Ear, Nose & Throat Community
13.4k Members
Avatar universal

swelling behind right ear causing great concern


I'm a 24 year old, fit and normally healthy male. Three weeks ago I began to feel very ill in work, and the following day went to the docs, who told me i had tonsillitis. I had the usual symptoms of bad headache, neckache, swollen white covered tonsils. i took antibiotics for this, and the swelling of the tonsils generally cleared up.

However, for the past couple of weeks, I still haven't felt right. Firstly, my right tonsil returned to being very sore and swollen. This has only just (seemingly) begun to subside this weekend., however, my throat still looks quite red, and is particularly sore when I wake up.

My real concern is my neck, which is still in agony on one side, the same one the swollen tonsil was on, although over the past few days has started to feel like it's in both. There is one particular swelling just behind and between my ear lobe/jaw which is causing my a lot of worry. The pain seems to travel down into my neck muscles and the back of my neck, more recently my shoulders, and seems to radiate around on both sides. my neck doesn't look swollen particularly when i look in the mirror, but it feels it. The swollen lump is making me have to 'pop' my right ear all the time, and it now feels like there is pressure in my ear (a bit like when water is trapped in your ear).

I've been to a number of doctors/nurses, all of whom don't seem overly concerned. The nurse I saw yesterday told me that my neck glands aren't up, and that the lump I was referring to was part of my jaw muscles... but if that was the case, why would one side be bigger than the other, sore, and seemingly causing pain mostly down the same side of my neck? It is more pronounced if i open my mouth, it's easily visible then. she also checked my ears, she said they were fine, and that sometimes these ilnesses can take a while to leave your system.

I've had a blood test for HIV, which came back negative, but I'm worried it could be something like Leukemia now. Does anyone think my symptoms sound like leukemia? Can tonsillitis be a forerunner to leukemia? I also thought it might be mono. i did have a mild fever/chills and felt quite ill when i had the swollen/white covered tonsils, but this has passed now (about 4 or 5 days into it I felt quite a lot better), i generally don't feel sick or nautious, but my neck is painful and causing me a lot of concern.. it is over three weeks since i first had any illness symptoms, so i'm starting to worry, I've never had anything that's lated this long, ever. surely if it was glandular fever (mono) it would have made me bedridden?

Also, if it is mono, when should i expect this to start going away?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Sounds like what's wrong with me too.  I know it takes a long time for your tonsils and glands to return to normal after a case of tonsilitis.  The ear problem, that 'pop', i still have it too.  My bad case of it was in May, and i'm still all f**ked up.  If they did a blood test on you then they would've noticed signs of leukemia.  Also you would be really tired and bruising everywhere on your body, so try not to worry.  I know just how you feel, read my post that i just posted yesterday.  Get better. :)
Avatar universal
thanks for the post mate, yeh it does sound like a very similar problem. I made the mistake of going to the supermarket earlier and lifting heavy bags around, my neck feels like it's going to explode now. you just find yourself thinking "but i'm a man, and it's been over 3 weeks now, surely i shouldn't have trouble like this lifting a couple of bags with heavy shopping in them?" I feel very worried, low and frustrated, all i want to do is go out and enjoy the weekend, i just wish i knew what it was. so you had it in may you say, so are you not overly concerned about anything serious, do you think it's more likely to be mono running its course?
Avatar universal
I don't know what's wrong with me yet, I am going to the ENT on the 26th.  They said that I should have my tonsils and adenoids out, but today i feel a little better and my throat looks better.  I just pretty much told myself not to worry sick about it anymore because it seems to make symptoms worse when your obsessing about it.  My advice is to just try to take your mind off it, and don't search symptoms on the internet because no matter what the symptoms your searching the BIG C (cancer) comes up, lol.  Mono i know from friends that have had it say that you are extremely tired and sleepy, i don't think you had mono.  Tonsilitis takes alot out of you, so just take it easy for the next couple of weeks and you will start to feel ok.
Avatar universal
Did anyone ever find out what the problem was?? I am and have been having the same issues. The hard painful lumps are behind both of my ears, my neck feels stiff and hurts, my throat feels extremely swollen and is difficult to touch my chin to my chest. One ear usually at a time will hurt, turn bright red and get really hot.The worst is prolly this ongoing headache though which seems to really only be behind my ears and the back of my head. I also just notice the back of my head kind of close to the back of my neck seems to have a couple swollen bumps that hurt when I touch. I've been to my doc twice and the ER twice, was told first it was a sinus infection. Had ct scan and blood work, which then was told my sinuses looked fine, After the 3rd antibiotic and a steroid for 5 days the swolleness and pain started to go away it's only been s couple weeks maybe and it's back n feels worse than before. Someone please let me know if this is something I should continue Making apts for or stop worrying so much? Seems the more I go online and worry the worse it gets and after 4 visits and nothing apparently wrong with me I feel like I'm crazy!
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
Discover the common causes of and treatments for a sore throat.
Learn about what actually causes your temperature to spike.
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
Family medicine doctor Enoch Choi, MD helps differentiate between the common cold and more threatening (bacterial) infections
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life