Difficulty breathing can cause panic in anyone. When enormously swollen lymph nodes in the neck are causes this problem, the panic escalates to an even higher level.

In most cases, if someone is having difficulty breathing, they won’t care what is causing it. All that is on their mind is what needs to be done to fix this health problem.

It’s important to see a healthcare professional if swollen glands are at the point in which they are constricting the normal flow of air. In this article, it will focus on what are swollen lymph nodes, why they swell, treating them, and when to see a doctor.

Lymph Nodes Causing Difficulty Breathing

Swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenitis), sometimes called swollen glands are exactly what they seem to be: swollen glands, which are normally small and egg-shaped. One of the main body areas where a lymph node can be felt is on the neck. They might feel a little hard to the touch. Difficult breathing may occur when the nodes in the neck become so swollen that they block the airflow.

Anything blocking the airflow from the mouth to lungs can become very unpopular real quick. But keep in mind lymph nodes have an important role in keeping the body healthy, including fighting off infections like bacteria and viruses. In most situations, the neck lymph nodes won’t instantly become swollen and cause difficulty breathing.

Understand More – Head Lymph Nodes

Why Do They Swell, and Is It Cancer

Swollen lymph nodes most commonly occur with the body’s exposure to a bacteria, virus (like stated above), and they could occur by injury to the body. Most circumstances finding a swollen lymph node doesn’t instantly mean cancer. When the body comes into contact with bacteria, the nodes become inflamed/swollen in an effort to fight off the infection.

They help protect the rest of the body. The reason most swollen nodes are noticed in the neck is that that’s where most of the body’s lymph nodes are located: in the neck and head regions.

Can The Swelling Be Treated

Oftentimes, lymph nodes that are swollen will return to their original non-enlarged size given the right amount of time and care. (Swollen Lymph Node Home Remedies – mayoclinic.com) Changes to health habits can also play a role in the alleviation of the swollenness. If the root cause of the swollen nodes is discovered, then future occurrences can be avoided. If pain is an issue, over-the-counter pain relievers may be attained, although it’s important to realize that pain relievers will not solve the underlying issue of what caused the swelling to begin with.

It’s important to investigate the source, not only mask the possible pain associated with swollen lymph nodes.

When To See A Healthcare Professional

The first sign of a swollen lymph node may not be reason enough to see a doctor. Medical attention is a good idea if someone experiences persistent fever along with the lymph nodes being swollen.

If the nodes are swollen, tender, or hard for longer than a couple of weeks, then visiting a doctor is recommended. Also, if someone is losing weight unnecessarily, medical attention is recommended. Difficulty breathing is another alarm signal, so go to the doctor as you may require antibiotics or other treatments.


Swollen lymph nodes can be present for a number of unknown reasons, and it’s not often due to cancer. When they are swollen, it’s the body’s way of saying that something isn’t right and investigating the root cause of the swollen glands is a wise thing to do. Always seek medical attention if the condition worsens, lasts a long time, or is causing difficulty breathing.