, painless swelling may be due to cancer or a tumor.
Painful lymph nodes are generally a sign that your body is fighting an infection. The soreness usually goes away in a couple of days without treatment. The lymph node may not return to its normal size for several weeks.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your health care provider if:
- Your lymph nodes do not get smaller after several weeks or they continue to get larger.
- They are red and tender.
- They feel hard, irregular, or fixed in place.
- You have fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.
- Any node in a child is larger than 1 centimeter (a little less than half inch) in diameter.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical examination and ask about your medical history and symptoms. Examples of questions that may be asked include:
- When the swelling began
- If the swelling came on suddenly
- Whether any nodes are painful when pressed
The following tests may be done:
- Blood tests, including liver function tests, kidney function tests, and CBC with differential
- Lymph node biopsy
- Chest x-ray
- Liver-spleen scan
Treatment depends on the cause of the swollen nodes.
Tower RL, Camitta BM. Lymphadenopathy. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 517.
Winter JN. Approach to the patient with lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 159.
Last reviewed on: 1/29/2022
Reviewed by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Swollen lymph nodes – Symptoms & causes
Swollen lymph nodes usually occur as a result of infection from bacteria or viruses. Rarely, swollen lymph nodes are caused by cancer.
Your lymph nodes, also called lymph glands, play a vital role in your body’s ability to fight off infections. They function as filters, trapping viruses, bacteria and other causes of illnesses before they can infect other parts of your body. Common areas where you might notice swollen lymph nodes include your neck, under your chin, in your armpits and in your groin.
Lymph node locations
Your lymph nodes play a vital role in your body’s ability to fight off infections. Common areas where you might notice swollen lymph nodes include your neck, under your chin, in your armpits and in your groin.
Swollen lymph nodes
One of the most common places to find swollen lymph nodes is in the neck. The inset shows three swollen lymph nodes below the lower jaw.
In some cases, the passage of time and warm compresses may be all you need to treat swollen lymph nodes. If an infection causes swollen lymph nodes, treatment depends on the cause.
Products & Services
Your lymphatic system is a network of organs, vessels and lymph nodes situated throughout your body. Many lymph nodes are located in your head and neck region. Lymph nodes that frequently swell are in this area, as well as in your armpits and groin area.
Swollen lymph nodes are a sign that something is wrong somewhere in your body. When your lymph nodes first swell, you might notice:
- Tenderness and pain in the lymph nodes
- Swelling that may be the size of a pea or kidney bean, or even larger in the lymph nodes
Depending on the cause of your swollen lymph nodes, other signs and symptoms you might have include:
- Runny nose, sore throat, fever and other indications of an upper respiratory infection
- General swelling of lymph nodes throughout your body. When this occurs, it may indicate an infection, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or mononucleosis, or an immune system disorder, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Hard, fixed, rapidly growing nodes, indicating a possible cancer or lymphoma
- Night sweats
When to see a doctor
Some swollen lymph nodes return to normal when the underlying condition, such as a minor infection, gets better. See your doctor if you’re concerned or if your swollen lymph nodes:
- Have appeared for no apparent reason
- Continue to enlarge or have been present for two to four weeks
- Feel hard or rubbery, or don’t move when you push on them
- Are accompanied by persistent fever, night sweats or unexplained weight loss
Seek immediate medical care if you’re having difficulty swallowing or breathing.
Lymph nodes are small, round or bean-shaped clusters of cells. Inside lymph nodes are a combination of different types of immune system cells. These specialized cells filter your lymphatic fluid as it travels through your body and protect you by destroying invaders.
Lymph nodes are located in groups, and each group drains a specific area of your body. You may be more likely to notice swelling in certain areas, such as in the lymph nodes in your neck, under your chin, in your armpits and in your groin. The site of the swollen lymph nodes may help identify the underlying cause.
