There is a quick and simple way to check swollen lymph nodes and other lumps or bumps that could cause concern, all you have to do is to do a quick self-exam. These glands are an important part of the immune system that help your body ward off infection and diseases and they are usually found in the armpit, groin, back and neck area. This means that they can show some warning signs for numerous health conditions. You can discover if you are at risk for parasites or cancer just by checking these lymph nodes in your neck.
First of all, we will explain you what are lymph nodes. They are in fact small, kidney shaped glands that transport fluids, nutrients and waste from the bloodstream and body tissues. Usually, lymph nodes are not painful nor uncomfortable which is why you won’t even know they are there. On the other hand, if one of them becomes swollen or inflamed, you will notice it for sure and it is an indicator that something is wrong.
Common Causes of Swollen Glands
Swollen lymph nodes are usually manifested by a bump behind your ear or in other locations. Make sure to consult your doctor so that he can assess the gland and to discover whether it is something serious such as parasites, cancer, inflammation or an injury. Some of the most common causes of swollen lymph nodes situated in the neck specifically are:
- Histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis, and other fungal diseases
- Toxoplasmosis and other parasitic infestations
- Common cold, measles, chickenpox, mono, and other common viruses as well as more serious conditions, such as herpes and HIV
- Lymphomas, leukemia, lung cancer, and other cancers related to the lymphatic system
- Cat scratch disease, tuberculosis, strep, staph, and other bacterial diseases as well as sexually transmitted conditions, such as syphilis and chlamydia
- Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a number of other inflammatory conditions