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swelling/lump behind ear
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swelling/lump behind ear

Thursday evening when i took off my glasses it was kind of itchy behind my right ear. I just thought it was from my glasses but Friday morning I had a big lump behind my ear. it was about 2 inches long and kind of bean shaped. At the base of it, it was softer but sore if i rubbed it and the top of it was harder but didn't hurt at all. It also was a little itchy. We had a big function at our church this weekend that we were very involved in so i couldn't get it checked out. Saturday it was maybe slightly worse and Sunday I thought the swelling was less. Now Monday morning it is definitely better and i would say the lump and swelling have been reduced by maybe 75%. Still slightly sore if i rub it and itchy. What could it be? Do I need to be worried or since it seems to be going away just wait and see what happens? I've never experienced anything like it before.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

It could be enlarged lymph node/nodes. Lymph are protective mechanisms of the body and they 'trap' the infecting source causing enlargement of lymph nodes. The infection can be from the draining skin or the organs. The other causes for enlarged nodes are tumors or inflammations to name a few. The swelling and pain could also be due to mastoiditis, which is infection of the bone behind the ear. This happens when there is a middle ear infection, which spreads to involve the mastoid bone. But as your symptoms are resolving, you could wait and watch. However, if you develop fever, increase in the size of the swelling or pain; please consult your primary care physician. In the meantime you can use OTC Acetaminophen for relief from pain.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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2133874_tn?1335815939
Thank you for the info! I believe I'm doing fine now. (i hope!) Throughout the week I did experience some symptoms that also led me to believe that it was some sort of infection. Started getting a little of that crud in my throat like something was draining and also a slightly sore throat. Not bad but it was noticeable. Also last Monday I just felt kind of "off". While eating lunch with some friends, my head felt like it was off balance if you know what i mean and i was  definitely tired. Now a week later I'm feeling pretty much normal and the lump seems to be completely gone. It still itches a little behind my ear sometimes but there isn't any pain. My ear never did hurt though which kind of surprised me a little. Would be interested to hear any more thoughts you might have on the matter!
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The lump behind the ear could most probably have been a lymph node, so as the infection resolves, the node too is decreasing in size. The source of infection is the throat. White patches are common in many throat  infections. The sore throat which you had may have contributed to it. In response to the infection the body produces soft white debris which collects in the tiny indentations in the tonsils called crypts. Repeated salt water gargles will help. Mix one teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and gargle. If the patches increase in size or become painful then consult your doctor.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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