May 7, 2010

Swollen Lymph Nodes Infection

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes or lymph glands are bean shaped glands that are located in your neck, in your armpits, under your chin, and in your groin. These are soft tissues that are important for your body. The lymph nodes or glands are clusters of cells that produce white blood cells known as lymphocytes. They produce antibodies that help your body in fighting any infection. These cells are also called the cleaner cells of your body.

When the lymph nodes get infected, they swell and cause tremendous pain. Lymphadenopathy or swollen lymph nodes are usually due to a bacterial infection. Other reasons include an allergy, cancer, metabolic causes, arthritis, or an overactive thyroid gland.

Swollen Lymph Nodes Symptoms

It is easy to know when you suffer from lymphadenopathy. When the lymph nodes get infected, they grow in size and become tender. When they are infected they can grow two to three times their actual size. They will return to their normal size the moment the infection is treated.

The skin area near the lymph node may be warm and you may find the nodes a little firm and harder than usual. The shape of the node may also change to some extent.

How to Cure them ?

First and foremost, you need to treat the infection in order to get the lymph node back in shape and to reduce the pain associated with it. This can be done by taking a course of antibiotics or anti-viral medication.

If your doctor is unable to determine the cause behind the swollen lymph node, he/she may ask you to get it biopsied. The doctor will do this by inserting a small needle and collecting the fluid from the node. This fluid may be sent to a laboratory for further analysis.

Dos and Don’ts to Be Followed

When you are suffering from a swollen lymph node, here are some things you need to avoid doing:

  • Never poke or squeeze the infected nodes as this may stop them from getting back to their normal size.
  • Never self-medicate. Seek the opinion of a doctor and follow the medication suggested to you.
  • Avoid stopping the course of antibiotics mid-way. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics make sure you complete the course to avoid a relapse.
  • Giving heat compressions may help you find some relief from the pain. However make sure that the heating pad is not too hot.