Diagnosing and Treating Swollen Glands in Neck

Swollen glands in the neck are a result of exposure to viruses of bacteria. When swollen glands in the neck are caused by an infection, the condition is termed lymphadenitis. Cancer may cause swollen glands in the neck as well, but its possibility is rare. The lymph glands are extremely important to the functioning of the body. They help your body fight off infections and act as a filter, trapping bacteria, viruses and other causes of illness before they can spread to other parts of the body and further infect it. Apart from the neck, swollen lymph nodes can be found under your chin, in your groin, and in your armpits. Here is how you can diagnose and treat swollen glands in the neck.

Diagnosis
To successfully diagnose swollen glands in the neck, your doctor will ask you when the swollen glands first developed. Your doctor will also ask you if you are suffering from any other symptoms. Your doctor will then conduct a few procedures and tests to diagnose the condition. This includes:

  • Physical examination – To check the tenderness, size, texture, and warmth of the swollen glands near the surface of your skin
  • Blood tests – To determine the cause of the underlying condition
  • Imaging studies – To scan the affected area and determine the source of the infection
  • Lymph node biopsy – To remove a portion of a lymph node for further testing and examination

Treatment
The treatment for swollen glands in the neck is solely dependent on the cause of the disease. Bacterial causes and infections have a different treatment procedure than that of a cancerous or viral source. Here is how the condition can be treated:

  • If the cause of the condition is an infection, a course of antibiotics should do the trick
  • If the source of the condition is an immune disorder, the treatment is directed at the underlying condition
  • If swollen glands in the neck are a result of cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the best available options

The treatment for swollen glands in the neck depends solely on its cause. At times you may need treatment while in some cases, time heals the swollen glands in the neck on its own. Warm compresses can do a world of good as well. Whatever the case, if you are suffering from swollen glands in the neck, consult a doctor immediately as your body’s ability to fight off infections is under threat.

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