An important component of the human immune system are the lymph nodes. These are small filters that trap viruses and bacteria in order to further destroy them. In the human body, there are more than 600 lymph nodes, which are located in different parts of the body. We are also interested in why the lymph nodes are inflamed in the neck.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck: causes
Lymph nodes look like a spherical or ribbon-like formation with sizes from 0.5 to 5 cm or more. The lymph nodes are located throughout the body near the large veins in groups so as to be in the way of infections and cancer cells. In them with lymph get antigens that are actively destroyed by cell defenders - lymphocytes.
There are the following locations of the lymph nodes:
- elbow bend;
- axillary hollows;
- popliteal folds;
- groin area;
- abdominal cavity;
- chest cavity;
- clavicle area;
- the back of the head, the throat, the area of the ears and under the jaws;
- the neck.
Lymph node inflammation (lymphadenopathy) occurs when the body begins to fight a viral or bacterial infection. To establish the severity of the disease, much attention is paid to the duration of the inflamed condition. The causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck include such diseases:
- gingivitis and others
Also a common cause of cervical lymphadenopathy is the exposure of animals to the human body. Most often these are cats and toxoplasmosis due to their scratching. Reduced immunity leads to an inflamed state of the lymph nodes. The occurrence of such a factor is influenced by avitaminosis, nerve overstrain, hypothermia, infections and stress.
Rarely, inflammation of the cervical lymph nodes is a sign of HIV infection. In addition to the above, the cause of lymphadenopathy may be a malignant tumor. In this case, the lymph nodes are enlarged due to the growth of cancer cells. Mechanical damage can also cause inflammation in the lymphatic tissue.
Why are the lymph nodes inflamed in the neck of a child?
Inflammation of the cervical lymph nodes in children is observed much more often. This is due to the weak development of immunity. Lymphadenopathy in a child can cause frequent colds, acute tonsillitis, tooth decay with caries, otitis, that is, the presence of a foci of infection in the immediate vicinity of lymph node accumulation.
This refers to the inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck in the back, in the submandibular region, behind the ears. Inflammation suggests that the lymphatic system reacts to the infection and its work is stable. Allergic reactions of the body to various stimuli, including vaccination, are also quite often accompanied by cervical lymphadenitis in children.
What to do with lymphadenopathy?
Enlarged lymph nodes, which are formed due to viral infection, will shrink to normal size on their own in about 2-4 weeks. If the disease is due to bacterial disease of the body, antibiotic treatment is prescribed. If the inflammation is accompanied by pain and fever, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is possible.
Consultation with a physician is required when the inflammation of the lymph nodes is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- feverish state;
- angina develops;
- lymph nodes continue to grow;
- lymph nodes are not restored to their proper size after several weeks;
- there are bleeding from the nose or mouth;
- weight loss occurs.
Urgent requests for medical care require such situations:
- the skin around the swollen lymph node is reddened and painful;
- the knot grows to 4 and more centimeters;
- the cervical lymph node is so inflamed that there are difficulties with breathing or head movements.
Treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes depends on what stage of development lymphadenitis is and what are the causes of its occurrence. Since this behavior of the human lymphatic system is a consequence of pathological processes in the body, therapy is primarily aimed at eliminating the causes of inflammation. For example, reorganization of the oral cavity is necessary when inflammatory processes occur in the submandibular lymph nodes.
At the initial stages of lymphadenitis, conservative treatment methods are relevant. If an infection is detected, the use of antibiotics is necessary, to which action this particular pathogen is sensitive. In case of purulent course of the disease, an autopsy and drainage with subsequent wound treatment is required. With tumor processes that cause lymphadenitis, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are possible.
If we talk about drugs used in the treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, you need to allocate such funds:
- anti-inflammatory drugs.
Late treatment may lead to the development of serious complications, such as:
- general infection of the body;
- suppurations and ulcers in the tissues;
- brain inflammation;
- tumor diseases.
As preventive measures can be considered:
- prevention of skin injuries and, if available, timely treatment of wounds;
- treatment of diseases of the ear, throat, nose, and head and neck;
- elimination of foci of infection;
- timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases leading to specific cervical lymphadenitis: tuberculosis, infectious mononucleosis, rubella, tularemia, cat scratch disease, etc.
In conclusion, you need to pay attention to the inadmissibility of self-treatment of inflammation of the lymph nodes. Methods used in self-treatment for not knowing the exact diagnosis of the disease will only complicate the course of the disease and exacerbate the symptoms. With a visit to the doctor for examination and appointment of therapy in any case should not be delayed. Health to you!