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Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes – Causes, Anatomy and Treatment

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Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes – Causes, Anatomy and Treatment
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In case of sexually transmitted diseases not only occipital lymph nodes get swollen, but also other lymph nodes which can be found in your upper body.

6. Cancer

Different types of cancer may develop in the lymphatic system, which may lead to the swelling of occipital lymph nodes. The cancer of your lymph nodes is known as lymphoma and hard lumps which form at the base of the skull are one of its symptoms.

Lymphoma is sometimes a consequence of a different type of cancer, such as melanoma, scalp cancer, lung cancer, or thyroid cancer. If you can feel a lump at the base of your neck and it is growing bigger, consult the issue with a doctor.

Another type of lymphoma is known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It may affect any lymph nodes in your body. Most commonly it causes swelling in the abdomen, chest, groin, armpit, and in the side of the neck.

Apart from swollen lymph nodes, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma causes such symptoms as unexplained fever, loss of appetite and weight, itching of the body, sweating at night, tiredness, and anemia.

7. Transplant Graft Rejections

A patient who had an organ transplanted, has to observe his or her lymph nodes carefully. In order for a transplant to be successful, an immune system needs to be strong. Sometimes, however, as the main function of the immune system is to fight foreign agents, it may reject the transplanted organ or tissue.

One of the signs that the body rejects the transplanted organ or tissue is swelling of the lymph nodes.

8. Genetic Lipid Storage Disease

When fatty substances, such as cholesterol, lipoproteins, or triglycerides accumulate in your body, a disorder which is known as genetic lipid storage disorder may develop. In such a case, swollen and inflamed lymph nodes show that your body does not remove these substances effectively.

Genetic lipid storage disorders have to be taken seriously as when left untreated they may lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease. Most of the lipid disorders are genetic, but some of them may be caused by a high-fat diet or diabetes.

9. Sarcoidosis

It sometimes happens that our lymph nodes, lungs, skin, or eyes get infected by a collection of tiny inflammatory cells known as granulomas. If it is your occipital lymph nodes that are affected, it will result in their swelling and inflammation.

No cure to sarcoidosis has been found yet. However, there are therapies which may help control the disease.

10. Eye Infections

Eye infections, which in medical terms are known as conjunctivitis, are usually caused by bacteria or viruses. They lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as redness, irritation, and itching. Your eyes may become watery too.

When your eyes are infected, they often release discharge, which often sticks your eyelids together, especially while sleeping. Swollen occipital lymph nodes are one of the symptoms of an eye infection.

Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes – When to See a Doctor

In most cases swelling of lymph nodes is nothing serious and it is just the answer of your immune system to an infection in your organism. Sometimes, however, it may be a sign of a serious health disorder, even cancer, and because of that the problem should never be neglected.

For sure, you need to visit a doctor if you can feel that your lymph nodes started to be hard, irregular, and swollen, without any clear reason. Also, if the lymph nodes are swollen for longer than two weeks and are still growing bigger, it is a worrying sign as well.

Other worrying symptoms include frequent, unexplained fever and excess sweating at night. Sudden weight loss is alarming too. Moreover, go to a doctor if you can feel that your occipital lymph nodes got red and tender when you touch them.

If occipital lymph nodes are hard, do not move when you touch them, and additionally you have breathing or swelling difficulties, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes – Diagnosis and Medical Treatment

If you feel that your occipital lymph nodes are swollen, but you are in the middle of an infection, you do not need to panic as probably the swelling will disappear once you fight the infection.

However, if the swelling of occipital lymph nodes happens suddenly, without any clear reason or it does not want to go away for a long time, you should consult the matter with your doctor. He will ask you about your medical history, the symptoms, and when they started.

In case of swollen occipital lymph nodes you may also experience stiffness or pain in your neck, the skin in this area may be irritated, and you can have dandruff or scalp itchiness. Therefore, if you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor about them too.

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