Immune cells play a vital role of protecting your body from infections and diseases. Lymph nodes are glands that act as destroyers of any foreign invasions in the body. We shall learn about lymph nodes of the head and neck, in the following.
The human body is often invaded with foreign species of bacteria and viruses that cause harm to it. We all know that our body has the capacity to fight against these viruses and bacteria. But are we aware of the mechanism behind what we usually refer to as immunity? Well, very few will be aware of the facts of the immunity cells and the various processes with the help of different cells and glands.
Lymph nodes, also called lymph glands, are a part of the lymphatic system of our body. These are small round shaped organs that are a major part of the immune system of our body. They are spread throughout the body, and are about a 500 to 600 of them in number. They do not secrete substances. A lymph gland is made up clusters of lymph nodes. The major functions of these lymph nodes are to work with the immune cells to destroy the bad bacterial and viral invasions in the body. These lymph nodes act as filters, wherever they are positioned in the body.
They work like storage cells that will absorb the harmful invasions in them. The lymph nodes consist of reticular connective tissues, and these tissues are filled with lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are responsible for absorbing and collecting harmful bacteria and viruses present in the particular area where they are located. They destroy the infectious virus and bacteria once stored. These lymphocytes will multiply rapidly whenever your body requires to fight an infection.
Lymph Nodes – Head and Neck
They are typically situated in the underarms, head, neck, groin, chest and abdomen. We have listed below the lymph nodes of the head and neck, with a little information on each.
Anterior Cervical Lymph Nodes
They are basically one subgroup of the two cervical lymph nodes which are the major lymph nodes of the head. They also comprise the lymph nodes of the neck. They are located deep in the neck at the rear side, usually the part that enables us to bend and move the head. The major immune functions work on the tonsils, pharynx and thyroid gland.
These make the second sub group of the cervical lymph nodes. They are present like a line of nodes at the back of your neck, but in front of the largest muscle of the neck area. They extend from the middle of the head until the shoulder bone. They deal with any upper respiratory issues, mainly sinus and others.
Tonsillar Lymph Nodes
Also known as the sub-mandibular nodes, these are situated below the strongest and largest bone of the face that enables to lower the jaw. They help in dealing with any infections for tonsils and the back part of the pharynx. These nodes are also located below both sides of the jaw, and they fight off any virus and infections of the mouth.
Sub-mental Lymph Nodes
They are situated just below the chin. The major area of dealing with infections for these nodes are the teeth and any other part of the mouth, like lower lip, floor of the mouth, tongue, and the skin on the inner area of the cheek.
Supraclavicular Lymph Nodes
They are located in the hollow area that lies just above the collarbone. These nodes will deal with infections and invasions in the chest area and the abdomen.
A swelling in the lymph node is common among most people. Most of the time, when one comes across a swelling that looks like a bump or lump in the neck region, it is most commonly due to the swollen lymph nodes in the neck. There are many possible causes for the swelling, the most common ones are inflammatory issues, tumors, infections, etc. In most of the cases, the swelling of the nodes in the neck will be due to an infection. Most of these lumps in the neck will not be painful. These lumps can be movable too. Usually, primary treatment will get rid of the lumps that are due to infections and general issues. However, if the lump becomes painful and does not disappear in a few days, it may be an indication of a serious underlying issue, and will need to be medically checked.
It is wise to be aware of these little nodes that play a major role in protecting your body. Understanding these nodes is not as difficult as one may think. At least the easiest thing one can remember will be Immunity thy name is lymph nodes!