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Pain and swelling behind left ear
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Pain and swelling behind left ear

Good morning,

Beginning on Jan. 9 of this year, I thought I noticed some swelling behind my left ear. According to my dr., it was in the area of the muscles on the back of my neck. I went to see my doctor on Jan. 20, and he said he could see nothing wrong (after palpating around there, looking in my left ear, etc.). That night, it became painful ... almost like a muscle-strain type feeling (burning sensation, sometimes pulsing). The pain has fluctuated between mild and moderate since, and a couple times recently has woken me up at night. It seems to be worse at work. I'd though it was muscle strain or something, but it's lasted so long, and is so localized (although my neck and left shoulder occasionally get sore too, the worst pain is always in the same spot).

What could this be? I'm seeing my dr. again today. What should I ask him?

Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
This could represent a neuralgia (irritated nerve) which can cause intermittent severe pain. You could ask your doctor about this possibility, and also ask if an MRI of the brain to exclude structural abnormalities in this region would be reasonable. Also, an MRI of the cervical spine to exclude "pinched nerves" would be reasonable. A consultation with a neurologist may be helpful to better define the area involved if your doctor does not feel comfortable with the evalaution. Good luck.
8 Comments
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63754_tn?1290966980
Just wondering whether this could be some part of the endocrine system.  People who have headaches from the chemical of oil spill cleanups and the gulf war vets (may be same chemical - ethylene glycol monobutyl ether also known as 2-butoxyethanol) describe pain and horrible headaches not like normal and often they are at the back of the head and running down the neck.  Since this chemical is also classified as a pesticide, endocrine disruption seems to occur.  

Could this be in the area of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus?  If there were harm to one of these, how can it be determined?

Now, I would not suspect the chemical I mentioned unless you have many, many other symptoms going on at the same time:  fatigue and a whole lot more.
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Avatar_n_tn
... well, my doctor looked at it again, and seems pretty confident it's nothing serious. He told me to take ibuprofin for a week, and call hom back.  Should I go back and ask for an x-ray and MRI, or is it safe to wait and see. Would the pinched nerve/irritated nerve be the most serious thing you'd suspect it could be?
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Avatar_n_tn
READ THIS! it floored me..
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had the same thing happen to me, the burning sensation that kinda throbs behind my left ear. I've had to put an icepack on that area and it usually helps. It usually happens when I am getting my depression medication (Effexor XR)adjusted either up or down. It has to do with the seritonin level, whether its too much or not enough. I also experience muscle rigidity in my neck and shoulders. I don't really understand all of this but, I know that when I start coming down on doseage it usually gets worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would just like to say that I've had pain and swelling behind my left ear, tingling in the face, head and neck and associated lightheadness and headaches for two years now, and they have only just recently got anything near a proper diagnosis.

They've also now found some other problem - with my nerves - too that I've been suffering with, so I would say not to be fobbed off, make sure you get this looked at because it's not funny to have it lasting longer than necessary.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI, this is my first time on this message board.  About a month ago, when I was out walking, I started getting a bad pain right behind my left ear, and it only felt better when I applied pressure with my finger.  Recently, the whole outside of my ear has gotten very painful, my ear is not plugged up at all, but rather the whole outside of the ear feels as if there is pressure on it, and also it feels the same behind the ear.  Has anyone else ever had the same problem?  I have yet to see my doctor, as it is hard to get an appointment right away.  I would appreciate any feed back I can get.  Thanks in advance
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63754_tn?1290966980
A gulf war vet had an experimental procedure in which a needle was put behind his left ear & they ground around to try to stop the headache pains.

Needless to say, it didn't help him.  In fact it hurt him, as now he (who needs to avoid any and all chemicals) now has to take medication for the effects of the 'procedure'

He said it did no good.

In his case, however, he was poisoned from the solvent in gun cleaner and jet fuel:  2-butoxyethanol and that does cause various central nervous system damages and endocrine system damage and BLOOD damage (that will be where the commonality of provable harm is:  premature destruction of one's red blood cells by the immune system, most likely)  do a retic ratio & CBC with differentials.  Ask for the size and shape of the red blood cells and do the white count by microscope, not computer.  Check kidneys and liver, which this chemical targets, too
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Dry ear,horrific pain,tender node in neck was started.
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A related discussion, pain to lower head and behind ear was started.
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A related discussion, Pain Behind Left Ear was started.
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