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Ear blocked, swollen lymph nodes, pain, no fever, ear wax

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2345 Questions
Swollen Nodes
Hi Doctor

Yesterday when I woke laying on my right side i felt my ears get blocked so I decided to clean it with a cotton bud yesterday afternoon. I blocked my ear to the point where I could barely hear anything and continued to vigourously attempt to unblock it using the cotton bud only to make it worse. For a few minutes I felt a painful sensation around the ear area lasting only a few minutes.

That afternoon I saw the doctor who said it was quite blocked and used an ear syringe filled with water to attempt to remove it which he eventually did after about 5 minutes removing large amounts of ear wax.

Today I woke up with what feels like a two swollen lymph glands one on the back of the head which feels like a large lump and one under it in the neck not far from my right ear that feels like a hard little ball. So both glands are located around my right ear that was affected yesterday. Also I feel a little bit of pain when I press just under the ear. I've had no fever. So Doctor I just wanted to know your thoughts on what may have happened and what is going on.

Thank You
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 4 hours later

Thank you for posting the query

After going through the history, I do feel there is an ongoing infection of the right ear which will require a re-examination by your ENT specialist and antibiotics and pain killers if required.

All the things may have started when you tried cleaning the ear with cotton buds, which should be always avoided. Pushing ear wax deeper into the external auditory canal would have traumatized the canal wall as well as the ear drum. Later, when the syringing of the ear was done the wetness in the ear and the previous injury both put together may have incited an infection. The swollen glands could be secondary to the infection in the ear.

I would suggest you to get back to your doctor for a re-examination of the ear, as the chances of Otitis Externa (infection of the External auditory canal) and Otomycosis (the fungal infection of the ear) are more likely. Hence, you will require cleaning of the ear with instillation of antibiotic/antifungal ear drops, oral antibiotics and pain relievers. Also, avoid water getting into the right ear.

Hope I have answered your query.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

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