ZocdocAnswersIs there something wrong with my lymph nodes?

Question

Is there something wrong with my lymph nodes?

i was randomly reading up about lymph nodes, then i start to check myself and notice that i have one in my neck, i had to push my finger all the way in to feel it or i have to stiff up my neck in order to feel it, i have been poking it for the past two week now the i realize that i don't have to put my neck in a certain position to feel it, how do you know if it is swollen, i am really worried because of the stuff that i read. Every minute i keep feeling my boyfriends neck but can't seem to feel anything, does being able to feel it neccessarily means you have a virus, i am really worried. i also read that not because you are able to feel it means that it is swollen, everyone i tell to fell it say they don't feel anything. does it means i have a virus, so worried

Answer

Lymph nodes are small organs in the body that house immune cells. They are designed to be the something like the police headquarters of the body. Infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria will get stuck there and have to deal with the immune cells that live in the lymph nodes. When there is an infection near a lymph node, it often enlarges as the immune system cells battle the infection. The neck is an area of the body that is filled with lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can be felt in some people and not in others. The reason for this is that not everyone has the same shape and size of their neck. Being able to feel a lymph node does not necessarily mean that it is enlarged or that you have an infection. While certain types of infections can cause swollen lymph nodes, it is usually only concerning if you are having other symptoms. If this small bump in your neck is all you can feel, then there is probably not much cause for concern. To be sure, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine your neck to see if your lump is worth worrying about. Good luck.

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.