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Painless bump in tragus and dull feeling in left jaw. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2581 Questions
Hi. I woke up this morning with a swollen bump in front of my left tragus. Not painful. Dull feeling in my left jaw and there's a cricket kind of sound in my left ear on top of my regular tinnitus. What could it be?
Posted Sun, 1 Dec 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later
Brief Answer: An infective condition... Detailed Answer: Hi, I believe the bump is almost nodular. A inflammed and swollen preauricular lymph node would appear nodular and without significant pain. The short duration of complaints and widely spread symptoms along with a swollen lymph node makes me feel you might be dealing with an infection. Symptomatically since the nerve supply of ear, throat / tonsil and teeth are related, this infection might be at one of these locations. Unfortunately without an opportunity to examine, I am unable to narrow down the exact site of infection. Nevertheless, I shall provide you with few suggestions which you could try until you see your local physician. 1. Start antinflammatory drugs - Ibuprofen is an over the counter drug at most places. You may take 400mg tablets twice daily after food for 2-3 days. 2. Try a chewing gum. Swallowing helps in draining inflammatory fluid from the ear as well as open up eustachian tube. With time the annoying sound should disappear. 3. Watch the progress of symptoms. I expect you to notice new symptoms in the next couple of days. The new symptoms will aid me to locate the affected area. So keep me updated. If the new set of symptoms are severe, plan to visit a physician nearby. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards
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Follow-up: Painless bump in tragus and dull feeling in left jaw. What could it be? 40 hours later
Hi, I Went to ser a doctor last night. He could not ser anything in the ear canal and suggested I seek an ENT specialist if the bump grew. It has grown a little and my hearing is affected and the tinnitus has changed character and gotten worse. No other symtoms yet.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 34 minutes later
Brief Answer: Continue chewing gum. Add flu medication... Detailed Answer: Hi, Blocked ear / hearing impairment with tinnitus that occurs spontaneously without notice suggest possible middle ear pathology. As predicted earlier, fluid accumulation behind the tympanic membrane (ear drum) associated with a blocked eustachian tube would be responsible for tinnitus, blocked ear/hearing impairment and the lymph node. Your doctor needs to carefully examine the ear drum under bright light to pick up subtle signs of middle ear infection. I am sure the ENT surgeon would be able to do that. As of now, I would suggest you to continue gum chewing to drain fluid and clear eustachian tube block. You can switch to flu medication which are available over the counter such as tylenol cold and flu is available in the US (you can check for paracetamol with antihistamine combination for cold and flu infections) instead of ibuprofen alone. In addition, I would recommend that you start steam inhalation three times a day. Avoid cold and refrigerated food / drinks. Upper respiratory infection is usually caused by virus and rarely bacterial infection. Therefore in most cases symptoms gradually resolve in a weeks time. So do not be concerned. Visit ENT surgeon as advised. I wish you a speedy recovery. Keep me posted if you face any more troubles. Regards
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Follow-up: Painless bump in tragus and dull feeling in left jaw. What could it be? 8 hours later
Went to the doctor who said otitis externa. XXXXXXX my tinnitus worse även suctioning. Left ear canal very swollen. He managed to poke the area 'under' the lymph node so bad that my face still hurts.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 11 hours later
Brief Answer: Antibiotic going to be the key now... Detailed Answer: Hi, It is evident that all the features are suggestive of infection. I hope your doctors have prescribed antibiotic emperically as they are trying to figure the nature of infection. In this circumstance, it would be better to get your blood sugar checked too. These infective symptoms need time to recover. And recovery period generally is between few days to week depending on your general condition, blood sugar status and the type of infection. If your doctors have ruled out middle ear pathology, then chewing gum is not going to help you. Continue antiinflammatory pain killers. You can also try warm compresses on the affected area after discussing with your doctor. If you do not have diabetes, rarely will otitis externa cause complications. So do not be worried. I wish you a speedy recovery. I'll be glad to help you further if you need assistance. Cheers!!
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