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Swollen Lymph Glands (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Inflamed nodes themselves are generally not a major concern, but if you have symptoms of another condition along with enlarged lymph nodes, consult your doctor.

Call your doctor:

  • If the swelling of the nodes lasts for more than two weeks or you have symptoms such as weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, or prolonged fever
  • If the nodes are hard, fixed to the skin, or are growing rapidly
  • If you can feel swelling close to your collarbone or in the lower part of the neck
  • If the overlying skin is red and inflamed and you suspect an infection

The diagnosis of swollen lymph nodes rarely requires emergency hospital treatment. The exceptions to this include a growing infection of the skin that requires treatment, a severely infected lymph node that needs to be drained, or severe pain. If a swollen lymph node in the neck makes breathing difficult, seek medical treatment immediately.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/15/2013

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