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Why are my glands swollen?

The glands in my neck are swollen. What caused this? Am I sick?
As you probably know, the 'glands' in your neck are actually lymph nodes, which are a vital part of your body's immune system. When your body encounters an infection, such as a bacteria or a virus, your lymph nodes work to 'soak up' these infectious agents and provide an environment where they can be killed off by your body's immune system. As a result, whenever you are dealing with an infection, it is common for your lymph nodes to swell up a bit. This is especially the case with common colds and other respiratory infections, which usually cause some degree of swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck. Nevertheless, any time you have swelling of your glands, it is a good idea to seek medical evaluation by your primary care doctor. This is because, occasionally, the source of the swelling can be a serious throat infection, such as a strep throat infection. Your doctor will be able to examine your throat and rule out this possibility, as well as suggest an appropriate treatment, if one turns out to be necessary. I hope you are feeling better soon!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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