The most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is an infection, particularly a viral infection, such as the common cold. Other possible causes of swollen lymph nodes include:
- Strep throat
- Ear infections
- Infected (abscessed) tooth
- Skin or wound infections, such as cellulitis
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — the virus that causes AIDS
- Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis
- Toxoplasmosis — a parasitic infection resulting from contact with the feces of an infected cat or eating undercooked meat
- Cat scratch fever — a bacterial infection from a cat scratch or bite
Immune system disorders
- Lupus — a chronic inflammatory disease that targets your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs
- Rheumatoid arthritis — a chronic inflammatory disease targeting the tissue that lines your joints (synovium)
- Lymphoma — cancer that originates in your lymphatic system
- Leukemia — cancer of your body’s blood-forming tissue, including your bone marrow and lymphatic system
- Other cancers that have spread (metastasized) to lymph nodes
Other possible but rare causes include certain medications, such as the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin) and preventive medications for malaria.
If infection is the cause of your swollen lymph nodes and isn’t treated, an abscess may form. Abscesses are localized collections of pus caused by infections. Pus contains fluid, white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria or other invaders. An abscess may require drainage and antibiotic treatment.
Why there is inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck: causes, symptoms, treatment
- 1 Causes and treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck: how to get rid of unpleasant symptoms?
- 1.1 Causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.1.1 Infections
- 1.1.2 Dental problems
- 1.1.3 Skin lesions
- 1.1.4 Oncology
- 1.2 Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.2.1 General information
- 1.2.2 Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.2.3 When should I see a doctor?
- 1. 3 Diagnosis of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.3.1 Medical history
- 1.3.2 Examination
- 1.3.3 Laboratory and instrumental studies
- 1. 3.4 Biopsy
- 1.4 Treatment of swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.4.1 General principles of treatment
- 1.4.2 Treatment of swollen lymph nodes in the neck in children
- 1.4.3 Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck with lymphadenitis
- 1.5 How to avoid inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck?
- 1.6 Inflammation of the lymph nodes in children
- 1.6.1 Causes
- 1.6.2 Symptoms
- 1.6.3 Treatment
- 1.6.4 Prevention
- 1.7 When should you see a doctor for swollen lymph nodes in your neck?
- 1.8 Association between swollen lymph nodes in the neck and cancer
- 1.9 Related videos:
- 1.10 Question-answer:
- 22.214.171.124 What are lymph nodes and why does the body need them?
- 1. 10.0.2 What causes inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck?
- 126.96.36.199 How is inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck diagnosed?
- 188.8.131.52 How is swollen lymph nodes in the neck treated?
- 184.108.40.206 Can swollen lymph nodes in the neck go away on their own?
- 220.127.116.11 How can inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck be prevented?
- 1.11 Other causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- 1.12 Conclusions
- 1.1 Causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
Find out the main causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck and how they can be treated to restore health and improve well-being. Read the article on our website and do not put off taking care of your health!
Lymph nodes are part of the body’s lymphatic system that perform an important protective function. They act as a barrier that prevents the penetration of infections and harmful substances into the tissues and organs of the human body. However, sometimes the lymph nodes themselves can become the site of infection or stress conditions, causing inflammation and enlargement.
Especially often the lymph nodes become inflamed in the neck, where a large number of lymph nodes are located. The causes of inflammation can be diseases of the upper respiratory tract (throat, nose), teeth, ulcers, colds. Also, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can be a sign of serious diseases – tumors, infections, tuberculosis.
To identify inflammation of the lymph nodes and determine the causes of its occurrence, it is necessary to conduct a diagnosis and consult a specialist. Depending on the circumstances, treatment may include the use of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and anti-tuberculosis drugs, recommendations to strengthen the immune system and prevent possible diseases.
Causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can be caused by various infections. For example, it can be the flu, SARS, tonsillitis, runny nose, chicken pox, streptococcal infection and others. During the body’s fight against infection, the lymph nodes increase in size and become inflamed, which signals that the body is fighting the infection.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can be associated with diseases of the teeth and gums, such as caries, gingivitis, periodontitis. In this case, the inflammation of the lymph nodes is the body’s response to the bacteria that cause the disease.
Injuries to the skin
Injuries and various injuries to the scalp and neck can also lead to inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck. Lymph nodes become inflamed to help the body fight infection that can occur as a result of skin damage.
It is possible that inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck may be associated with various cancers, such as lymphoma or head and neck cancer. In such cases, the inflammation of the lymph nodes does not go away, but increases with time, so it is important to consult a doctor to rule out oncology.
Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is often a sign of an infection in the body. The lymph nodes in the neck are close to the surface of the skin and their inflammation can lead to pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
The main symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck are:
- Hypersensitivity in the area of the lymph nodes;
- Soreness when touching lymph nodes;
- Enlarged lymph nodes. Depending on the cause of inflammation of the lymph nodes, they may increase in size to varying degrees;
- Swelling of surrounding tissues in the area of inflammation of the lymph nodes;
- Headache, fever, fatigue, general malaise.
When should I see a doctor?
If you notice swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes in your neck, be sure to seek medical attention. The doctor will conduct the necessary examination and find out the cause of the inflammation of the lymph nodes and prescribe an effective treatment.
Diagnosis of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
The first step in the diagnosis of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is to take an anamnesis of the disease. The doctor should ask the patient about the presence of symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever. It is also necessary to find out if the patient has had similar symptoms before and how they were treated.
After taking the medical history, the patient is examined. The doctor checks for swelling and redness in the neck. He also palpates the lymph nodes and determines their size and condition. If a tumor is present, the doctor may recommend a more detailed examination.
Laboratory and instrumental research
Laboratory and instrumental research methods are used to diagnose inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck. Blood is taken for general analysis and detection of inflammatory processes in the body. You can also prescribe an ultrasound to more accurately identify the condition of the lymph nodes and determine the presence of tumors.
In some cases, a biopsy may be ordered to determine the cause of swollen lymph nodes in the neck. During a biopsy, a small sample of lymph node tissue is taken and examined under a microscope. This allows you to identify the presence of infectious agents or tumors.
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
General principles of treatment
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck depends on its cause. However, there are general principles of treatment:
- Prescription of antiviral, antibacterial or antifungal drugs;
- Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs;
- Completeness and correctness of nutrition;
A few days before the start of treatment, it is recommended to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and fatigue.
Treatment of swollen lymph nodes in the neck in children
In case of swollen lymph nodes in the neck of children, a pediatrician should be consulted. The purpose of treatment depends on the cause of the inflammation. However, there are general principles of treatment:
- Carrying out hygiene procedures;
- Use of anti-inflammatory drugs, certain antibiotics or antimycotic drugs;
- Completeness and correctness of nutrition.
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck with lymphadenitis
Lymphadenitis is an acute form of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, which can lead to complications. With lymphadenitis, along with the standard treatment necessary for other forms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, local therapy is carried out:
- Use of antibiotics;
- Washing the inflamed area;
- Use of medical dressings or application of a medical compress;
- Occasionally, surgery may be required to remove pus deposits.
In case of lymphadenitis, it is not recommended to prescribe treatment on your own, you should consult an infectologist or otolaryngologist.
How to avoid inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck?
Lymph nodes in the neck are part of our immune system that protects us from infection and disease. They may enlarge due to inflammation, also known as lymphadenitis.
To prevent swollen lymph nodes, we recommend:
- Maintain good hygiene — Wash your hands regularly and practice basic hygiene. This helps prevent infection and the spread of bacteria and infections.
- Avoid possible sources of infection – Avoid contact with people who have infectious diseases such as influenza or SARS.
- Support the immune system – Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and physical activity. It strengthens the immune system and helps fight viral and bacterial infections.
If you have signs of swollen lymph nodes, such as soreness or redness in your neck, seek medical attention. Don’t try to treat yourself, as this can make the problem worse.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in children
Inflammation of the lymph nodes is a signal that disease processes are occurring in the child’s body. It can be caused by infectious diseases such as SARS, influenza or tonsillitis, as well as a number of other acute diseases. In addition, the lymph nodes can become inflamed as a result of allergic reactions to food, medicines, or other allergens.
Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in children may vary depending on the cause of the disease. Usually, swollen lymph nodes in the neck cause pain and discomfort, as well as an increase in their size. The child may experience weakness, dizziness, low body temperature, fever and other symptoms that are characteristic of a disease that causes inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in children should be directed to the treatment of the underlying disease. If the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In the event of an allergic reaction, it is necessary to identify the allergen and eliminate it from the child’s diet. In most cases, inflamed lymph nodes go away on their own after the treatment of the underlying disease. However, if necessary, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain medication.
