Occipital Lymph Node

The occipital lymph nodes become part of the lymphatic system and are found at the back of your head. Due to the fact that lymph nodes assist in keeping your body healthy and balanced, they could become swollen if you have a disease or infection. The occipital lymph nodes on top of your neck can additionally swell if you have a viral or microbial infection.

Lymph nodes, including your occipital lymph nodes, are generally about the size of a tiny pea or bean and also in regular conditions, can’t be really felt. However, infections or illness can trigger lymphatic fluid to build up in the nodes causing them to swell to a much larger size. You can typically feel swollen lymph nodes, and also they could also show up if you are fighting off an infection.

The place of puffy lymph nodes can usually offer doctors an indication about just what kind of infection you have. That is why in specific conditions, a doctor will certainly feel the back of your head to inspect if occipital lymph nodes are larger than they ought to be.

In this post, you will certainly find out about the numerous sources of puffy occipital lymph nodes. Due to the fact that occipital lymph nodes could swell if you have a severe condition like cancer, you will certainly also find out when you need to see a doctor.

Where the Occipital Lymph Nodes are Situated

Your body has as much as 700 lymph nodes as well as one of the most typical area for them remain in your underarms, neck, and also groin. According to Dr. Benoit Gosselin, you have 3-5 occipital lymph nodes or glands at the base of your head. These are located near the occipital bone which is discovered behind your skull.

You could find the approximate place of the occipital lymph nodes if you place your hand simply at the nape of your neck. As a matter of fact, if you think about an imaginary line going just between the base of your ears along the rear of your head, your occipital lymph nodes will certainly remain in the middle.

Generally, you will not be able to really feel the occipital lymph nodes unless they are inflamed somehow.

Feature of the Occipital Lymph Nodes

As with all lymph glands in your body, the feature of your occipital lymph nodes is to keep your body immune system healthy and balanced. The little bean-like nodes of your lymphatic system strain contaminations and also dangerous compounds from your body. All lymph nodes also contain white blood cells that eliminate infection.

Inning accordance with the American Cancer cells Society, liquid from your head, scalp, and face flow with the lymph nodes at the back and also side of your neck. If you have an infection, injury, or major illness, liquid develops in some of your lymph nodes causing them to swell. This happens due to the fact that your lymph nodes are working hard to obtain rid of the “bad” cells.

Dr. Wesley Norman from Georgetown Medical Center states that lymph nodes will certainly swell if there is an infection in that area.3 Depending upon the root cause of infection or which area of your body is impacted, lymph nodes could swell enough to be felt with your fingers. As a matter of fact, they could swell a lot that a swelling develops. As a result, a swelling on the back of your neck just listed below your skull could be a signs and symptom that your occipital lymph nodes are swollen due to an infection influencing your head.

Signs And Symptoms of Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes

Generally, puffy occipital lymph nodes will certainly be accompanied by various other symptoms. These signs of inflamed glands could aid medical professionals identify the reason for the lumps at the back of your neck, in your underarms, or groin.

Physicians from the Mayo Facility state that the very first indication of inflamed lymph nodes is tenderness and discomfort in the small pea-sized lump. Occasionally, a serious infection can create the nodes to swell even bigger.

If you have a breathing infection, microbial infection, or viral infection, you could additionally have a drippy nose, fever, as well as sore throat. Some viral infections like mononucleosis or immune disorders like rheumatoid joint inflammation could create your lymph nodes throughout your body to swell.

Generally, maintaining your immune system healthy and balanced is the most effective way to prevent infections as well as avoid having swelling in your lymph nodes. After an infection, you can try my lymph cleansing natural infusion to help flush contaminants from your body or this three day lymphatic cleanse by Greg Ashby, an integrative health and wellness trainer and also functional dietary specialist.

Root Causes Of Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes

Now that we understand the function of lymph nodes is to maintain you healthy, let’s take a look at reasons that your occipital lymph nodes could swell into tiny lumps at the base of your head.

Microbial infections

Bacterial infections on your scalp could be a reason for swollen occipital lymph nodes. An infection on your scalp will certainly cause toxic substances and also debris to drain pipes through the lymph nodes at the back of your head. The swelling is brought on by white blood cells from your nodes ruining the contaminated cells.

The journal GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology says that if the occipital lymph nodes show indicators of swelling, medical professionals will certainly accomplish an examination of the skin beneath the hair. Doctors say that bacterial infections that trigger occipital lymph node swelling generally only affect one side.5.

Additionally, bacterial or viral ear infections can create puffy lymph nodes at the base of your head.5 Along with an aching ear and also puffy occipital lymph nodes, you could have a fever, water drainage from your ear, or problem hearing effectively.

Fungal infections

One more reason for swelling in your lymph nodes at the top of your neck is a fungal infection. Fungal infections can commonly influence the scalp and also cause your occipital lymph nodes to swell larger than their normal dimension.

For instance, the journal Pediatrics in Evaluation reported that the fungal infection tinea capitis (typically called ringworm) could impact the scalp and create swelling in the occipital lymph nodes.6 Along with the swollen lymph nodes in your neck, you could have loss of hair, dry scaling skin like dandruff, as well as yellow crusts on your scalp.

To assist get rid of a fungal infection on your scalp as well as minimize the lymph node swelling caused by it, you can try utilizing coconut oil and also tea tree oil. The mix of these 2 active ingredients produces effective antimicrobial mixture that could assist to exterminate infections caused by fungi. In my write-up on all-natural means to obtain eliminate ringworm forever, you could discover exactly how virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil, as well as various other treatments, can be made use of to treat your ringworm signs.

