Lymph nodes are small glands located throughout the body. They are responsible for trapping and destroying bacteria, viruses and other particles. In some cases, they can grow in size and cause neck swelling.
Why Are My Lymph Nodes Swollen?
The lymph nodes in your neck may swell in response to any problem affecting the mouth, head and neck. These problems include:
- Common cold
- Sore throat
When to See a Doctor About Swollen Glands
Swollen glands are typically a sign that your body is in the process of fighting off an infection or illness. In most cases, they will return to their normal size once your body is cleared of the problem. However, you should see a doctor if your glands:
- Swelled up suddenly
- Are much larger than normal
- Are very hard and immobile
- Remain swollen for over a few days
In addition, swollen glands accompanied by night sweats, persistent fever, sudden weight loss and arm or groin swelling warrant medical attention.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Your SFENTA™ ear, nose and throat doctor will begin by identifying the underlying cause of your swollen glands. To that end, he or she may recommend the following tests:
This test involves removing lymph node tissue and examining it under a microscope.
A PET scan can help identify cancers, heart disease and brain disorders that may be contributing to your swollen glands.
A CT scan creates detailed images of your body and can help aid in a diagnosis.