What causes swelling behind the ear? What does it mean to have a gland behind the ear? Is lymph node swelling behind the ear serious? When should you see a doctor? How does it go? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What does it mean to have swelling behind the ear?

When you see swelling behind your ear , there is no need to worry right away. They are usually harmless if there is no pain, itching or discomfort with swelling behind the ear. Swelling behind the ear can often be the result of an acne (pimple) or non-cancerous cyst. In such cases, it is normal to notice something similar to a gland behind the ear .

Swelling behind the ear can sometimes occur due to various infections and medical treatment is required in such cases. If there is a swelling behind the ear that hurts when touched , takes a long time to heal, is irregular in shape, grows, it is recommended to see your doctor. Because swelling behind the ear can be a symptom of more serious problems.

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What causes swelling behind the ear?

1. Infections

Swelling behind the ear is sometimes caused by throat infections such as pharyngitis, common cold or flu virus, mononucleosis, conjunctivitis, herpes, gingivitis, and measles. If any of these infections have occurred around the ear, it may cause lymph node swelling behind the ear. Because while our body is fighting infections, lymph nodes often swell to display a protective response. When this happens, it’s important not to touch the swollen area because it can hurt and the infection can spread. Swelling caused by infections sometimes goes away on its own, sometimes a doctor’s control and medical treatment is required.

2. Acne

Pimples are a condition that occurs when the skin’s pores become clogged due to excess sebum or oil production. Sebum is triggered by sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicle, which can combine with dead skin cells to form pimples. When such a reaction occurs behind the ear, it is possible to notice a swelling behind the ear that hurts when touched . Pimples usually do not cause any problems and disappear on their own after a short while. However, it is important not to squeeze the pimple and not to play with it, otherwise it may heal later.

3. Oil cyst

A sebaceous cyst is a type of lump/cyst that forms under the skin and consists of a substance called sebum. Oil cysts can occur anywhere on the body. These cysts are usually as if they are moving, they are soft and painless. If the swelling behind the ear caused by sebaceous cysts is painful, growing, or has redness , it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Your doctor will remove the sore cyst with a minor procedure. Another swelling consisting of fat cells is lipomas. We will consider this issue below.

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4. Lipomas

Lipomas are lumps that do not cause pain or any other bothersome symptoms, but can also swell behind the ear . Lipomas are excessive growth of fat cells that can be seen in other areas other than the ear area. A lipoma differs from a sebaceous cyst in that it consists of fat cells because fat cells are made up of sebum. However, both cysts can be treated in the same way; Your doctor may need to surgically remove both of these cysts.

5. Mastoidit

Mastoiditis is an infection in the bone behind our ear. If you have this type of infection, you may notice a bone-like swelling behind the ear . If an ear infection is not treated properly, you may subsequently develop mastoiditis. Although mastoiditis most commonly affects children under the age of two, it can occur at any age. Mastoiditis is also often associated with symptoms such as headache , decreased hearing, and fluid-like discharge from the ear.

6. Lymph node swelling

Lymph nodes are found in many parts of our body, and they can swell if the affected area is somehow infected. Swelling of the lymph nodes can also be caused by autoimmune diseases , the use of certain medications, and even certain types of cancer . For such reasons, the lymph node behind the ear may swell and sometimes hurt. Swollen lymph nodes usually tend to go away on their own in a short time. If the lymph node swelling behind the ear does not go away, if you have symptoms such as fever and weight loss, it is important to see a doctor.

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When to see a doctor for swelling behind the ear?

Seeing a doctor is recommended if the swelling behind your ear appears suddenly, does not move when touched, does not go away, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • pain and redness
  • growth in size
  • pus or discharge from the swelling
  • difficulty moving the head or neck
  • difficulty swallowing

In the above cases, your doctor may examine and palpate the swelling and evaluate other symptoms. Although the swelling behind the ear usually goes away on its own, in some cases, you may need to take various medications or have surgery for treatment .

Which doctor should I go to for swelling behind the ear?

For swelling behind the ear, you should first visit your family doctor. Your family doctor will examine you and provide the necessary treatment. In some cases, he or she may refer you to a dermatologist or an otolaryngologist.

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