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Pain in the Neck
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Pain in the Neck

For the last 7-8 months, Ive been experiencing inner ear pain (below the earlobe, down the side of the neck - which is quite severe), and neck pain, at the front of my throat along the right side of my windpipe. At first, I thought it was my thyroid - so I had it checked and it was fine. My GP of course, made me feel like I was out of my mind and told me to take vitamins. I was feeling OK - it was not swollen glands like one would get when sick with a cold/flu - there was only a small swelling area that feels a bit "rough" and less like a tumor/cyst but more so just "bumpy".  Its not round and doesnt really have a shape - its just along the right side of my windpipe and a bit towards the back (inwards, where my artery is)

The pain in my neck was increasing, getting more intense and much more frequent. It does not hurt to touch, but if I lean forward and come back up - I get a weird sensation in my neck. If I cough or sneeze, I may get a slight dull pain, perhaps a sharp one - it really varies. Sometimes I just feel very bizarre sensations in my neck - indescribable. The pain sometimes radiates upwards towards underneath my chin (only on the right side), and even as far down as my collar bone. I also have a hard time breathing when laying on my right side in bed, with a pillow under my neck - it feels like someone is sitting on my neck.

Other symptoms which I am not sure are attributed to the neck: pinching/needle poking pains on the right and left side of my abdomen at the bottom of the ribs, severe headaches to the point of nausea, back of the head/neck pain to the point of being bedridden (this could be bad posture, as Ive had it for a few years), exhaustion for no reason, bizarre hearing (sounds like people are either right next to me when they arent, or far away when they arent) and strangely (according to my eye doc) degrading eyesight - every year for the past two years Ive needed a new Rx.

So, 7-8mo later, I decided to go to the ENT and get it checked out. The ENT tells me after inspecting my neck with his hands and using a scope to check out my throat via my nose (wow, uncomfortable!) - the problem could be 1- an infected salivary gland, 2- a blocked salivary gland or 3- a mass in my salivary gland. So I have orders to get a CT scan this Wednesday. He said that it was not my thyroid as my pain/swelling is far too high on the neck to be that. He didnt seem to like the fact that I waited so long to come and see him - but he can thank my GP for making me feel like a hypochondriac for the delay.

Wondering if anyone has had any experience with salivary gland issues - masses in the neck, etc. that can shed some light on this.

Thanks in advance.
4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The three major salivary glands are the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. They secrete saliva into the mouth, the parotid through tubes that drain saliva, called salivary ducts, near the upper teeth, submandibular under the tongue, and the sublingual through many ducts in the floor of the mouth.The duct of the these glands can get blocked and this could cause the symptoms with eating. It could further get inflamed causing pain. Please consult a dentist for assessment. He may even ask for blood test and an X ray.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Update:  I went to the ENT.  He thought it was one of the salivary glands and ordered a CT scan.  CT scan came back fine - with some very minor inflammation on the left side.  No tumors, masses or anything else.  

Though the week leading up to the CT Scan, my neck had never felt more pain.  Severe tightening and "closing up" feeling, pinching and poking, twinges and dull aches.  Specifically directly underneath my chin.  At my followup to go over the scan, the ENT told me that the issue was most likely muscular/skeletal and gave me an Rx of Soma 250mg - and a followup in 2wks.  

I currently have an appointment in 2wks with another ENT for a 2nd opinion.  The pain is still there, although not as intense - its still there.  I also just felt my front neck where the pain was along side my windpipe - and I felt something move - and it sounded crunchy when it moved.  I know that sounds weird, but thats the best I can describe it.  

Im trying to respect the doctor and his expertise, but I might feel better about my prognosis once I get someone else to have a look at my scan.  I was not ordered for bloodwork either.  Im curious, could TMJ be doing this?  Perhaps a pinched nerve?  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Your symptoms could be due to temporomandibular (TMJ) joint arthritis, if there is point tenderness and pain on opening the mouth. This is the jaw joint and inflammation of this joint can cause pain on opening the mouth and tenderness on palpation behind the ear. It can also happen due to iron deficiency anemia causing Plummer-Vinson syndrome, where there changes to the soft lining of the throat. This can cause tightening of the throat. This can be diagnosed by a simple blood test.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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1835802_tn?1318480951
Any updates? I feel like I'm going through this too!
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