Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
120 Doctors are Online

Have painful swollen nodes behind ears, hearing loss after applying pressure around it. What's wrong?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2450 Questions
Hello I have talked to a couple specialist on here trying to find an answer then I thought maybe an ent specialist may be best. Over the last few months I have had either swollen nodes or tissue behind my ears that is very painful. My neck behind my ears pops a lot and when I pop my neck it relieves a lot of the pressure I feel in my ears. When I hear some loud noises it causes my ears XXXXXXX down in them to pop sort of like I'm going up in elevation. Throughout the day I sometimes it seems like the pressure in and around my ears are causing me to not be able to hear fully but then it gets better. Any idea what's going on? Also I do have a little congestion but I don't think there related since it's been going on so long. 6months+
Posted Sun, 24 Mar 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 56 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get a USG (Sonography) with a Doppler study of the Neck done to check whether the lumps are enlarged lymph nodes or muscle tissue. I assume these symptoms are equal on both sides.

2. Get a Tympanogram done to check middle ear pressures and Eustachian Tube function. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nose and helps equalize the air pressure on both sides of the ear drum and also helps the normal fluid secretions in the middle ear space drain into the nose. The Eustachian tube is normally in a collapsed state. It can be voluntarily opened by yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, blowing your nose or performing the Valsalva maneuver. These functions are affected by nasal congestion. A post nasal drip should be ruled out.

3. If this Impedance Audiogram is abnormal (fluid build-up or negative pressure), then a trial of medication should be taken for a fortnight which will include anti-histamines, anti-leukotrienes, steroid nasal sprays and regular steam inhalation. Also get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) done and your eardrums examined by a local ENT Specialist.

4. Get a set of Cervical spine and Sinus X-rays done. This is because you also feel that popping your neck relieves a lot of pressure. You also have some congestion.

Hope this answers your query. Should you have any additional concerns, I will be glad to assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have painful swollen nodes behind ears, hearing loss after applying pressure around it. What's wrong? 1 hour later
Thank you. Unfourtunilly I don't have health insurance right now so I can't see anyone or I would have already. I wanted to add that even when I move my neck from side to side I can hear a crackling noise. I wonder if there is a skeletal issue that can cause these symptoms around and in my ears. And what kinds of things can cause this sensitivity ( when i touch) behind my ears from top of ear to bottom loab not only on those Nodes in my neck under my ears. And both ears are having these symptoms but my right ear is much worse and more pain and inflamed more than the left. Would u recommend a different type of specialist I should talk to? Also is it possible xanex could be a cause?
A friend told me to squirt salt water up my nose and tilt my head and let it drain into my ears from my nose and that it should help. Would u suggest that?
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 33 minutes later

Thank you for writing back.

1. The crackling noise when moving the neck from side to side is mostly from the cervical spine changes such as early cervical spondylosis. This happens to a lot of people. However at your age, it is unlikely to be severe. Simple heat fomentation, mild analgesics and regular neck exercises will reduce the discomfort.

2. Mastoiditis, neuralgias, eustachian tube or skin problems may cause similar symptoms.

3. It will be better to get these investigations done rather than seeing another specialist.

4. Xanax is unlikely to cause these symptoms.

5. If you are preparing the saline solution at home,
(i) I will recommend that you use Normal Saline 0.9% which is used for IV infusions.
(ii) Household salt may contain anti-caking agents and too strong or too weak a solution will damage your delicate nasal mucosa.
(iii) If you still want to prepare the solution at home prepare a mixture of Sodium bicarbonate (loosens crusts) 50 gm, Sodium biborate (antiseptic) 50 gm, Sodium Chloride (for isotonicity) 100 gm and then add 1 teaspoon to 300 ml XXXXXXX warm water.
(iv) Another option is to add a pinch of baking soda to a pinch of common salt, + XXXXXXX warm water,
(v) Attach a piece of rubber catheter to a 20 cc disposable syringe. Keep your head bent forwards and downwards, mouth kept open while performing this alkaline nasal douche.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an ENT Specialist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor