Swelling lymph nodes happens when the body is exposed to bacteria or viruses and when it is caused by infection, it is known as lymphadenitis. The lymph nodes function to combat viruses, bacteria and other possible causes of illness. Areas where a swelling lymph node occurs are the neck under the chin, in the armpits and in the groins.
Symptoms of swelling lymph nodes
Swelling lymph nodes are signs that something is wrong in certain parts of the body and once it swells the signs include the following:
- Swelling lymph nodes that are the size of a pea or a kidney bean or even larger
- There is tenderness and a painful lymph nodes
- There is runny nose, sore throat, fever and other infections of the upper respiratory system.
- A swelling lymph node which can be caused by an infection such as HIV, an immune disorder such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- The limb are swelling which can be caused by a swollen lymph nodes
- A rapidly growing hardened and fixed nodes, possibly a tumor
- There is fever and sweating at night
- Seek medical help if the swelling lymph node just occurred for no obvious reason, the nodes continue to grow for two to four weeks, the swelling is accompanied by a fever, sweating at night, losing weight. The nodes feel hard or rubbery and there is sore throat and difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
Causes of swelling lymph nodes
The cause of swollen lymph nodes is an infection, mostly a viral infection like the common cold, but there are other types of infections like parasitic and bacterial as well as other possible causes of swelling lymph nodes such as the following:
- Measles and ear infections
- Strep throat and infected or abscessed tooth
- Cellulitis or erysipelas which are skin or infections of the wound
- The virus that causes AIDS which is the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
Some uncommon infections include the following:
- Syphilis which is a sexually transmitted disease
- A parasitic infection caused by a contact with the feces of a cat or eating uncooked meat which is also known as toxoplasmosis.
- A bacterial infection caused from a cat scratch or bite also known as cat scratch fever.
A swollen lymph node that is left untreated can lead to the development of complications such as the following:
- Formation of abscess which is a localized collection of pus that is caused by an infection and it contains fluid, white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria and some other invaders. An abscess can cause a severe damage if it involves the vital organs.
- Bacteremia which is a bloodstream infection and it occurs anywhere in the body and can develop into sepsis that is caused by a devastating infection of the bloodstream. It can cause organ failure and even death.
Treatment and home remedies
- Apply warm and wet compress or a washcloth placed in hot water and wrung out, and placed to the affected area.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen in order to lessen pain and fever.
- Have an adequate rest for a quick recovery.
You can learn more about these treatment options by enrolling in one of the first aid courses being offered.