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Painful swelling appeared in front of ear. Should I be worried?

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Practicing since : 2003
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A swollen area just in front of my left ear appeared this afternoon. It wasn't there this morning when I shaved. It isn't painful, per se, but it is large and noticeable--from about the top of my ear to the jawline. I was speaking all day yesterday to elementary-age children (5 programs, 45 minutes each, with only one break) and had a slight raw throat, but nothing too extraordinary. I am on travel at this time and wonder if this is something I should worry about and perhaps go to an emergency room. Or should I give it a day or two.
Posted Wed, 5 Dec 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 4 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

The most common cause for a sudden onset, large swelling between the ear and the jaw line is a parotid gland swelling, called a "parotitis" (patotid gland is one of the salivary glands). Often viral infections can produce such acute swellings. Though these are usually accompanied by fever pain, in some cases, these accompanying symptoms may be absent. Other than an infectious cause, there swellings can also occur due to obstruction of the salivary duct, due to a salivary stone.

It is unlikely that your swelling is a simple, direct consequence of your prolonged talking yesterday, and there seems to be some other underlying pathology causing this. Therefore, I think it is advisable to seek medical attention as early as possible and have a proper examination and evaluation done.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
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