It is completely natural to be scared of something abnormal that occurs with your body, such as a very obvious lump just behind the ear. In addition to worrying about his unsightly situation, he will also ask you frantically what is causing it, and if it can even be treated. And if the lump is accompanied by a feeling of pain or discomfort, it will only make things worse. The good news is that there is usually nothing to worry about. However, you need to be aware of some things – such as what is causing those lumps, and what kind of treatment you may have to look for.
Let’s start with what we really mean by a lump behind the ear.
What is a Lump Behind the Ear?
A bulge behind the ear usually refers to a localized area of inflammation of certain glands called atrial lymph nodes. This can result in the formation of one or more lumps that can occur not only behind but in any part of your ear. These parts may include the earlobe or the external auditory canal. There are some other terms that are often used to describe a bulge behind the ear, such as a tumor, cyst, lump, and nodule. Nature, appearance and size: The bumps behind the ear tend to sway in two ways. They can be completely painless or very painful, they can be soft or firm to the touch, and they can be large or small in size. Sometimes, these packages may remain the same size throughout the entire process, while in some cases the packages may grow rapidly or very slowly. Fortunately, the bumps behind the ear rarely grow larger than the size of a pea. Some people may also notice a single lump or multiple lumps that grow in a cluster.
What Causes a Lump Behind the Ear?
Bulges behind the ear are generally a common occurrence and as mentioned earlier, it is usually not an indication of something serious. A painless bulge behind the ear can be associated with a variety of causes such as:
- Sebaceous cysts: Non-cancerous bumps that develop around the fat-producing sebaceous glands.
- Lipoma: Inoffensive and fatty tumor that can develop between the layers of the skin and that over time can grow in size.
- Benign tumors: Soft, painless and mobile bumps that develop gradually from the tissues of the salivary glands to parts behind the ears. Although mostly harmless, a particular form called cholesteatoma can destroy the tissues around which can result in dizziness, drainage in the ear and hearing loss.
- Malignant cancer: Very similar to skin cancers, these painless lumps develop behind the ears and may require medical attention if they increase in size.
Painful Lumps, on the Other Hand, Can be Caused By:
- Abscess: Warm and painful bumps that develop when tissue or cells become infected. Our bodies respond to the infection by sending white blood cells to the affected area. As a result, pus begins to develop in a bulky form.
- Dermatitis: A condition often caused by fatigue, stress, yeast infections and neurological conditions, dermatitis leads to the accumulation of dead waxy skin cells or dry skin. This can result in bumps behind the ear and is often accompanied by inflammation and redness.
- Mastoiditis: A condition caused by an infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear that can lead to inflammation and the formation of lumps behind the ear. Some of the common symptoms associated with this condition are headaches, fever and hearing loss.
- Swollen lymph nodes: Inflammation of the lymph nodes often associated with health problems such as the common cold that can cause small tender and tender lumps behind the ears that are painful.
- Acne: A condition caused by hormonal changes, stress or high levels of staph infections on the surface of the skin, including behind the ears.
- Otitis media: Official term for an ear infection, this can result in a swelling behind the ear to give it a bulge.
How to Diagnose a Lump Behind the Ear on Your Own?
There are certain types of lumps behind the ear that require medical attention, while some are harmless and can be left alone.
“It is always recommended to visit a doctor when you notice these lumps”.
However, some tips can help you determine the potential causes of your lump.
Touch your Bulge:
- If your tumor is painless, it could be a lipoma.
- If your lump consists of sensitive and localized lumps that feel more irritating than painful and look more like general inflammation, it could be caused by acne or a cyst.
- If your bile is inflamed and you feel heat and pain when you touch it, it can be caused by an abscess.
Look Carefully at Your Bump:
Note: This might be a bit difficult at first, but if you can pull your earlobe forward and look sideways in the mirror, you can at least take a look at what your lump looks like.
- If your tumor is tiny and fleshy, it is most likely a lipoma.
- If your tumor is localized, red and inflamed, it is most likely a cyst, an abscess or acne.
- If you find thick, yellow, foul-smelling liquid that comes out of the lump, it is most likely an epidermoid cyst, while if your lump is releasing oil, it is probably a sebaceous cyst.
- If you find that your lump drips green or white pus, it is most likely an abscess.
Listen to Your Body:
Sometimes, it is possible to detect the cause of a bulge behind the ear by paying attention to the way your body responds to it. For example, if your lump is accompanied by a fever or sore throat, it is very likely to be an infection. If, on the other hand, your tumor is painless and without any symptoms, it is most likely a lipoma. If you find that the signs or lumps behind your ear get worse or persist for too long, see your doctor immediately.
Treatment of the Bumps Behind the Ear:
The bumps or lumps behind the ear caused by lipomas are generally not serious and tend to disappear on their own without any treatment. However, all other causes of the lumps behind the ear can be treated depending on the cause of the lump.
Home Remedies to Treat Bumps or Lumps Behind the Ear
In some cases, lumps can even be treated at home. These cases include:
- Mastoiditis: In this case, the tumor is caused by an underlying ear infection, which can be easily cured with a mixture of anti-inflammatory olive oil and antifungal garlic oil. Rub one or two drops of this in the infected area every day and this will make the infection go away.
- Lymphadenopathy: This is usually an indication that the swollen ganglion that is causing the bump is in the neck. Gargle with turmeric water or salt water to eliminate symptoms.
- Cyst and abscess: No matter how tempted you may be, do not burst the inflammation. Use a warm compress instead to drain the fluid from inflammation. This method will also help relieve some of the pain and discomfort. In addition, you can treat a cyst by soaking a cotton swab in some antibacterial tea tree oil and keeping it against the cyst for about five minutes. This will not only dry the fluid inside the cyst, but also reduce inflammation.
When to See a Doctor?
Home remedies are generally the best when it comes to treating a condition, but this is only for short periods. If you notice that your symptoms refuse to go away and you do not experience any relief, it is time for you to give your bulge in your ear good medical attention.
Seek Medical Help without Fail, if:
- Its bulge lasts more than two weeks, even if it is painless (as it could be a sign of a serious infection).
- