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How is swelling in lymph nodes under the ears treated ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 126 Questions
Hi Doc, I had an ear infection with swollen lymph nodes under my left and right ears and little bit swollen around my neck however after the infection is gone, the glands are still swollen and they get more swollen whenever i get into cold places with low temperature or the under the ac. even more lymph nodes gets triggered whenever i get into cold places now. i'm having lymph nodes under my jaw, left and right side of my neck and the back of my neck.
whats the reason behind that, as i know after an infection glands should be lesser in size rather than more coming up.
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Tulasi Raman.P 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to us.

Lymph nodes swelling are one of the thing which inform us about the breach in immune system. It could have been breached by micro-organisms that is infection, continuous inflammation, hypersensitivity or uncontrolled production of WBC's like in cancer.

These are all the possibilities.

Sometimes few slow growing bacteria like TB bacteria will seem to respond to the the regular anti-biotics but it doesn't and continues to grow for a longer time until the proper treatment is taken. There are many bacteria which are like this.

Even virus which doesn't have specific antibiotics can go on like this if your body's natural defence is week.

Few autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis can cause swelling of the neck which is most often due to an ear infection and fever earlier.

Similarly the cancerous cells grow in this pattern.

So please consult your doctor as physical examination of the lymph nodes and lab investigation are must to confirm and rule out persisting infection and other causes.

I hope I have cleared your doubt. Feel free to write to me for any other query I will be available to answer.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is swelling in lymph nodes under the ears treated ? 5 hours later
so is it relevant to the ear infection or it came after the ear infection ? and why does it only happen after cool temperature.
Answered by Dr. Tulasi Raman.P 44 minutes later
Thanks for writing back to us,
If it is related to the ear infection then it would be of short duration mostly few days to weeks.
The ear cavity is connected to the oral cavity and nasal cavity by a tube called eustachian tube. Hence the coolness in the environment can be confered to the ear cavity through these routes. In an infection the ear cavity is made more susceptible to the temperature surrounding which it is sensitive even before but the infection create a way fro breaching the defense.

The most common breach is the hole in the ear drum which prevents the contact of ear cavity from external environment. If it is breached people feel the cold or pressure or hot climatic change more drastically and many can't bear it.

And few infection when antibiotic is taken localise themselves into a place where the antibiotic can't reach in normal dose. These remnant can also cause this symptoms.

I hope this has cleared your doubt.
If you still have any queries please write back to me I will be available to answer.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is swelling in lymph nodes under the ears treated ? 5 hours later
Thanks doctor, one last question how much time would it usually take to heal. as the ear infection is gone a week ago i feel my ear is better but the nodes are sensitive to cold weather still. how can i get back to normal?
Answered by Dr. Tulasi Raman.P 5 hours later
Thanks for replying back.

If it is due to infection it will subside in a week or two.
Use soft ear plugs in cool weather that will help it heal soon.
Use XXXXXXX warm salt water for gargling.
Give warm compression on the swelling slowly and repeatedly.
If the swelling doesn't subside it means the antibiotic course you had taken was not adequate or it was not appropriate for the micro organism causing it.
In that case a new antibiotic course has to be started by your Doctor after confirming the causative organism through lab investigation.

I hope my recommendation was helpful to you.
Please write back if you have any other query.I will be available to answer.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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