- Avoid contact between the child and sick people;
- Strengthen your child’s immune system: maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat right, spend a lot of time outdoors;
- Wash your hands regularly and teach your child to do the same;
- Take care of your child’s oral hygiene: brush your teeth, use dental floss and mouth water;
- Get all the necessary vaccinations, if necessary, to boost your child’s immune system.
When should you see a doctor for swollen lymph nodes in your neck?
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can be a sign of various diseases. In most cases, it is caused by an infection, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as cancer. Therefore, it is very important to see a doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes: If you notice swollen lymph nodes in your neck, this may indicate an infection or tumor. If the lymph nodes have become longer for a long time, be sure to visit a doctor.
- Pain: If you feel pain on palpation of the lymph nodes or if they become tender, this may indicate an infection or inflammation. However, it can also be a sign of a more serious illness. In any case, this requires the attention of a doctor.
- Bitterness in the mouth: If you feel that you have a bitter taste in your mouth after eating, this may be a sign of swollen lymph nodes. Consult a doctor to clarify the diagnosis.
- High temperature: If you have other symptoms that accompany inflammation of the lymph nodes, as well as fever, this may indicate more serious diseases, such as viral and bacterial infections.
Association between swollen lymph nodes in the neck and cancer
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck can be caused by many factors, one of which is cancer. Cancer occurs in tissues, which are made up of cells that grow and divide rapidly. When these cells begin to grow and multiply in an uncontrolled way, they form a tumor. This tumor can spread to nearby tissues, including lymph nodes.
Cancer causes inflammation of the lymph nodes, as they are part of the lymphatic system, which is designed to protect the body from infection and disease. The lymphatic system also plays an important role in the fight against cancer. So when the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, it can cause them to become inflamed.
However, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is not always associated with cancer. There are many other causes such as infections, allergies, or diseases that can cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Therefore, if you find an inflamed lymph node, do not panic and consult a doctor to establish the correct diagnosis.
In any case, if you suspect cancer, you should contact an oncologist for diagnosis and treatment. Cancer is a serious disease that requires complex treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
In conclusion, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck may be associated with cancer, but not always. Therefore, if you find an inflamed lymph node, do not waste time and contact a specialist to establish an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment.
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What are lymph nodes and why does the body need them?
Lymph nodes are small organs of the lymphatic system that play an important role in protecting the body from infection and disease. They filter the lymph, remove bacteria, viruses and other impurities from it, and also produce lymphocytes – cells that develop immune responses to diseases.
What causes inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck?
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can be caused by various causes, such as infectious diseases (influenza, SARS, tonsillitis), viruses (HIV, herpes), bacteria (staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus), cancer, allergic reactions, as well as reactions to drugs or vaccinations.
How is inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck diagnosed?
Diagnosis of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck begins with a visual examination and palpation of the lymph nodes. Further, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsy and other research methods may be prescribed to determine the cause of inflammation.
How is inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck treated?
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck depends on the cause that caused the inflammation. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat infectious diseases, antiviral drugs for viral diseases, and antihistamines for allergic reactions. In cases of cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy may be prescribed.
Can swollen lymph nodes in the neck go away on their own?
Yes, swollen lymph nodes in the neck can go away on their own if they were caused by an infectious disease and the body has coped with the disease. However, if the inflammation does not go away within a few weeks or other symptoms appear, it is necessary to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
How can inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck be prevented?
To prevent inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, it is necessary to practice good hygiene, wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with sick people. It is also recommended to strengthen the immune system, eat right, lead an active lifestyle and avoid stressful situations.
Other causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
Although the most common cause of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is associated with infectious diseases, there are other causes of this condition. For example, some types of cancer can lead to swollen lymph nodes, which can also cause inflammation. Blood diseases such as lymphoma and leukemia can also cause swollen lymph nodes.
