Pea sized lumps in the neck area are mostly due to the small, bean shaped lymph nodes present throughout the body. These lumps appear due to some infection like- cold, bronchitis, tonsillitis etc. but they are usually harmless.
The main reasons of swelling/lumps around neck are-
- Sore Throat
- Injury- cuts or bites near the gland
- Tumor in the neck
The whole network of lymph nodes in the body forms the lymphatic system. This system is responsible for body’s immunity. The lymph nodes have white blood cells(WBC) called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes in the lymph nodes destroy bacteria’s, viruses and infectious microbes as soon as they pass through it.
Why Lymph nodes Swell
Whenever the body is hit by an infection, the lymph nodes enlarge in response to the attack.
As soon as the lymphatic system completely destroys the infection, the lymph nodes resume the original state. The swollen or enlarged nodes may or may not pain when you press them. They only feel like a small pea which rolls underneath the skin.
Treatment for swollen lymph glands in the neck
Treatment is only required when there is a tumor or cancer in the neck otherwise the lymph nodes go back to normal when the infection subsides.
When to Approach a Doctor
When the lymph node doesn’t go away even after the infection subsides, let’s say- 14-20 days, then one should seek a Doctor’s help. The following are some other symptoms-
- Excessive Weight Loss
- Sweating in night
People with swollen lumps have a habit to scratch and squeeze them. This leads to the following problems
- Lump enlargement
- Redness near the lump
The lump does not go away for another 40-50 days if you do such things. Leave them alone and within a week’s time they will be gone else the only way to get rid of it will be surgery.
Such lumps may appear at many areas in the body like- shoulder, neck, groin, back of the ear, mouth etc. Usually they remain till the body recovers from infection. People with tonsillitis may have these lumps for as many years as the tonsils remain and that lasts for few years to decades. So one does not have to worry about it. It should not be confused with lymphoma or other tumors. A small blood test or biopsy can be done for confirmation.
Pea Sized lumps in the neck are very common and are often developed due to large concentration of lymph nodes in that area of the body. One does not have to worry about them and wait for some time before seeking a Doctor. These lumps may be a little painful as well but
It becomes a problem only when a person squeezes and scratches the lump because then it may enlarge and spread. Surgical removal is done in that case. Chances of lymphoma(Cancer of lymph nodes) are less and hence keep calm until some other symptoms like sweating and weight-loss appears. Other names that are given to such lumps are- Skin tag and Cyst.