Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped organs of a person that are part of the lymphatic system. This system, in addition to transporting lymph, also synthesizes and preserves cells, whose task is to fight infections. Lymph nodes act as tiny filters that stop viruses and bacteria for further destruction by their lymphocytes.
Lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system.
There are about 600 lymph nodes in the human body. They are located throughout the body, except the heart and brain. Some of them are located directly under the skin, within the so-called subcutaneous tissue( around the neck, around the ears, under the lower jaw, in the groin, under the arms).They are also present in the abdominal and thoracic cavities far from the surface of the skin.
When the baby is healthy, the lymph nodes are small, painless, usually floating under the skin. In healthy newborns, the lymph nodes are never palpable, in children under three years of age they have up to 3 millimeters in diameter, in children older than three years, the lymph nodes can be up to 1 centimeter in size and this is normal.
What is an enlarged lymph node?
- 2.1 Infectious Diseases
- 2.2 Catarrhal diseases
- 2.3 Mononucleosis
- 2.4 Cat scratches
What is an enlarged lymph node?
Lymph node enlargement( lymphadenopathy ) occurs when the body is struggling with an infection. Young children are constantly exposed to new infections and antigens, so their lymph nodes are often larger than in adults.
If the lymph nodes increase in size and become swollen, they can be felt under the skin. In the case of a large increase, they also become visible as protuberances, making changes in the contour of the region of the body in which, for example, the neck is located. Lymph nodes in children can grow to the size of a walnut.
The enlarged lymph nodes are usually painful when touched, the skin in the vicinity of them can become reddened. They can increase for several days - this is the so-called acute increase. But there are cases when the increase occurs gradually and slowly, for example, for weeks or months. This situation is called chronic.
Sometimes the term "swollen glands" is used to describe the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. But the palatine tonsils( tonsils) do not lead directly to the appearance of tubercles on the neck when enlarged. Simply with their inflammation, the cervical lymph nodes usually increase. This is part of the body's reaction to infection. Lymph nodes swell in a certain part of the body, near which is the focus of infection. But not always the culprits are inflamed tonsils( tonsils or adenoids).
Causes of enlarged lymph nodes in the neck of the child
There are several reasons for this increase.
The enlargement of lymph nodes on the front surface of the neck occurs most often with infection of the nose and throat, inflammation of the oral cavity, caries or inflammation of the tonsils.
The enlargement of the lymph nodes on the posterior surface of the neck may indicate an inflammation of the outer ear, the presence of purulent scalp lesions, and the tick bite in this area. Also, there may be swelling of the lymph nodes behind the child's ears.
Also cervical lymph nodes can be increased in diseases of the upper respiratory tract caused by a bacterial infection.
Treatment of the most lymph nodes does not make any sense, since this process is only a symptom. For the removal of inflammation it is necessary to treat a specific infectious disease, diagnosed only by a doctor.
Lymph node enlargement can occur during and after the common cold. In children who often suffer from colds, the size of the lymph nodes can constantly exceed the permissible norm.
If the enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes is caused by a cold, the child may also have a runny nose, a stuffy nose, a cough. Treatment in this case involves taking medications prescribed by the pediatrician, as well as ensuring a balanced diet, warm drinking and rest.
This disease is quite common among children and its symptoms are very similar to those of angina. Along with the increase in cervical lymph nodes, there is an increased temperature, a sore throat. The cause of the disease acts in the Epirus-Barr, which throughout the life of every person is infected. The disease can occur in this way in different ways( in children it is easier).
For mononucleosis, bed rest is recommended. For the treatment use interferon, different immunomodulators, which contribute to increasing the body's resistance. With complications, antibiotics are prescribed.
When scratching cat's saliva, which contains many bacteria, gets into the blood of the child and causes inflammation. As a consequence, after a few days the lymph nodes of the baby become inflamed.
When to see a doctor?
If you see or feel that the lymph nodes in your child's neck are enlarged - take him to the doctor. Because the reasons can be different, it is desirable that the child was examined by a doctor whose task is to diagnose and develop treatment accordingly.
The method of treatment depends on the cause that caused the swelling. In most cases, an increase in lymph nodes in the neck does not require special treatment, since it is caused by a viral cold. The lymph nodes themselves will decrease when the symptoms of the common cold disappear. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, as a result of bacterial infection, usually require the use of antibiotics. Most children can take antibiotics orally. If the infection is serious, inpatient treatment and antibiotics administered intravenously may be necessary.