The Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Neck: Symptoms and Treatment

The Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Neck: Symptoms and Treatment

September 19, 2019 0 By Edward H. Howard

Swollen lymph nodes are often one of the indications that our immune system is not at its best function; therefore, when we visit doctors, one of the first things they examine is our neck. That is why the lymph nodes are located, among other parts of our body, in the neck area. According to yourdoctors.online, lymph nodes swell due to some kind of injury, infection, or illness.

The Definition and Function of Lymph Nodes

Before talking about the lymph nodes, it should be first clarified what the lymph nodes are. As it is stated at yourdoctors.online, the lymph nodes are defined as “small ovals of lymphatic tissue that are found at intervals along the lymphatic vessels”.

Together with the lymph vessels, which are concerned with carrying the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes are a part of our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for getting rid of the extra fluid, or viruses and bacteria in our body.

The primary function of lymph nodes is filtering our body in order to get rid of the substances which can be harmful to our health. Also, they contain the immune cells which are extremely helpful in fighting against infections.

Img source: medicalnewstoday.com

The Symptoms of the Swollen Lymph Nodes

When lymph nodes swell, it is usually because there has been a problem detected in the fluid. The swelling is called Lymphadenitis. Usually, lymph nodes swell in the area which is infected. When this happens in the neck area, you could experience pain while chewing or swallowing.

There are many reasons for the Lymphadenitis, such as ear infection, cold, flu, infected tooth, Lupus, HIV infection, lymphoma, etc.

Besides the swelling itself, the symptoms can include the infected area’s tenderness to the touch, the redness of the skin over the nodes, or appearance of the fluid on the skin in the infected area.

Cancer in the Lymph Nodes

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Cancer of the lymph nodes can either mean that it originated in the lymph nodes themselves, or that it spread from another area to the lymph nodes. The good thing about this scenario is the fact that most cancer cells which break away from the tumor are actually destroyed by the body. However, sometimes, some cells do reach another area and form the tumor.

Swollen Lymph Nodes: Diagnosis and Treatment

Swollen lymph nodes are easily detected by your doctor by physical test, blood test, or ultrasound. Furthermore, sometimes, you may even detect them by yourself by carefully examining the area around your neck and ears.

The treatment depends on the cause of the swelling. Usually, they are treated by medication if they are caused by an infection. If the swelling is caused by more serious disease such as cancer, the treatment is aimed in that direction.

In any case, if you are worried by the swollen lymph nodes, you should visit your doctor, where you will get a detailed diagnosis, as well as treatment.