Your lymph nodes (glands) are in highly strategic locations throughout your body, many of which are in your head and neck. Their job is to capture invading germs (virus, bacteria, etc.), break them down and then dispose of them.
Sometimes, your germ capturing lymph nodes get overwhelmed by an onslaught of these invaders. Thus causing your lymph nodes to become enlarged, inflamed and painfully swollen.
The lymph glands most often resulting in this noticeable swelling enlargement are in your neck, under your chin, armpits and groin.
The causes for your lymph node swelling beyond infection is a long list. Some of them include:
- strep throat
- ear infections
- West Nile virus
- infected wounds
- cat scratch fever
- abscessed tooth
- Hansen’s disease
- lymphatic filariasis
- rheumatoid arthritis
- rubella (German measles)
- human immunodeficiency virus
- sexually transmitted diseases ~ syphilis, HPV, genital herpes
Treatment for inflamed, swollen enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenitis) depends on the cause for your swelling. If your swollen glands are tender or painful you may get some relief by:
- apply warm heat ~ heating pad, warm wash cloth
- take pain relievers ~ aspirin (except children), ibuprofen, acetaminophen