Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does it mean if your glands are swollen?"
Glands in my neck look and feel swollen but as far as I can tell I am in perfect health. Any reason to be nervous? If I'm healthy, it doesn't really matter right?
The glands in the neck, also called lymph nodes, are an important part of your body's immune system. They protect against and help your body fight off infections in the throat and surrounding areas of the neck. Therefore, the most common reason for the glands to feel swollen is when you contract an infection in this part of the body. For example, a common cold or a throat infection will likely cause your glands to swell up some times, usually not very dramatically; after the infection is over, the swelling tends to go down. There are two reasons to see your primary care doctor about this issue. First, if you have severe symptoms, like a bad sore throat, then that is something that needs to be evaluated to determine whether or not treatment is necessary. Second, swollen glands in the neck can be a sign of a more serious medical problem, such as a lymphoma, and your doctor may want to perform some basic testing to rule this possibility out. Good luck and please see your doctor soon!
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