ZocdocAnswersWhy does my daughter have a painful gland on only one side of her neck?

Question

Why does my daughter have a painful gland on only one side of her neck?

My 12 year old daughter has gland/lymph node pain on the left side of her neck under her jaw. I started yesterday. It hurts her to bend her head forward and move it side to side. She has no fever, headache, aches, or toothache. From what I can see, it does not appear to be swollen.

Answer

Sorry to hear about this swollen gland. It is always difficult and concerning to see our children have any medical problem, but especially one that we are unfamiliar with and not sure how to address. First, before anything else, I would advise you to have her be seen by a physician. While most of these swollen glands can be directly traced to something common, there is a percentage of these that will need further intervention before they are fully treated, or even diagnosed. Some of these can also be the things that we worry about as parents, so please don't delay in having her evaluated. Now, often, swollen and painful glands will arise in the setting of an infection. Sometimes this infection will be in the teeth or something else that almost goes unnoticed. It can be difficult to determine what causes these, and often a course of antibiotics will be attempted if everything else checks out ok. If the bump doesn't respond to this or go away by itself, an ear nose and throat surgeon (aka, otolaryngologist or even ENT) will be best prepared to help you get the best treatment possible. Please speak with your doctor.

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