Lymph nodes are a part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a major part of the immune system of the body. Swollen lymph nodes hence may be a warning about a possible infection. Lymph nodes have several groups. These groups are small and shaped like a bean. The lymph nodes around the neck area, under the chin, in the armpits and in the groin swell most of the times.
The lymphatic system comprises of glands and ducts, which are widespread throughout the whole body. Lymph contains infectious and foreign substances. Lymph nodes are clusters of cells. A capsule surrounds the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes have lymphocytes that produce antibodies. Lymph nodes are the place where all the foreign bodies interact with the cells of the immune system. Many lymph nodes have a presence in the spleen. These lymph nodes apart from doing their basic functions also help in fighting against infections and foreign bodies that try to enter the body.
Symptoms of Swollen Lymph Nodes
The symptoms associated with the enlarged lymph nodes depend on the location and the cause of the lymph node. Patients can experience the following symptoms in case they suffer with enlarged lymph nodes:
Patients may suffer with an upper respiratory infection, which may follow running nose, sore throat, and fever. One can even feel slightly tender nodes under the skin and around the ears.
One can even face skin infection or redness.
If the swelling occurs in the deeper nodes located inside the body the consequences would be different. The swelling in a deeper node may lead to swelling of limbs. The swelling of the lymph nodes in the lung can lead to chronic cough.
A swelling of the lymph nodes throughout the body might swell because of infection caused by HIV, fungal or parasitic infections.
Generalized swelling throughout the body due to immune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis takes place.
Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes
Several reasons can lead to swollen lymph nodes in the body. Several mechanisms that can cause swollen lymph nodes are as follows:
- Infection: The presence of foreign bodies in the body leads to an increase in the number of white blood cells. The increase in the white blood cells is a response to the interaction of the foreign bodies with the immune system.
- Virus: The lymph nodes can swell if a virus enters the body. The swelling is just a mere immune reaction. These reactions can occur against common cold or even HIV.
- Inflammation: When the lymph nodes interact with the inflammatory cells during a fight against infection, the swelling in the lymph node takes place.
- Cancer: If a lymph node interacts with the malignant cells, then to the lymph starts to swell.
- Leukemia: Multiplication of lymph nodes takes place during disease like leukemia. This can lead to swelling of lymph nodes.
The treatment of the lymph nodes depends on the different type of swelling of the lymph nodes. The lymph node that swells gradually has a very different treatment as compared to the treatment of the sudden swelling lymph nodes. The treatment of the swelling lymph nodes involves the following steps:
- The generalized treatment for the swelling of the lymph nodes may include use of pain relievers and medicine that can lower the fever. Ibuprofen is the pain reliever that advised by the doctors.
- In case the swelling of the lymph node takes place by infection, then the doctor may prescribe the antibiotics or antiviral infections.
- If there is a localization of the pus, it may be required to drain by cutting the skin and then filling this opening with a particular packaging.
- If the swelling of lymph nodes takes place due to malignancy, then the treatment for this may include surgery and radiation.
- If the person is suffering from an immune disorder, then certain medications’ are prescribed to tackle the disorder.
Whether you take any antibiotic for bacterial infection or not?
Different type of swelling of lymph nodes requires different treatment. The treatment in case of bacterial infection requires the use of antibiotics. The doctors advise these antibiotics and no one should take these antibiotics on their own. You must take aspirin only on doctor’s consultation. This is because of its linkage to the Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is a rare disease. It affects the children’s who can affect children and teenagers.
Inflamed nodes are not a major concern instead; it is a signal towards the ailment that an individual might be facing. There are at times that swelling of the lymph nodes accompanied with the symptoms of other diseases as well.
You must call the doctor in case of the following:
- If the swelling of the nodes does not get treated and it last for at least two weeks and if one would have symptoms of weight loss, fatigue or a prolonged fever.
- If the nodes fix on the skin and they start to multiply rapidly
- If you have a swelling near the collarbone or in the lower neck region
- If the overlying skin shows the sign of inflammation and you feel that you are suffering from infection
The swelling of the lymph nodes rarely considered as an emergency case. It comes under emergency case if it includes a growing infection on the skin. A lymph node that has an accumulation of the pus that requires draining comes under an emergency case. If the lymph node in the neck makes breathing difficult then you must definitely go to a doctor.
The nodes can come back to a normal size if the people suffer from a simple cold or flu symptom. It requires no specific treatment. The swelling of the nodes in the groin region or under the chin is considered normal when you are a teenager. In children, it may seem that the lymph node swells, this is because the children tend to have a more active lymphatic system.