The increase in lymph nodes in the neck in children often causes concern to parents and a desire to understand the cause of this phenomenon.
Usually the lymph nodes are enlarged and inflamed as a result of any pathological processes in the body, which ones we will examine further.
Causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck
Lymph nodes are a barrier to any harmful substances that enter the blood, such as defective cells, pathogens and foreign proteins. All these harmful substances, once in the blood, are destroyed by immune cells that mature in the lymph nodes.
If inflammation has arisen in the tissue from which lymph flows, then the load on the node increases greatly and it increases. Therefore, an enlarged lymph node indicates the presence of the disease in the area in which it is located.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes is called lymphadenitis. Cervical lymphadenitis in children is quite common, it is due to the immaturity of their immune system, which is not able to quickly cope with the infection.
Main symptoms of lymphadenitis
The main symptoms of the disease include:
- Enlarged lymph node, which is easily felt and visible to the naked eye.
- Redness of the skin covering the knot.
- Changes in the structure of the lymph node. In this case, it becomes denser or, on the contrary, softer in case of suppuration.
- Intoxication of the body – fever, dizziness, nausea, weakness, chills.
The chronic form of lymphadenitis is manifested only by an increase in nodes. The body temperature is normal, the child feels good, the nodes are practically painless.
In the acute form of lymphadenitis, the child’s sleep and appetite are disturbed, the body temperature rises, headache occurs, the lymph nodes become very painful, and a large swelling in the neck area is possible.
In infants, the acute form is manifested by general intoxication of the body, which requires immediate medical attention.
Cervical lymphadenitis in children is quite common, due to the immaturity of their immune system.
Depending on the location, the following types of cervical lymph nodes are inflamed:
- Superficial cervical lymph nodes – are infected with lesions of nearby skin (scratches, purulent wounds, boils)
- Zaryngeal lymph nodes – with infections in the nasopharynx
- Submandibular lymph nodes – with infections of the mouth and face
All cervical nodes, inflamed from two sides, may indicate the possible presence of toxoplasmosis, secondary syphilis, mononucleosis.
When inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck causes should be sought precisely in the head.
Cervical lymphadenitis in children most often causes ARVI, flu, tonsillitis, angina, otitis.
In addition to viral and bacterial infections, lymphadenitis can be caused by allergies, which children often suffer from.
Also the cause of lymphadenitis in a child can be caries, periodontal disease, various gum diseases.
In the worst case, lymphadenitis may indicate oncology, syphilis or tuberculosis.
Treatment of cervical lymphadenitis in children
When an enlarged lymph node is detected, first of all, you should contact a pediatrician who will refer you to the specialist (LOR, hematologist, dentist, oncologist) if necessary.
The doctor will determine the source of the infection and prescribe therapy aimed at eliminating the infectious focus. Usually, after suffering from acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory viral infections, influenza, tonsillitis, lymphadenitis passes by itself after treating these diseases, since the main source of infections is eliminated.
In case of inflamed cervical lymph nodes, immunostimulating preparations are prescribed, multivitamins with a high content of vitamin C, physiotherapeutic procedures, abundant drinking, keeping the patient warm and avoiding drafts, as well as anti-inflammatory ointments.
In some cases, when treatment of the underlying disease has no effect, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed, such as Prednisolone and Medrol. The dosage of these drugs prescribed by the doctor, taking into account the individual characteristics and age of the patient.
In the case when lymphadenitis has passed into a complicated form and there is suppuration in the nodes, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, which are selected based on the sensitivity of the infectious agent. If antibiotic therapy did not produce results and the pus in the node is not resolved, then a surgical operation is performed to open the node and remove the pus that has accumulated there.
What should not be done with inflamed cervical lymph nodes?
Do not self-medicate!
The proximity of the cervical lymph nodes to the brain threatens serious complications, running infection can lead to meningitis.
In the case of improper treatment of lymphadenitis, the infection can enter the bloodstream, which will cause sepsis (infection of the blood) and the infection will spread throughout
If an enlarged lymph node is found, first of all you should contact your pediatrician.
In no case can the knots be heated by applying a heating pad or a warming compress to the sore spot.
Nodes can not be rubbed, put on them iodine grid.
Do not give the child infusions and decoctions of herbs, without the consent of the doctor.
Prevention of cervical lymphadenitis
Measures to prevent cervical lymphadenitis:
- Timely treatment of viral and infectious diseases (influenza, antivi, tonsillitis, otitis media, tonsillitis and
If an increase in the cervical lymph nodes in a child was caused by viral or bacterial infections, then with adequate treatment, the prognosis is favorable – a full recovery occurs.
If timely and appropriate treatment was not carried out, and lymphadenitis turned into a chronic form, then the prognosis is less favorable.
As a rule, in this case, the lymph node tissue is replaced and its function is completely impaired.
The prognosis of the purulent form of lymphadenitis depends on how timely and efficiently its treatment was carried out. If the process has gone far, and there is a complication in the form of sepsis, the prognosis in this case is extremely unfavorable.
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