How Long Do Lymph Nodes Stay Swollen (And Why)?

How Long Do Lymph Nodes Stay Swollen (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 to 3 weeks

Swollen lymph nodes signify a common illness, but they can also suggest a medical disease such as an immunological problem or, in rare cases, a kind of cancer. Lymph nodes are tiny, spherical structures that help the body’s immune system function. Swollen glands are another name for swollen lymph nodes.

Liquids, human waste, and potentially hazardous bacteria are collected and filtered by lymph nodes. Lymph fluid circulates throughout the body, flowing in and out of lymph nodes before returning to the chest. Swollen glands also include immune cells that aid in the battle against infection by destroying bacteria that have accumulated in the body’s lymph fluid.

How Long Do Lymph Nodes Stay Swollen

How Long Do Lymph Nodes Stay Swollen?

ConditionsLasts for
Lymph nodes stay swollen in humans2 weeks
Lymph nodes stay swollen in dogs6 to 9 months

The swelling is caused by immune cell activation in the lymph nodes. The swelling’s location is frequently related to the afflicted area. An ear infection, for example, may result in enlarged lymph nodes surrounding the ear. Lymph nodes remain enlarged for two to three weeks.

Gently pushing around the region, such as the side of the neck, might reveal whether or not the lymph nodes are enlarged. Swollen glands will feel like soft, spherical lumps and maybe the size of a pea or a grape. They may be painful to the touch, indicating inflammation. Many persons who have enlarged glands suffer discomfort when they make quick or straining movements.

The majority of illnesses that can cause enlarged lymph nodes are viral. The common cough, influenza, skin problems, inflammatory disorders, dental or mouth infections, and strep throat are all examples of common illnesses. Chickenpox, mumps, Aids, rubella, hepatitis, and TB are more serious illnesses that can cause swelling in one or more lymph node locations. Swelling can also be caused by some medicines, such as antimalarials and antiseizure medications.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can result in enlarged lymph nodes, most in the groin area. Swollen lymph nodes in the groin might be caused by recurring infections, lower body illnesses, or leg injuries.

Once the body has effectively treated the illness, swelling decreases and finally vanishes within 3 weeks. If the condition persists for more than a couple of weeks, it may be time to see a doctor.

Why Does Lymph Nodes Stay Swollen For So Long?

In most cases, swollen lymph nodes are caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Swollen lymph nodes indicate that they’re working hard. More immune cells may be sent there, and more trash may accumulate. The swelling indicates an infection, but it might also be due to a disorder such as inflammatory arthritis or lymphoma, or, in rare cases, malignancy.

A doctor may detect the reason for enlarged lymph nodes by a physical examination and testing such as ultrasound, MRI scan, and CT scan. If the swelling persists for many weeks or a person exhibits additional warning symptoms, a doctor may advise a lymph node biopsy. During this treatment, the doctor will numb the region, make a tiny cut, and extract a portion of lymph node tissue to send to a laboratory for analysis under a microscope.

Swollen gland swelling normally subsides once the infection has cleared. The inflammation may also go down if the person takes recommended drugs, such as antibacterial or antivirals.

The following are some common home treatments for swollen lymph node symptoms:

  • Using over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Using a warm, moist compress on the afflicted region
  • Consuming plenty of fluids like water and fresh fruit juices
  • Sleep to aid the body’s recovery from sickness


Swollen lymph nodes are a sign of another ailment, such as an infection, and they normally go away on their own within a few weeks.

If enlarged lymph nodes continue for more than three weeks or occur in conjunction with other symptoms such as high fever, stomach discomfort, or night sweats, it is recommended to see a doctor. The therapy will be determined by the reason for the edema.


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