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    What causes painful swelling behind the ear?

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Posted on Tue, 1 Aug 2017 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi, I have been traveling through Europe and now the bone behind my right ear feels out of place. It hurts and sticks out a lot more than my left side. Could this be because of the traveling with my ears "popping" so many times in the last two weeks? I've been on planes and high speed trains so they have done it a lot. I don't have a fever or any other symptoms but my travel companion does.

Thank you so much.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possible Diagnosis: Mastoditis

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you for trusting HCM

The bone behind the ear is called mastoid. Pain and swelling in the mastoid bone area is possibly due to Mastoiditis, which is the infection of the mastoid.
Infection in the ear can spread to mastoid.
A thorough ENT examination can confirm the diagnosis.

It is important to start treatment with antibiotics as soon s possible to prevent complications.
Please be advised to follow up with an ENT specialist to confirm the diagnosis and get started on antibiotics.
Meanwhile, you can take over the counter Advil for pain.

Hope this answers your question
Please address further questions here
Regards,
Dr.Lekshmi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 37 minutes later
Wouldn't I have noticed an ear infection though? I haven't had any pain at all until this lump showed up out of the blue while on vacation.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Follow up answer

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Middle ear infection can manifest as subacute infection in some people, which usually do not produce any overt symptoms and can go unnoticed.
Since you have been traveling a lot and experiencing frequent pressure changes in the middle ear, the risk of infection is higher.
Another possibility is the presence of enlarged post auricular lymph nodes, which is also suggestive of underlying ear/mastoid infection. Infection like rubella can also cause enlargement of post auricular lymph node, which is unlikely in your case with the absence of fever/rash.
Please be advised to follow up with an ENT specialist. You might need a Xray of the mastoid region.

Hope this answers your question
Please address further questions here
Regards,
Dr.Lekshm




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 11 hours later
i work in Iraq and dont have access to a doctor at the moment. is there anything you would suggest that may help?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Follow up answer

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Ideally treatment should be started only after an ENT examination and confirmation of mastoditis/ear infection. If there is any active drainage from ear, a culture and sensitivity sample will also be collected from drainage fluid to see response to antibiotics.

The recommended treatment regimen requires intravenous antibiotic therapy for first two days followed by oral antibiotics.
Oral antibiotic like Augmentin can be used
Dosage of Augmentin is 500 mg orally every 12 hours.
You can also take Tylenol for pain and fever.
Steam inhalation and saline nasal drops twice daily to open up the eustachian tubes.

If possible please be advised to consult a doctor in person.You will also need a prescription for the antibiotic.

Hope this answers your question
Please address further questions here
Regards
Dr.Lekshmi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3186 Questions

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