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Swollen lymph node behind ear, Had taken medicines for infection. Cause of concern?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Hello
I have been a little bit worried. I travelled to Dubai with my son a year ago and he had a really bad infection with a high temperature. He was given antibiotics, but then he had a swollen lymph node behind his ear that never shrunk. Al the Doctors I have spoken to and shown said dont worry. His appetite is fine, it does not hurt him and he is never sick. Please tell me what to do, as it is a little bit big and has gotten bigger. He has had antibiotics since then for like colds and coughs but nothing has made it shrink. I think it has gotten slightly bigger than a year ago, but yet so has he. He has a ferocious appetite. Something he never had before. I have also noticed since then two less prominent swollen nodes in his neck when he has a cold or cough. Please reassure me and tell me there are non invasive methods to treat this
Posted Mon, 20 May 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later
Hi

Thanks for posting the query

The lymph node located behind the ear, also known as post auricular lymph node can appear due to various reasons such as infection in the scalp, dandruff, infection in the middle and external ear, etc. The appearance of lymph nodes in the children are quite common and in most of the cases they do not recede back even after taking the antibiotics.

Do not worry, it appears to be an harmless lymph node. The location of this lymph node over the mastoid bone makes it appear prominent. As the mastoid bone starts growing along with the age, the lymph node appears bigger and prominent.

If it were to be XXXXXXX condition like Lymphomas, then there would be recurrent fever, weight loss, night sweats, etc. which are not there in your child, hence that is ruled out. Your child is quite health and appetite is also good so it can't be tubercular disease also.

Secondly, there is no earache or ear discharge, hence the middle and external ear infection is also ruled out.

Finally, you can check for any scalp infection like folliculitis (infection of the hair follicle) or dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), if present, then that could be one of the cause for appearance of post auricular lymph node.

The neck nodes are irrelevant unless the other symptoms of lymphomas are present. These neck nodes are very common in children and most likely due to recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Most of the times, these lymph nodes do not most disappear even with the best of the antibiotics and these nodes are totally harmless.

There are no non-invasive techniques to identify the cause, either the node has to be excised and sent for biopsy or a fine needle aspiration can be done and sent for examination. Ultrasound of the lymph node may not be helpful in making a diagnoses.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow up queries.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Swollen lymph node behind ear, Had taken medicines for infection. Cause of concern? 8 hours later
Thank you so much but are you saying that it will get bigger? Will a lymphatic massage drain it? Or is there any other way to get it removed?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later
Hi

Welcome back

I am sorry, I did not mention that it will grow bigger. I meant, the lymph node appears prominent because of the development of the mastoid bone below it. Seldom, it may swell in case of severe infection in the surrounding region or else the node will remain as it is.

No, the lymphatic message will not help. The only way to remove it is by surgical excision.

Hope this clarifies your doubts. I wish your child good health, God bless you all.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Swollen lymph node behind ear, Had taken medicines for infection. Cause of concern? 23 hours later
These are the blood test results for my son the last time.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 14 hours later
Hi

I am sorry! I am unable to see the test results. Could you please repost it again.

Thank you

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Swollen lymph node behind ear, Had taken medicines for infection. Cause of concern? 36 hours later
I reposted
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 6 hours later
Hi

Thanks for writing back and re-posting the investigations report.

I have gone through the report of the blood test done and it is perfectly normal. Do not worry! As I mentioned in my previous response your child is perfectly normal and you just need to wait and watch. Please keep me informed if there are any future developments.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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