Lump Behind Ear
Ear lumps are quite common and can be caused due to several medical reasons. A lump behind your ear can be due to an infection, inflammation, trauma or tumours and cysts. These lumps do not necessarily have to be hard and knotty. They can be soft, moving, painful or painless. Whatever the symptoms of a lump behind ear, it is important that medical attention is sought and treatment is obtained before it becomes anything far too serious to be salvaged. Often time, people make the mistake of ignoring painless lumps, assuming they are harmless as no pain is experienced. However, this is not the reality and any painless knots too should be a cause for concern that warrants a medical diagnosis.
Causes of Ear Lumps
Swollen Lymph Nodes - Lumps in ear can be due to various reasons. For example, it can be due to a swollen lymph node. Depending on the pathogen, even smallest of infections can cause the lymph nodes to inflame. Even injuries, as well as, certain surgical procedures can cause lymph nodes to inflame. If you had pierced your ears, an infection can occur if proper piercing equipment were not used. In addition, if proper after care was not followed once pierced, this area could get infected. A lump in ear is usually indicative of an infection if it is newly pierced. Antibiotics and pain medication will help relieve symptoms of infection. A bug bite can also lead to a lump behind the ear. If your child is allergic to mosquito bites you may find a lump behind his ear, where the mosquito has bitten. This is not a serious problem, and most often a topical cream will prevent the lump from itching and developing lacerations from scratching.
Mumps – Mumps is a painful disease that affects the salivary glands. Salivary glands are the glands that help to keep the mouth moist. A lump may be indicative of the swelling of the parotid gland. This occurs on the third day of the illness. This will be painful to the touch. Pain with the swelling of the parotid gland is more for adults than for children. Medication is not necessary for mumps as the symptoms usually, disappear after ten or twelve days. However, comfort from pain is foremost when treating mumps. This can be done through pain relievers and the application of warm or cold packs to the inflamed area.
Hematoma – a lump behind ear can also be due to hematoma. This is when blood gets collected outside the blood vessels due to injury or damage to the blood vessel walls. Significant swelling is a common symptom of hematoma. This can occur anywhere where the blood is collected. Hematoma can be caused by the weakening of the blood vessel wall, as well as, trauma such as accidents and falls. This can also be caused by blood coagulant medications that thin the blood. Minor hematomas may not require any medical treatment. However, if hematoma is accompanied with vomiting and headaches and lethargy, it is vital to inform a doctor. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition.
Ear Cancer – Sometimes a lump in ear can be due to cancer or a tumour or leukaemia. This requires medical attention right away. Ear cancer can be in both the ears. They can occur in the form of tumours and other malignant growths. This is known as squamous cell carcinoma. There are several types of ear cancer. These are external ear cancer, ear canal cancer and middle ear cancer. Lumps in ear are a common symptom of all these cancers of the ear. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the only treatment methods for ear cancer. Ear cancer symptoms are often mistaken for other less serious conditions. Often, ear cancer is not detected till it has progressed towards outward symptom level. Therefore, if you find a lump behind ear or in the ear, you should obtain medical advice immediately.
Lumps or bumps anywhere in the body should always be medically diagnosed. Failure to do so will result in unnecessary complications. While in most cases, it would be a harmless cause, you are not to resort to home remedies or ignore any abnormal growths due to the possible risk of cancer.