Do you have a lump on your neck, back, or behind your ear? This is what it means!

Lumps behind the ear can occur for various reasons. While most lumps are relatively benign, they can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition. Lumps behind the ear may be hard or soft. Some may be tender to the touch, while others are painless. Let’s examine some of the causes of lumps behind the ear, as well as possible treatments, and when to see a doctor.

Common infections can cause lumps to form behind your ear
Lumps behind the ear are often caused by colds, the flu, sore throats, or respiratory infections. This is because the infection can cause the lymph nodes behind your ears to become swollen and inflamed. Most of the time, swollen glands are not a cause for concern. It will likely go away on its own or if it is caused by a bacterial infection, it can be easily treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers for any discomfort. You can easily find it at Smith’s Pharmacy or any other local pharmacy.

If the infection is more serious, it can cause swollen, swollen, red, and painful lymph nodes.

A serious infection that can cause a lump behind the ear is mastoiditis. Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear. It often occurs when a middle ear infection is left untreated and spreads. Although it most often appears in young children, it can occur at any age. Symptoms of mastoiditis include:

Severe pain behind the ear
ear drainage
Fever
Headache
If left untreated, mastoiditis can lead to hearing loss, meningitis, blood clots, and facial nerve paralysis. If you have any symptoms of mastoiditis, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

Skin diseases and non-cancerous masses
In addition to infections, many skin conditions can cause bumps behind the ear. While acne is most common on the face, it can occur anywhere on the body. Blisters behind the ear can often be left alone or treated with over-the-counter creams.

Other causes include fatty masses (lipomas) and cysts. Both growths are smooth and usually painless. In some cases, the cyst may become infected and require antibiotics. However, most of them go away on their own. If you have a lipoma that is causing discomfort, you can have it surgically removed.

Could it be cancer?
Occasionally, a palpable lump behind the ear is a mass. Most tumors behind the ear are benign because carcinomas are uncommon in this area of the body. If the lump is solid, fixed in place, and/or uneven in shape, this may be a sign that it is a cancerous tumor.

It is highly recommended to see a doctor if the lump is painful, appears suddenly, or is accompanied by other symptoms.

If you are concerned about a lump behind your ear, or if you have swollen glands that have persisted for several weeks, it is best to seek medical attention to rule out any serious conditions.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Spartanburg & Greer Ear, Nose & Throat today.

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