Should I Go to Urgent Care for Swollen Lymph Nodes? Here’s What to Know

A female doctor checks the lymph nodes in the neck of a male patient.

Experiencing swollen lymph nodes can be concerning, often prompting questions about when to seek medical attention. 

Understanding the basics—what swollen lymph nodes are, their causes, associated symptoms, and when urgent care is necessary—can guide you in making informed decisions about your health. 

Continue reading to learn more. 

What are Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands distributed throughout the body, forming a part of the lymphatic system. They act as filters, trapping viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances, aiding the body’s immune response. 

When lymph nodes become swollen or enlarged, it signifies increased activity in fighting off infections or other conditions.

Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes

Various factors can trigger lymph node swelling. 

Common causes include viral or bacterial infections, such as colds, flu, strep throat, or ear infections. 

Other reasons include immune system disorders, allergic reactions, and certain medications.

In rare cases, more severe conditions like lymphoma or leukemia may be the underlying cause.

Symptoms of Swollen Lymph Nodes

Identifying swollen lymph nodes involves feeling for enlarged glands in specific areas, most notably in the neck, under the chin, in the armpits, or the groin area. 

Accompanying symptoms can vary based on the underlying cause and may include:

  • Tenderness or pain in the swollen area
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats 

When to Worry About Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Neck

Lymph nodes are commonly found in the neck, and their enlargement can occur for various reasons, including localized infections or more systemic issues. 

While some swelling might be expected during common infections and can resolve on its own, persistent, painless swelling or sudden, significant enlargement might signal a need for medical attention.

When Should I Go to Urgent Care for Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Seeking urgent care for swollen lymph nodes becomes crucial under certain circumstances, including:

  • If swollen lymph nodes persist for more than two weeks without improvement, worsen in size, or become increasingly painful, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation.
  • If you experience persistent fever, unexplained weight loss, severe fatigue, or night sweats.
  • Swelling in the neck region that causes difficulty breathing or swallowing requires immediate medical attention.
  • Painful, inflamed, or warm nodes
  • Individuals with a history of cancer, immune disorders, or persistent health issues should consider seeking medical advice sooner.

Urgent care facilities, like Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care in Houma, offer accessible and prompt medical attention without needing appointments. 

If you’re experiencing persistent or concerning symptoms related to swollen lymph nodes, visiting an urgent care center allows for timely evaluation and tailored treatment.

Remember, while swollen lymph nodes can be a response to common infections, monitoring changes in size, pain, or associated symptoms is essential. When necessary, Seeking medical attention ensures proper evaluation, accurate diagnosis, and appropriate management, promoting overall well-being. 

If in doubt, it’s always better to seek professional medical advice.

Get Checked for Swollen Lymph Nodes in Houma

Addressing swollen lymph nodes promptly matters. 

Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care in Houma specializes in comprehensive care for lymph node concerns. 

If you or a loved one are living with swollen lymph node symptoms, we encourage you to check your swollen lymph nodes for timely relief and peace of mind.  

We are open daily with no appointments necessary; visit us today for personalized and accessible care.

Certified Urgent Care badge