Swollen lymph nodes behind the ear, itching outside the ear, sore neck, closed ears. Took prednisone injection and keflex. Is this ear infection?

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Posted on Thu, 12 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: For the past week I have had what feels like an ear infection, with swollen lymph nodes behind my ear. It started with itching on the outside of my ear in one spot. I thought I had been bitten by something. By the end of the next day the outside of my ear was very swollen, my neck was sore, and I couldn't hear very well - ear felt completely closed up. Saw doctor next day and he gave me a prednisone injection and started me on Keflex ?sp. Now, almost a week later, and after 5 says of Keflex, I feel worse. My neck hurts more, and at certain times of the day, my inner ear hurts. Also have a slight headache - not really bad, just uncomfortable, and at times my ear still itches. Have felt a little warm at times, but really no fever.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later

Hi

Thanks for the query

The swelling in the outer part of the ear associated with swollen lymph nodes in the surrounding region could be due to inflammation in the external ear which is termed as Otitis externa (Swimmer's ear).

The description mentioned by you is typical of the inflammation of the external ear. It is commonly noticed when there is dryness of the skin or pimples, leading to invasion of bacteria, followed by infection and enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Cephalexin (Keflex) is not the drug of choice for this infection. You would require drugs with a combination of Amoxycillin and Clavulanic acid or Ciprofloxacin for the control of infection. Also, you will require a local steroid plus antibiotic pack placed in the external ear for the reduction of inflammation and a potent anti-inflammatory medicine such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac.

I do not think that the flight journey could be one of the causes for this infection, because the presentation of the barotrauma is entirely different from that of the description mentioned by you.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later
Thank you. I have a prescription for Cipro that was given to me by my urologist in case I got a UTI while in XXXXXXX I have 14 pills that I was to take twice daily. Would this be the correct dosage for the ear infection?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later
Hi

Thanks for writing back

Yes, Ciprofloxacin 500mg would be an ideal dosage in this condition, you can use it for a week. But, along with that you will also require a pack (containing a steroid and an antibiotic) to be placed in the external ear; this helps in improving the symptoms.

Also, avoid water getting into the ear, you can use a cotton swab smeared with petroleum jelly and place it outside the ear while taking the shower. Once it is done clean the surface with a clean cotton. I will be available for further queries.

I wish you good health.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Naveen Kumar

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2001

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