Viral infections

Often a viral infection could create swelling in the lymph nodes in the occipital area of your body.

For example, the National Health Service in the UK claims that rubella could cause swelling in the glands in your neck as well as head. There is no details therapy for rubella and physicians advise plenty of rest in order to help the body recover itself.

Another viral infection that could create your occipital lymph nodes to become enlarged is mononucleosis. Dr. Burke Cunha on Medscape says that infectious mononucleosis triggers the occipital as well as preauricular nodes to swell.8 This infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus causes glands in your neck to become puffy as well as provides you an aching throat. You could additionally experience tiredness, white spots on the tonsils, high temperature, as well as headache.


Some cancers could spread to the lymphatic system and also cause swelling in the occipital lymph nodes.

The China Journal of Cancer cells reported that cancer cells in the lymph nodes or lymphoma could create difficult lumps at the base of the skull. Although it’s not very common, cancer cells that infects the occipital lymph nodes can be triggered by cancer malignancy, cancer of the scalp, lung cancer, or thyroid cancer cells.9.

A warning sign that you should have the bump at the top of your neck looked into by a physician is if the swelling is very tough and remains to expand in dimension.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one more sort of cancer cells that could impact the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma could impact any of the lymph nodes in your body, consisting of the occipital nodes in your head.

Inning Accordance With Dr. Colin Tidy on Patient.info, a lot of situations of inflamed lymph nodes result from an infection and also normally, the node swelling passes when the infection has gone. Dr. Tidy states that lymphoma triggers one or more inflamed lymph nodes, generally in the side of the neck, groin, or armpit.10.

Other signs of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are bouts of high temperature, unusual weight management, exhaustion, anemia, as well as having an all-over body impulse.

When to See a Physician if Occipital Lymph Nodes are Swollen

Usually, lymph node swelling ought to vanish when the underlying cause has actually been dealt with successfully. However, swollen occipital lymph nodes could be a signs and symptom of a more serious disease in the body.

Doctors from the Mayo Facility advise seeing your physician if you have swollen lymph nodes in addition to the list below conditions:

  • There are no other symptoms going along with the lymph node swelling
  • The lymph nodes have actually been puffy for 2-4 weeks as well as they remain to enlarge
  • The lymph nodes feel really hard as well as do not move when you try to relocate them
  • You likewise have symptoms like sweating during the night time, a high fever, and/or unexplained weight loss

The lymphatic system is an important part of your body immune system. You have lymph nodes throughout your body as well as they aid your body acknowledge and fight infections, germs, and also other foreign substances. It is possible to feel lymph nodes in particular areas of your body, especially when they are enlarged or inflamed. You can feel inflamed lymph nodes in the neck, above the clavicle, in the groin and also armpits, and also in the rear of your head over hairline. The lymph nodes above the clavicle are called supraclavicular lymph node, whereas the lymph nodes at the back of your head are called occipital lymph node. Maintain reviewing to find out more regarding different features as well as specific areas of occipital lymph node, as well as reasons that you might create swollen occipital lymph node.

Area and also Function of the Occipital Lymph Node

The bone behind your head is called the occipital bone, and there are nodes near this bone, which is why they are called the occipital lymph nodes. They are not within the skull and as essential for your body’s immune defense system as other lymph nodes are. They are small, bean-like bumps as well as are connected by lymphatic vessels. These nodes produce a form of leukocyte called lymphocytes that kill microorganisms, germs, as well as other foreign substances after they obtain trapped in these nodes.

When an infection creates, these lymph nodes will begin releasing more lymphocytes, which will increase the size of the node. This is usually the reason why you could have occipital lymph node swelling. The lymph drains pipes after destroying international cells. The lymph and also the pollutants then enter your bloodstream as well as are removed into the liver.

Sources Of Swollen Occipital Lymph Node

Swollen lymph nodes indicate that there is an infection in your body. If you have occipital lymph node swelling, it generally means you have an infection in the scalp or in the head. Toxic substances as well as debris that drain from the scalp can lead to an infection as well as cause your occipital lymph nodes to swell. The dimension of your lymph nodes could often raise due to cancer cells. Nonetheless, the good thing is that if your occipital lymph nodes have puffy as a result of cancer cells, it will certainly not spread to other parts of your body. The movement of cancer cells in this instance is called metastasis. Bear in mind that cells from various other parts of the body could technique to these lymph nodes.

Swelling brought on by cancer cells is not that common. The swelling is usually the end result of typical issues like presence of lice, dandruff or ringworm. A cut or abrasion because location or a fungal infection may cause swelling of occipital lymph nodes. Infections in ears or throat might also trigger swollen occipital nodes.

When to Fret

Occipital lymph node swelling ought to not always be a reason for concern. In many cases, this shows that your lymph nodes are doing their job right and are actively capturing particles or various other international microorganisms. In this case, your lymph nodes should return to their normal dimension after a few week. You ought to see your medical professional if they remain swollen for greater than 4 weeks approximately. Look for immediate medical aid if the size of your puffy occipital lymph node is in fact raising. You need to see your doctor if you have inflamed nodes with other signs such as night chills as well as fever. This could happen due to lymphoma, which is the cancer cells of the lymph nodes.

Below are some other circumstances when you ought to call your physician. Talk to your physician if:

  • Your lymph nodes are growing and also are red and tender
  • Your lymph nodes feel uneven or difficult, and also are repaired in place
  • You have inexplicable weight loss with night sweats
  • You should likewise consult your physician if your kid has a swollen lymph node that is larger than 1 centimeter in size

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