Often you will feel a small bump on your neck. These bumps will be tender, maybe the size of a pea, or a bit larger, and sometimes, it might be painful to touch. This swelling, which you can feel is due to the swelling of the lymph nodes that are present in our body. The lymphatic system in our body consists of numerous lymph nodes which are located mainly in the head and the neck region, and the armpit and the groin area. Some large-sized lymph nodes can also be found in the chest region. Sometimes, if these nodes become infected, they might start swelling up. Similarly, due to certain reasons, the lymph glands which are located in the neck region can also swell up.
The lymph nodes which are located in our body can sometimes swell up due to various reasons such as inflammatory infections, cold, or sometimes, even cancer. Usually the lymph nodes are a bit difficult to feel with your fingers when they are in their normal condition, but when they swell, you can easily feel them as they are right under the skin. Following are some of the causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck:
One of the major painful cause is any kind of infection in the body. The lymph glands which are located near to the infection are the ones that start swelling up. Once the infection is taken care of, the gland reduces back to its normal size, but this might take time depending on the severity of the infection. Some of the major infections which are the main causes include:
- Some kind of throat infection or maybe tonsillitis.
- Viral infections like the glandular fever affects the whole body. Hence, besides the neck, the glands in the armpit and the groin area might also swell up.
- Some kind of skin infection near the neck can also lead to swelling of the nodes in that area.
- Infectious mononucleosis, also called the 'kissing disease', is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, and it is accompanied by fever, cold, and also swelling of the lymph nodes.
- Viral throat infection is another cause for swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Certain bacterial infections like, strep throat also leads to swollen lymph nodes
- Infection in the ear or dental problems, or infection of the sinus causes swelling up of the glands in the neck.
Infection in any part of the body, was one of the major cause of swollen glands in the throat. There's one more reason which could also lead to swollen neck glands, and although this cause is likely, it should not be ignored, and that cause is cancer.
There are certain cancers which are the main causes, and those are leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. Besides these, oral cancer, and even cancer in the larynx can lead to swelling up of the lymph glands in the neck. These glands may or may not be painful, and that depends upon the type and stage of the cancer.
Other causes include a cut or a bite near the lymph node, HIV/AIDS, some kind of dental problems like gingivitis, etc.
There are several treatment methods available, which depend upon the cause of the swelling. If the cause is viral or bacterial infection, then medication is required to treat that particular infection. Lavender oil and petroleum jelly mixed together, and applied on the swollen glands is great for reducing the swelling.
If you feel a bump on your neck or maybe in your armpit or near the groin area, then it's better if you visit the doctor, specially if it does not go away after two weeks.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.