Is Cervical Lymphadenopathy Serious?
If unilateral swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck worries you.
If you are looking for the causes of swollen lymph nodes on one side of the neck.
Lymph nodes in the neck are part of the body’s immune system, doctors call swollen lymph nodes lymphadenopathy.
In the following, we intend to talk about unilateral swelling of the neck glands, causes and symptoms of cervical lymphadenopathy.
By reading this article, you will get useful and scientific information about swelling of lymph nodes in one side of the neck or unilateral lymphadenopathy of the neck.
What is a lymph gland or lymph node?
The lymphatic system of the human body is made up of the spleen, and the thymus gland (disappears after childhood), the tonsils, and a large number of lymph nodes in all parts and tissues of the body. These systems are connected by an extensive vascular network called lymphatic vessels.
Arteries and lymph nodes are spread all over the body.
- the brain
- Liver and ….
They all have a lymphatic system.
The role of the lymph nodes is to increase the body’s ability to defend itself against viruses and bacteria and…
Lymph nodes in the abdominal cavity, pelvis inside the skull inside the chest are not visible or tactile through the skin.
Lymph nodes located in:
- Behind the ear
- The sides of the mandible
- Under the chin
- Both sides of the neck
- Above the clavicle
In case of swelling, will be characterized by deep touch or the touch of the skin, and in some cases, without the need for touch, swelling and enlargement of lymph nodes in these areas or lymphadenopathies in these areas can be seen with the naked eye.
Our head and neck have a large number of glands or lymph nodes. The lymph nodes in the head, neck and groin are lymph nodes that can become inflamed and swollen frequently.
In the human lymphatic system, certain groups of white blood cells, which are defense cells, accumulate (lymphocytes and macrophages).
Lymphocytes secrete defense proteins to fight viruses and other problematic factors, and macrophages eat the materials and components left behind from killing disease agents.
So as lymph flows throughout our body, lymphocytes and macrophages will cleanse and sweep all areas.
Doctors say that the lymph nodes or glands gather in groups in different places.
For example, a group of lymph nodes are located under the chin.
A chain of lymph nodes is located on the right side of the neck and a chain of lymph nodes is located on the left side of the neck.
A group has accumulated under the armpits and a group and chains have accumulated in the groin. These areas become very swollen.
The most common cause of swollen lymph nodes in the neck, head, face, and… is an infection, in particular, viruses are the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes. A simple viral cold can cause swollen lymph nodes in the face and neck.
Bacteria and parasites are also causes of swollen lymph nodes.
Upper respiratory infections, infections of the teeth and gums, and… are the most common causes of swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck.
Causes of swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck
Unilateral neck lymphadenopathy can occur for the following reasons:
- Sore throats with streptococcus
- Oral and dental abscesses
- Infections inside the oral cavity
- pharynx infections
- Mononucleosis virus or CMV
- EBV virus
- Skin infections with streptococcus or staphylococcus or cellulite
- Infectious wounds in the area
- Infections after surgery in the area
- And sometimes:
- Ear infections
- Otitis media
Which have been released into the throat.
These are the most common causes of unilateral or bilateral neck lymphadenopathy.
- Cat-scratch fever
are less common causes of infection.
Apart from the infectious causes for swollen lymph nodes on one side of the neck, we should also mention various other causes:
- Immune system problems and disorders and autoimmune disorders:
Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE
- Metastasis of cancers in other areas can also cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- And antimalarial drugs
They can also cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck, for example.
Swollen lymph nodes on one side of the neck sometimes swell to the size of a hazelnut.
One of the rare causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck will be:
- Congenital metabolic disorders in glycogen storage
- Kawasaki disease in children
Continuing to explain and enumerate the causes of cervical lymphadenopathy, we must say that usually with the removal of the infection from the body and the recovery of the patient from the infection, the prominent lymph node returns to its normal state.
So, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck in infections is transient and will resolve on its own with the improvement of the infectious disease.
In the past, swelling of the lymph nodes in the head and neck was followed by the spread of measles and rubella viruses, which are less common today despite vaccination.
The mumps virus usually causes swollen lymph nodes around the ears, head, and neck.
We said that one of the causes of swollen lymph nodes in the neck is cancer.
There is a principle, and that is that the growth of lymph nodes in the cancer cortex will be slower and more time consuming than the swelling of the lymph nodes due to the underlying infection.
In cancers, the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck is painless, while the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck will be painful due to underlying infections such as pharynx and throat infections.
Symptoms of swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck
If there is an infectious background, the symptoms are:
- the pain
- The size of the lymph nodes in the neck is about the size of a pea.
Due to the fact that the most common cause of lymphadenopathy of the head and neck was infectious agents, the accompanying symptoms are:
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Runny nose
And other manifestations of respiratory infections.
In fact, when the lymph nodes grow in one direction, it means that one factor is in trouble in this area.
In swellings with an infectious background, the swollen lymph node is painful and uncomfortable.
Swelling is usually faster than cancers in terms of infection.
Swelling in infectious cases resolves within a week by eliminating the underlying disease and clearing the infection from the body.
- weight loss
- Night sweats
- Unilateral swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck without pain
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the cervix that has been present for a long time but no infectious background has been found.
- And a gradual increase in the size of the unilateral lymph nodes in the neck
will need more and more serious investigation.
Increased size and swelling of the cervical lymph nodes in a person with a history of cancer should be considered.
In what cases should you see a doctor if you notice unilateral swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck?
Swelling of one side of the neck lymph node without an infectious cause:
- Gradual swelling of one side of the neck lymph node, which lasts up to four weeks and is increasing and not improving.
- Unilateral lymph nodes in the neck that grow and swell and are firm when touching.
- Unilateral lymph node of the neck that does not move under the hand with hand movement.
- Existence of fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck if it is so severe that it makes swallowing difficult.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck that interferes with breathing.
The above should be investigated immediately.
If the swelling of the lymph nodes prevents normal breathing and swallowing, you should go to the emergency room immediately.
- Get a history
- History of the individual’s diseases plus a list of drugs used
- General Physical Examination
- Measuring vital signs
- Blood test to measure white blood cells and to assess inflammatory factors
- X-ray photography
- CT scan
- Biopsy and sampling
The type of treatment program used to treat swollen lymph nodes is hospitalization due to lymphadenopathy.
- If there is an infectious background, infectious disorder should be treated, including infections of the skin, teeth and gums, infections and abscesses of the mouth and pharynx, and so on.
- Autoimmune disorders: Appropriate treatment should be given for the type of disorder.
- Cancers: The type of cancer will determine the type of treatment.
If the cause of unilateral lymph node swelling is an infection of the neck, what should you use at home to treat pain and discomfort?
- Rest to strengthen the immune system and eradicate the infection.
- Hot compress and putting a warm towel on the swollen area
- Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs under the supervision of a physician
- Drink warm liquids