The lymph nodes in the neck are normally neither palpable nor visible. If these glands swell and cause lumps in the neck, there are several causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck that you need to be aware of.
Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system that functions to fight viruses, bacteria, parasites, and cancer cells, as well as destroy toxic substances in the body. These glands are located in various parts of the body, such as the armpits, neck, groin, and lower jaw.
Under normal conditions, lymph nodes in the neck or in other parts of the body are small, so they cannot be seen and felt. However, lymph nodes can become swollen, if there are certain diseases or medical conditions.
Causes of Swollen Neck Lymph Nodes
The following are some conditions or diseases that can cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck:
1. Ear infection
One of the causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck is an infection in the middle ear or otitis media.
When you have an ear infection, a person may experience swollen lymph nodes in the neck and other symptoms, such as ear pain, discharge from the ear, ear feeling full and blocked, hearing loss, and fever.
2. Glandular TB
TB (tuberculosis) usually attacks the lungs, but this disease can also attack other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes. The type of tuberculosis that attacks the lymph nodes is known as glandular TB.
Glandular TB can occur in various areas of the body, but is more common in the lymph nodes in the neck.
3. Cough and cold
Cough and cold are often caused by ARI (acute respiratory tract infection) due to viral or bacterial infection. This disease can be experienced by anyone, from children to adults.
Patients with coughs and colds may experience symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, lumps in the neck, and fever. These symptoms usually go away on their own in 7–10 days.
4. Inflammation of the tonsils
Tonsils or tonsils are lymph nodes located in the mouth, near the throat. The tonsils are responsible for eradicating germs and viruses that enter the mouth and respiratory tract.
When germs or viruses enter the mouth and throat, the tonsils can become inflamed and swollen, causing tonsillitis or tonsillitis.
Inflammation of the tonsils can cause symptoms of a sore throat, enlarged and reddish tonsils, whitish or yellowish patches appear on the tonsils, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, difficulty swallowing, and fever.
5. Strep throat
Strep throat It often affects children, but can also occur in adults. Strep throat is a bacterial infection Streptococcus group A in the throat.
This infection can make sufferers experience sore throat, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck. On the other hand, strep throat also makes the tonsils inflamed.
6. Cancer of the head and neck
In certain cases, swollen lymph nodes in the neck can also be caused by cancers in the head and neck, such as mouth cancer, nose and throat cancer, and lymph node cancer or lymphoma.
Symptoms of head and neck cancer include a lump in the neck or head, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and weight loss.
In addition to some of the diseases above, swollen lymph nodes in the neck can also be caused by other diseases, such as ringworm of the scalp.tinea capitis) and bronchitis.
Some causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck are harmless and will subside on their own.
However, you need to see a doctor and get treatment, if the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen for more than a week.
Similarly, if the swollen lymph nodes in your neck cause large lumps accompanied by neck pain, difficulty swallowing, fever, night sweats, and weight loss for no apparent reason.