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Dark circles around eyes, pus filled lump on ear lobe, cold and sinus infection. Are these related?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
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I have been noticing very dark circles around my eyes, mostly on the side of my nose for about a year now. When I wake up one eye will usually seem puffy, the other normal, and they alternate sides. I have also had, for about 2 years, a pea-sized lump where the lobe of my left ear meets my face. Sometimes, like in cold weather, it throbs and causes an earache. I have tried to squeeze it a few times, pus comes out that smells bad. I have less notable ones behind both ears, but these seem softer-- still with foul smelling pus if I squeeze.
3 weeks ago I got a cold that lasted about week but turned into a painful sinus infection...which I have had now for two weeks. Mucous -there is a lot of it- is runny yellowish brown and very sticky. I am 37 years old, and I've had a retained bullet fragment on the right side of my neck for 6 years. Since the pain from that injury has gotten so much worse lately, I'm wondering if these separate issues could be related?
Posted Tue, 12 Feb 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 3 hours later

Thanks for writing your query.

All your symptoms do not seem to be inter related. I could relate a few conditions to explain your symptoms. They are as follows:

1. Dark circles around eyes are commonly caused by lack of complete nourishment and lack of sleep. In adequate sleep can also cause puffiness of eyes.

2. The swelling near your ear lobe is most likely an infected sebacious cyst. Presence of pus discharge confirms bacterial infection. We can culture the sample of pus to isolate the causative organisms. Appropriate antibiotic can be recognized by antibiotic sensitivity report. Surgical remedy would be necessary for a complete cure.

3. Cold and sinus infection could have been triggered by a flu or allergic condition. Antihistamines and antibiotic drugs should take of this. Steam inhalation can give added benefits. A physician or ENT surgeon can help you prescribe the drugs to you.

4. Puffiness in the eyes apart from decrease sleep could be caused by low hemoglobin or an altered kidney functions. Getting your blood tested can clear this suspicion.

In brief, all your symptoms are unlikely to be related to the bullet injury. Take proper rest and visit/discuss with your doctor.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any other query, I will be happy to help.

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