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Lump behind the ear can be caused by many things, such as infection or swollen lymph nodes. Some of the causes are harmless. However, a lump behind the ear needs to be watched out for if it is accompanied by other complaints
Although the cause is not always dangerous, a lump behind the ear still needs to be checked by a doctor because it could indicate a problem with the ear, throat, or nose that causes swelling behind the ear.
This condition needs to be checked by a doctor, especially if the lump that appears behind the ear is accompanied by other complaints, such as ear pain, ringing in the ear, impaired hearing, dizziness or vertigo, fever, difficulty swallowing, and headaches.
Causes of Bumps Behind Ears
Lumps behind the ear are often caused by bacterial and viral infections. Examples of infections that can trigger the appearance of these lumps are strep throat, mononucleosis, smallpox, measles, and even HIV/AIDS.
In addition to infection, there are several other diseases that can cause lumps behind the ear, including:
1. Otitis media and internal
Otitis media is an infection in the middle ear, precisely in the cavity located behind the eardrum. This infection usually causes a buildup of fluid in the ear, pain in the ear, and swelling behind the ear.
Otitis media that recurs frequently and goes untreated can lead to complications, such as inner ear infection (otitis interna), hearing loss, ruptured eardrum, tumors inside the ear called cholesteatoma, and meningitis.
Therefore, you should immediately consult an ENT doctor if you experience symptoms that suggest otitis media. To treat bacterial ear infections, doctors will usually give antibiotics and ear drops.
Mastoiditis is inflammation of the mastoid bone, the bone behind the ear that plays a role in the hearing process. One of the signs of mastoiditis is a lump behind the ear. These symptoms are usually accompanied by a headache and discharge of pus or fluid from the ear.
Mastoiditis is often caused by otitis media that is not treated immediately, so that bacteria from the middle ear cavity spread to the mastoid bone. Mastoiditis can be treated with antibiotics, ear drops, or by cleaning the ears with a doctor.
If these methods don't work, surgery may be needed to prevent complications.
An abscess or lump filled with pus appears when the body fights off germs that cause infection. When fighting bacteria, the body sends white blood cells to infected areas of the body, such as behind the ears.
Bacteria and dead white blood cells will accumulate in the form of pus and cause a lump behind the ear.
A small abscess is likely to shrink, dry out, and go away naturally without treatment. However, larger abscesses need to be treated with antibiotics and the pus needs to be removed with the help of a doctor.
Lymphadenopathy is a condition when there is swelling of the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes themselves are scattered in various parts of the body, and one of them is behind the ear. When the lymph nodes behind the ear swell, a lump will appear in that area.
Swollen lymph nodes are usually caused by infection, inflammation, or even cancer. Treatment of this condition also depends on the cause. Although sometimes it can recover without treatment, lumps behind the ears caused by swollen lymph nodes still need to be checked by a doctor.
One of the causes of the appearance of a lump behind the ear that should be wary of is nasopharyngeal cancer. In addition to lumps behind the ears, this cancer can also cause lumps in the neck or throat.
This cancer is often asymptomatic in its early stages. However, as the disease progresses, a lump behind the ear may appear accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- ear pain
- Colds that don't go away
- Often nosebleeds
- hearing loss
- Spots or thrush in the mouth that won't go away
- Voice becomes hoarse
- Pain in neck or jaw
- Weight loss
If you find any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor to get further treatment.
Besides infection, some other conditions that can also cause lumps behind the ear are:
- Lipoma, which is a fatty lump that grows between the layers of the skin anywhere on the body, including the ears.
- Acne or boils
- Sebaceous cyst, which is a noncancerous lump
Bump Behind Ear Requires Doctor's Examination
When you find a lump behind the ear, try to feel it and feel it. If the lump feels soft and moves easily, it is likely a lipoma.
However, if the lump is tender and painful to the touch, it could be a pimple or an abscess.
Also pay attention to whether there are other symptoms that accompany the appearance of the lump. For example, if the lump is accompanied by a fever or chills, you may have an infection. This condition must be treated immediately by a doctor.
Because it can be caused by many things, a lump behind the ear should be checked by an ENT doctor. This examination is important to determine the cause of the appearance of a lump behind the ear, as well as to determine whether the lump is dangerous or not.