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What is this lump like swelling behind my ear ?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2395 Questions
I am a 44 year old female and I have high blood pressure - this was treated until recently with metaprolol , I am monitoring it and it has not been too out of control (ranging 135/85 to 160/100). I was diagnosed 2 years ago with Meineres disease after going to the doctor for sudden hearing loss - they ruled out a brain tumor and multiple sclerosis. I have suffered from multiple sinus infections over the last 8 years. The tinnitus is worsening (constant), I feel light-headed daily with occasional vertigo but now there is a small lump just behind my ear (the bad one) - more like a swelling than a hard lump. I do not have insurance so I have not gone to a doctor but I am concerned. I am used to being able to go to a doctor but financially, things have changed and it is too expensive....let me know if I should be worried enough to see a doctor? Please help. Thank you XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for your query.

The most likely cause of the swelling which you have noticed behind your ear is an inflamed lymph node. This usually occurs in response to inflammation or infection.

Viruses and bacteria can cause swelling of lymph nodes as the immune system attempts to clear the infection. This process usually lasts no more than a few weeks and then the lymph nodes will resolve and the swelling will go down.

As for inflammation this can occur in response to irritation of skin or teeth or possibly exposure to an environmental allergen such as dust or pollen. I recommend in your case that you start a few things to deal with your symptoms.

First if you are able to obtain antibiotics I suggest you start amoxicillin 500 mg three times daily for 10 days.
In addition start inuprofen 400 mg three times per day for 5 days.
Get some extra rest, drink plenty of fluids and try to relax.

I don't think you have anything worrisome going on such as a cancer. I think if you try my recommendations that you should see some improvement.

Thank you again for submitting your query. I hope you found my answer to be both informative and helpful. Should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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