Causes of Swollen or Enlarged Neck Glands and Its Treatments

There are many lymph glands in the body but one of the most commonly swollen glands are the neck glands. The body’s lymph glands are an important part of the body’s immune system. It helps signal an infection but it can also mean something else. A swollen lymph gland in the absence of infection or lymph nodes that are constantly swollen may merit a more thorough examination.

Swollen Neck Glands

  • Neck glands are those lymph nodes located in the neck and under the person’s chin.

  • The neck glands are one of the most commonly swollen glands in the body.

  • Swollen neck lymph nodes are also predominantly seen in children.

  • The body’s lymph glands have many important functions including fighting off germs and even cancer cells.

  • Other names of swollen neck lymph nodes include lymphadenitis or lymphadenopathy.

  • Other symptoms may also manifest together with a swollen lymph node depending on the cause or disease:

    • Bleeding gums

    • Flu-like symptoms

    • Colds

    • Drooling

    • Earache

    • Joint pain

    • Nodes that are tender, warm, and red

    • Rash

    • Loss of appetite

    • Genital sores

    • High fever

    • Difficulty swallowing

    • Respirator or breathing problems

    • Hematemesis

Swollen Neck Glands Causes

When neck glands become swollen it has many indications. These include:

  • Infection

    • Common cold, strep throat, rubella, mononucleosis, infected wounds, ear infection.

  • Malignancy

    • Cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as Hodgkin’s disease.

  • Autoimmune Disorders

    • Systemic lupus erythematosus

    • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

  • Non-infectious Causes

    • Lymphatic obstruction

    • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Swollen Neck Glands Treatment

Treatment of swollen neck lymph nodes depend highly on the cause.

  • Viral infections – the infection as well as the swelling goes away on its own with supportive treatment such as bed rest and drinking plenty of water.

  • Bacterial infections – treatment with antibiotics.

  • Malignant causes – extensive treatment may be required to address the specific type of cancer.

  • Non-infectious causes – treating the obstruction or addressing/avoiding triggers of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Autoimmune disorders – administration of treatment specific to the type of autoimmune disorder.

  • Other treatments:

    • Administration of pain relievers.

    • Administration of anti-inflammatory medications.

    • Administration of anti-pyretic for fever.

  • It is important to note that enlarged or swollen lymph nodes may take as long as two weeks to return to its normal size even with resolution of the infection or disease.

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