In some cases, errors in the immune system can cause inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck. Sometimes, inflammation of the lymph nodes is associated with a reaction to food allergens or external irritants such as dust or smoke. This can happen due to the fact that the white blood cells in the lymph nodes are actively fighting foreign substances in the body.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can also be caused by certain drugs. For example, antibiotics and antidepressants can cause a reaction in the body, which manifests itself in the form of inflammation of the lymph nodes. Some causes of inflammation, such as thrombophilia and metastatic cancer, can also lead to swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- Reminder: If the lymph nodes in the neck are enlarged and do not go away for more than two weeks, it is necessary to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
As a result of the study, we can draw the following conclusions:
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is a fairly common disease . It can cause discomfort and pain in the neck, as well as act as a symptom of other diseases, such as influenza or SARS.
- There are several types of lymph nodes in the neck, all of which can be inflamed . This can be determined by a doctor during examination and palpation of the throat and neck.
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck can occur due to various causes , such as bacterial or viral infections, autoimmune diseases or cancer. Each of these causes may require its own treatment.
- Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck depends on its cause . This may include medication, physical therapy, or even surgery if malignant tumors are found.
- To prevent inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, you need to pay attention to your health , strengthen the immune system, maintain hygiene and disease prevention.
In general, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck is not a dangerous disease, but requires careful attention and timely treatment. At the first symptoms, you should consult a doctor to diagnose and determine the correct treatment.
Enlargement of lymph nodes – the causes of occurrence, in what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment
Enlargement of lymph nodes – the causes of the appearance, in which diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment.
Lymph nodes are small biological filters related to the lymphatic system. Their main function is to protect the body. Lymph nodes allow the flow of lymph through themselves and in their structures trap pathogens that are destroyed by protective cells – lymphocytes.
Under the sight of the lymph nodes are bacteria, tumor cells and toxic substances.
What are lymph nodes? These are small accumulations of lymphoid tissue located on the connective tissue frame.
Lymphoid tissue is a pool of cells that are involved in the destruction of damaged and tumor cells and microorganisms.
Swollen lymph nodes can be a symptom of both a mild infectious disease and a serious pathology that can lead to a severe outcome. Therefore, in all cases of enlarged lymph nodes, you should consult a doctor to diagnose and find out the cause.
Depending on the localization, the following groups of lymph nodes are distinguished:
- supraclavicular and subclavian;
During the examination, the doctor palpates (feels) the lymph nodes and determines their size, structure, soreness, skin changes over the lymph node.
Causes of swollen lymph nodes
An increase in lymph nodes indicates a pathological process. An isolated enlargement of the lymph node, or generalized lymphadenopathy, directly depends on the underlying cause of the disease.
Most cases of enlarged lymph nodes are temporary.
The reasons for the enlargement of the lymph nodes are:
- infectious processes;
- autoimmune diseases;
- tumor pathologies;
- accumulation diseases (a group of diseases accompanied by metabolic disorders).
Lymph nodes are involved in the formation of immunity, and with any infectious process, cell division is activated in them, protecting the body.
So, with brucellosis, tuberculosis, syphilis, diphtheria, bacteria can settle in the lymph nodes, causing inflammation. In this case, the lymph nodes increase in size due to the increased flow of lymph and blood.
Most often, lymph nodes enlarge with acute infections of the upper respiratory tract. Among them, the lymph nodes acquire the largest size with tonsillitis (tonsillitis).
Painful swollen lymph nodes can be a sign cat scratch disease (from the name it is clear that the disease occurs in persons scratched by a cat). The cause of the inflammatory process is the bacterium Bartonella henselae.
One of the clearest examples of a viral disease accompanied by a significant increase in lymph nodes is infectious mononucleosis . The disease is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus.
Infectious mononucleosis is more common in children and young adults. In addition to an increase in lymph nodes, it is characterized by an increase in body temperature, weakness and sore throat.
In children, generalized lymphadenopathy occurs with childhood infectious diseases , such as measles, rubella, parotitis, chicken pox.
Among other viral diseases accompanied by lymphadenopathy, it is worth noting HIV infection .
Lymphadenopathy in HIV infection is accompanied by a number of symptoms: weight loss, unexplained fever, night sweats, fatigue, and later infectious diseases (herpes, cytomegalovirus infection, candidiasis).
