Usually, a swollen lymph node does indicate illness or an infection.
You said this is on your neck, where exactly? Maybe we can narrow things down a bit.
These are the "tonsilar or sub-mandibular lymph nodes." They drain the tonsils and most of the teeth.
Have you seen the dentist lately?
Do you smoke? It can aggravate these lymph nodes.
How big is the mass? Since you say "mass" I'm assuming you can see it. If so, it really should be checked, and I don't mean just touched. In general, in an adult, after an evaluation you'd act under the suspicion that it may be malignant and not an infection. A biopsy and CT or MRI would be standard orders.
Sometimes, it can also indicate a food allergy.
I'm not trying to scare you and while it may be nothing, without an exam we can't be certain. That's why I include "worst-case." If you have more questions, please let me know.
I havent been to the dentist in probably two years.
You cant see the "mass" so probably a bad term for it but you can feel it its about the size of a marble.
I'd probably start out with a dental exam. It's not uncommon to have a low grade infection due to dental issues. Once that's ruled out, keep an eye on the lump.
If you do notice it getting bigger, then see your doctor.
Hope it helps.
Hi, About 5 or 6 years ago.. I had gone thru a period of time that my lymph nodes were enlarged. They hurt and everytime I had flared lymph nodes, I would get the chills ( like someone suffering from a flu). I had thought I twisted my neck until I realized it was lymph nodes not anything else ( it took many doctors.. believe it or not, one even gave me a neck brace.. unbelievable). I finally found a doctor who was willing to work with me. She is still my primary doctor now but she is specialized in infectious disease and that was the reason why I wanted to see her. At first when I finally got an appt to see her, my lymph nodes were fine so she couldn't tell me anything except she asked me alot of questions. Thank God, a few days later, my lymph nodes flared and so swollen, I called her and asked for an emergency appt. She saw me and did not waste another minute and sent me to an ENT. She was great... did all test ( took liquid out of lymph nodes... now, that was painful). To be sure to rule out anything, she did a biopsy with lymph nodes. I wasn't very scared but I wasn't that terrified because no one told me what it could be. My bf at the time was so supportive and took me to each appt anmd my family was very supportive. Maybe it was good that I didn't know so I wasn't anxious at all.
The result was God's blessing! I had KiKumchi ( yea, sounded like a japanese restaurant) but it very rare. My doctor calls me the one in the million girl ... as it is the stats! There's nothing I can do but to just let it ride out! Eventually after maybe an year.. it just vanished. I still get swollen glands from time to time but nothing like it as before.
I urge you to check out what you have asap! No matter what it may be the cause, the early you know the better to treat it!