Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck specialists called cervical lymphadenitis. The disease is almost never occurs independently, and most often is a consequence of another pathology. In any case, even if it seems to you that the lymph nodes have increased due to the banal ARI, you should consult a specialist and be examined. Sometimes a similar symptom develops on the background of serious chronic diseases.
Inflammation of the lymph node indicates the progression of the infectious process. It is dangerous to throw the situation on drift and stay idle, because the brain is located nearby and the infection can freely spread to its structures and membranes.
Causes of inflammation of the cervical lymph nodes
The main cause of the development of cervical lymphadenitis is pathogenic microorganisms. The most common causative agents of the disease are staphylococci, streptococci, which release toxins that enter the lymph nodes through blood, lymph, or by contact.
The primary focus of infection in lymphadenitis may be located on the tissues affected by the purulent process (wounds, boils). Also, the lymph nodes are able to inflame on the background of erysipelas, osteomyelitis, thrombophlebitis, caries. Children suffer from cervical lymphadenitis quite often: their disease develops after exacerbation of ENT diseases (otitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis), due to the progression of eczema, atopic dermatitis, scarlet fever, mumps, diphtheria. Specific lymphadenitis develops due to syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis.
Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
The main signs of cervical lymphadenitis are:
- high body temperature;
- tenderness of the lymph nodes on palpation;
- headache, loss of appetite, weakness and other signs of intoxication;
- indistinct lymph node and neck contours;
- the appearance of infiltration;
- swelling of tissues.
In acute nonspecific lymphadenitis, the lymph nodes are painful, dense to the touch, characterized by intoxication, which occurs due to the release of infectious pathogens toxins. If no measures are taken at this stage, then purulent fusion of tissues occurs and the patient’s well-being deteriorates. Pus can burst out, an extremely painful infiltrate is often formed, while body temperature rises, signs of tachycardia and severe intoxication appear.
In childhood, cervical lymphadenitis in most cases occurs with severe fever, weakness, and tearfulness. Parents must be vigilant – lymphadenitis in children may be complicated by sepsis.
Other common complications of cervical lymph node inflammation:
- fistula and infiltrates;
- breakthrough of pus in the surrounding tissue with the formation of internal fistulas.
If the inflammation is chronic in nature, a gradual replacement of the lymphoid tissue of the connective tissue occurs, often pathological growth leads to disruption of lymph outflow, the appearance of noticeable edema or the formation of characteristic elephantiasis.
Specific lymphadenitis most often develops on the background of gonorrhea, syphilis and other similar infections. But the cervical lymph nodes are inflamed along the chain, and the origin of lymphadenitis of such etiology takes from the inguinal lymph nodes. In tuberculosis, inflammation is usually one-sided.
To which doctor to treat for inflammation of the lymph nodes?
Diseases of the lymph nodes are in the competence of the ENT specialist. The doctor organizes the examination, examines the condition of the oral cavity and the nose, in order to obtain information about the tissues located near the inflammatory focus.
At the disposal of the ENT specialist there is an innovative technique that allows for a short period of time to obtain maximum data on the patient’s condition and choose an effective treatment regimen.
Diagnosis of cervical lymphadenitis
The location of the lymph nodes in the neck you see in the photo on the right.
When inflammation of the lymph nodes located on the neck, conduct a comprehensive examination. The task of the doctor is to find the root cause of the violation in order to start fighting it. The accuracy of diagnosis determines the correctness of the choice of medical tactics and the selection of drugs.
During the examination, the doctor necessarily takes into account the history, complaints, clinical manifestations, the results of diagnostic and laboratory procedures. Can assign the following studies:
- puncture biopsy of the inflamed lymph node;
- USDG lymphatic vessels;
- radiopaque lymphography;
- MRI, CT;
- radiography of the lungs.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck: treatment
The tactics of treatment of cervical lymphadenitis is selected taking into account the age, condition of the patient, the results of the examination and the type of infectious agent that provoked the appearance of the inflammatory process. It is important to comply with medical recommendations and seek medical help in a timely manner, since the enlargement of the lymph nodes is always a warning sign that should alert you and force you to consult an ENT specialist.
Most often, inflamed lymph nodes in the neck are treated with conservative methods (if there is no risk of spreading the infection and ozlokachestvleniya tissues). The patient is shown compliance with bed rest. It is impossible to walk for a long time, not to be in the wind or in strong heat, to go in for sports, to walk actively in rooms. Recommended antibiotics, selected taking into account the sensitivity of the infectious pathogen, mental and physical rest.
Stress, stress, failure to follow a diet and a daily regimen can all aggravate the situation of the patient and provoke the appearance of complications. The following meals and drinks should be excluded from the diet:
- seasonings, spices;
- spicy food;
- marinades, sauces;
- fatty, fried foods;
- alcohol, carbonated drinks;
- hard, dry food.
A patient with cervical lymphadenitis needs high-calorie nutrition, but the food should be as sparing as possible. No spiciness, pickled foods, drinks containing alcohol. Give up smoking and loud singing. You need to spare the throat, as additional inflammation can aggravate the situation. Drinks must be warm and preferably enriched with vitamins.
You are shown mucous porridges and soups, warm herbal teas, pureed vegetables and fruits (preferably in boiled form). Meat dishes can be fish, meatballs, steamed, mashed poultry or veal. If lymphadenitis develops on the background of viral infections, it is necessary to strengthen the immune system with the help of multivitamin and immunostimulating agents.
In case of suppurative forms of lymphadenitis, the formed lesions open, drain, and necessarily prescribe enhanced antibacterial therapy. Such patients usually conduct treatment in a hospital, under the supervision of qualified specialists. In some cases, doctors prescribe physiotherapeutic procedures that help relieve puffiness, reduce the severity of pain, eliminate seals and infiltrates. But to apply physiotherapy for inflammation of the lymph nodes should be with extreme caution. Such medical procedures should be prescribed only by an experienced doctor, and after examining the patient. Self-medication is not allowed!
What can not be done with an increase in cervical lymph nodes?
Attempts to self-cure cervical lymphadenitis, using recipes of traditional medicine, can end very badly. With the lymph nodes can not joke! If you notice a seal, there is pain, in any case, do not warm the place of the neck! When heated, infectious pathogens begin to spread more rapidly with the flow of lymph and blood to neighboring organs, and can even reach the brain.
In addition, thermal exposure increases the risk of metastasis of malignant tumors, and an increase in lymph nodes sometimes indicates an increase in oncological cells in them that were abandoned from the primary focus. If you do not ask for help in time, an acute inflammatory process can turn into a chronic stage, which is accompanied by generalization of the process, scarring of lymphoid tissues and their replacement by connecting elements that are not able to perform basic protective functions.
Prevention of inflammation of the lymph nodes of the neck is the timely treatment of any infectious diseases, strengthening the immune system and early seeking qualified medical assistance.