Swollen lymph glands are usually a sign of infection and tend to go down when you recover.However, they can sometimes have a more serious cause and may need to be seen by a doctor.

Lymph glands (also called lymph nodes) arepea-sized lumps of tissue that contain white blood cells. These help to fight bacteria, viruses and anything else that causes infection. They are an important part of the immune system and are found throughoutthe body.

The glandscan swell to more than a few centimetres in response to infection or disease. Swollen glands, known medically as lymphadenopathy,may be felt under the chin or in the neck, armpits orgroin, where they can be found in larger clumps.

Many different types of infection can cause swollen glands, such as a Cold or glandular fever . Less commonly, swollen glands may be caused bya non-infectious condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or even cancer.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 5 Jan 2017