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Swollen, hard lymph nodes behind ear, no pain, itching in ear. Is it worrisome?

Hi, I have two swollen lymph nodes behind my right ear. They are both hard and do not hurt. I just discovered them about an hour ago. I have been feeling some itchiness/irritation in that ear for a few days now, but had not noticed the lymph nodes prior to this evening. I am now feeling a lot more discomfort inside that ear. I don t know if the problem inside my ear is worsening or if I m just imaging that it is worsening since I have now discovered the swollen lymph nodes. The lymph nodes themselves are hard and painless. One is about the size of a pea and the other is about the size(diameter) of a dime. I already have an, unrelated, appointment to see a doctor on September 13th. However, I m wondering if I should schedule an earlier appointment or should I just wait until my appointment on the 13th.
Asked On : Mon, 3 Sep 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  1029
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello , the fact that your lymphnodes are painless means that it is not an acute inflammation. The inflammation should have been happening for a relatively longer time. Though I am unable to infer Whether the lymph node enlargement is significant (a size as small as a pea can be insignificant ) it is worth investigating due to the itchiness you have been having for long. The external ear canal might have to be looked into by an ENT physician. A possibility of ear canal infection, mostly a chronic one has to be considered. Though it is not an emergency I would suggest you to meet your physician earlier especially if you have coexisting conditions that might suppress your immunity, say diabetes. If it pains a lot too, better see the doctor earlier to get a relief. Hope you get better soon. Take care!
Answered: Mon, 3 Sep 2012
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Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Rajesh Gajwani's  Response

The lymph nodes are palpable ie: increase in size due to infection in the body leading to a term called lymphadentis : Inflammation of the lymphglands. As you alsready are suffering from an ear infection leading to itching / irritation i would suggest you to not delay your appointment as you do not want the infection to spread and persist. This seems like a chronic infection which needs to be treated though it is not an emergency.
Your doctor will examin you and also may do some tests after which he will give you an antibiotic and anti inflammatory to combat the infection.

Answered: Mon, 3 Sep 2012
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