Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.06.2019

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An enlarged lymph node in the neck is one of the consequences of a cold or an acute viral infection that affects the airways. Because of this, the lymph nodes in the neck become inflamed and increase in size.

Let's look at the causes of lymph node enlargement in the neck and methods for their treatment.

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Causes of the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

Any respiratory bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract is accompanied by inflammation of the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes increase for a short period of time, but at the same time can cause a lot of anxiety. An enlarged lymph node varies from a small, barely perceptible size, like a pea, to large sizes that cannot be hidden - lymph nodes the size of an egg.

On palpation, that is, when you touch the enlarged lymph node, pain is felt. If the lymph nodes are not greatly enlarged, then the pain is not felt. Note that the more intense the infection process, the more painful and larger the lymph nodes.

Swollen lymph nodes is a dangerous disease. So, hardened lymph nodes can turn into malignant tumors. You can independently assess the degree of danger posed by the lymph nodes. If during the disease there is a high temperature, headache and constant tingling in the area of the lymph nodes in the neck, you should immediately seek medical help. Another sign of dangerous lymph nodes is pain when swallowing. The higher the temperature, and more unpleasant sensations when palpating the neck, the greater the likelihood that the lymph nodes are dangerous to your health.

Causes of an increase in the lymph nodes in the neck are always caused by an infectious bacterial disease. To know exactly how to treat enlarged lymph nodes, it is necessary to understand the causes of their appearance and inflammation.

Causes of lymph node enlargement in the neck: 

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( HIV ).
  • Cancers (metastases to lymph nodes, lyphogranulomatosis ).
  • Diseases of connective tissue.
  • Alcohol abuse or chronic alcoholism.
  • Problems with the immune system.
  • Diseases of the thyroid gland.
  • Angina or acute pharyngitis.
  • Fungal, bacterial, parasitic, viral infections, infectious diseases ( infectious mononucleosis ).

Also, the causes of enlarged lymph nodes include ear inflammations, various kinds of dental infections, inflammations of the oral cavity and larynx. Inflamed lymph nodes in the neck can talk about diseases of organs close to the neck and venereal diseases. In addition, the lymph nodes may become inflamed due to feline or rat scratches.

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Symptoms of the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

Lymph nodes are particles of lymphatic tissue, which is located in a pocket of connective tissue; these are peculiar filters with lymphatic fluid. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body and the entire lymphatic system. Protective cells are stored in the lymph nodes, which trap and destroy cancer and bacterial cells.

Lymph nodes are very important for the immune system, as they are responsible for the fight against germs, viruses and other harmful substances that enter the body.

Symptoms of lymph node enlargement in the neck: 

  • Heat.
  • On the neck appear small bumps.
  • Lymph nodes swell up and because of this, it is hard to swallow and talk.

Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in the neck are usually manifested due to extensive or localized inflammations. But there are cases when an increase in lymph nodes is directly related to cancer. Swollen, inflamed lymph nodes are called lymphadenopathy.

If you have had a cold and diseases that affect the upper respiratory tract, then the lymph nodes in the neck may increase for a while and then return to normal form. It is very dangerous if the lymph node is inflamed on one side only. All this can be signs of severe both infectious and non-infectious diseases. The disease of the lymph nodes and their increase in the neck can contribute to the increase and swelling of the tonsils, salivary glands, parotid glands, thyroid gland and lacrimal glands. If you have similar symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention.

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Swollen lymph nodes in the neck from behind

An enlarged lymph node in the back of the neck indicates inflammatory processes in the body. Thus, swelling in the neck from behind can be associated with a cold, sore throat, tuberculosis or strep throat. In addition, an increase in the lymph nodes in the back of the neck may indicate rubella, toxoplasmosis and other viral infections.

The main symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in the neck behind:

  • On the neck, you can feel the soft swelling, which can be painful or do not bother.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, can talk about a cancer that affects the lymph nodes in the neck.
  • The main symptom that accompanies the enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck is a cold.

It is impossible to avoid inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, since it is impossible to protect the body from all germs, bacteria and infections. But preventive measures will significantly reduce the risk of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck at the back.

Do not start the treatment of viral infections and bacterial diseases. Be sure to go to the doctor if redness appears on the neck.

Follow the basic rules of hygiene: wash your hands, eat healthy foods, do not contact with people who are carriers of diseases.

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Where does it hurt?

What's bothering you?

Diagnostics of the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

Diagnosing an enlarged lymph node in the neck begins by finding out the cause. Any process in the body that causes tissue swelling or swelling is inflammation. When inflammation of the lymph nodes, they increase in size. Diagnose the inflammatory process is very easy, thanks to enlarged lymph nodes. But sometimes, an increase in lymph nodes is not associated with inflammatory processes. Therefore, it is necessary to diagnose enlarged lymph nodes, taking into account other signs that may be the cause of this symptom.

With a pronounced or neglected lymph node enlargement, patients complain of persistent pain in the affected area. Note, if the process of lymph node enlargement is very fast and rapid, then the cause of the disease can be diagnosed. As a rule, it is a wound into which microbes or infections have got and through the lymphatic channels reached the lymph nodes in the neck. If we are talking about acute inflammation of the lymph node, the reaction is manifested throughout the body:

  • Heat.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Chills.
  • General weakness and fatigue.
  • Headache.

If we are talking about chronic inflammation of the lymph nodes, then the above symptoms and pain may be absent. An enlarged lymph node is also dangerous because it can provoke irreversible degeneration of the cervical and submandibular lymph nodes.

It is very difficult to diagnose such lymph nodes, as they are painless and hardly palpable. Therefore, in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to seek medical attention. Only a doctor can reliably determine the cause of enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and prescribe the necessary treatment.

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Treatment of the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

Treatment of lymph nodes in the neck begins with procedures and methods that will help relieve pain. It is also very important to determine the cause of inflammation and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. In this question you can help: infectious disease surgeon, surgeon and oncologist. In general, a lot of questions are connected with the treatment of lymph nodes in the neck. Before treatment is necessary, find out why the lymph nodes are inflamed. These problems can be solved by various methods of treatment.

Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck are responsible for ear diseases, head diseases and respiratory diseases. An increase can also be caused by dental infections.

  • The best remedy that helps fight the inflamed lymph node in the neck is Echinacea. Echinacea is a plant that has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect on the affected area. Infusion of echinacea must be diluted with boiled water. An approximate ratio of 10 drops of tincture per 100 grams of water. Take the tincture is necessary 3 times a day. Such treatment of enlarged lymph nodes is most often used for colds.
  • Another way to cure lymph nodes in the neck is to compress and rub. You will need camphor oil or ichthyol ointment. The oil is used for compresses, and the ointment must be gently rubbed into the affected area.
  • Please note that when the lymph nodes in the neck are enlarged, it is better to stop using creams and perfume for a while. Since this can provoke further inflammation.
  • The easiest method to relieve pain in the lymph nodes is to take a terry towel, soak it in hot water, squeeze it well and attach it to the neck and to the enlarged lymph nodes. Keep the compress for no longer than 15 minutes.
  • Daily consumption of vitamin C can return enlarged lymph nodes in the usual form. Eat more vegetables and fruits, drink juices, especially orange.
  • It is strictly forbidden to make an iodine net. Since it can cause severe inflammation of an already enlarged lymph node.

An enlarged lymph node in the neck is not a fatal diagnosis, but it is a disease that requires immediate treatment. No need to wait until the disease becomes irreversible, consult a doctor and take care of your health.

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