Systemic (autoimmune) connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus may be accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes. Under these conditions, there is a violation of the recognition of “foreign” and “own” proteins, as a result of which the body begins to attack its own cells. If the process is active, then the lymph nodes increase in size due to the increasing load.
Often, autoimmune diseases are accompanied by an enlarged spleen and additional symptoms.
With systemic lupus erythematosus, the skin, kidneys and serous membranes of internal organs are affected (lupus pleurisy, serositis occur). In rheumatoid arthritis, articular cartilage is predominantly affected.
Swollen lymph nodes may be a symptom of the progression of the tumor process in the body. Atypical (tumor) cells migrate to the lymph nodes, get stuck in them, multiply and stretch the node with their mass.
Separately, it is worth highlighting a group of malignant neoplasms that directly affect the lymphatic system.
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma , or lymphogranulomatosis occurs with the formation of conglomerates of affected immature lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and spleen.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas – a group of lymphoproliferative diseases.
Swollen lymph nodes can be a symptom storage diseases : some substance accumulates in organs and tissues, including lymph nodes, as a result of metabolic disorders. Among these diseases: hemochromatosis (iron accumulation), Wilson-Konovalov disease (copper accumulation) and other hereditary metabolic disorders.
Allergic reactions sometimes lead to enlarged lymph nodes. Hypersensitivity to certain drugs leads to generalized lymphadenopathy.
Among endocrinological diseases , hyperthyroidism may be characterized by lymphadenopathy, enlargement of the spleen and an increase in the content of lymphocytes in the blood. With treatment, all indicators return to normal.
It is worth remembering that all the lymph flowing from the organs passes through the lymph nodes, and if a person is engaged in heavy physical labor, then the elbow and popliteal lymph nodes can be enlarged due to a heavy load .
Also lymph nodes in rare cases increase after vaccination with on the respective side.
Which doctors should I contact with enlarged lymph nodes?
The adult should contact
and examines the child and teenager
. Depending on the associated symptoms, the following specialists may need to be consulted:
- infectious diseases doctor;
Diagnosis and examination of swollen lymph nodes
Treatment of enlarged lymph nodes
In most cases, lymphadenopathy resolves on its own and does not require specific treatment.
If the lymph nodes increase rapidly, are painful to the touch, the process is accompanied by other symptoms, including fever and weakness, you should consult a specialist.
The doctor will conduct the necessary examination and determine a set of therapeutic measures.
In case of bacterial inflammation, antibiotic therapy and the necessary symptomatic treatment (antipyretic and anti-inflammatory drugs) will be prescribed. With infectious mononucleosis, usually no specific therapy is required, mainly symptomatic treatment is carried out. If HIV infection is suspected, a thorough laboratory and instrumental examination is carried out and antiretroviral therapy is prescribed, as well as treatment of concomitant infections.
Various immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat autoimmune diseases. Depending on the indications, pulse therapy and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy can be used.
In case of tumor processes, the issue of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical treatment, as well as bone marrow transplantation is being decided.
What to do if the lymph nodes are enlarged?
First of all, the treatment of enlarged lymph nodes is aimed at treating the underlying disease that led to the development of this symptom. It is important to follow the rules of personal hygiene, organize the daily routine and balance the diet. Any treatment is prescribed by a doctor.
It is unacceptable to rub and warm the enlarged lymph node, lubricate it with ointments, try to crush it and treat it with any folk methods without consulting a specialist.
- Clinical guidelines “Acute tonsillitis and pharyngitis (Acute tonsillopharyngitis)”. Developed by: National Medical Association of Otorhinolaryngologists, Alliance of Clinical Chemotherapists and Microbiologists, Union of Pediatricians of Russia, Interregional Association for Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Euro-Asian Society for Infectious Diseases. – 2021.
- Clinical guidelines “HIV infection in adults.” Developed by: National Association of HIV Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Specialists, National Virological Association. – 2020.
- Clinical guidelines “Hodgkin’s lymphoma”. Developed by: National Society of Pediatric Hematologists, Oncologists, Association of Oncologists of Russia, Russian Professional Society of Oncohematologists, National Hematological Society.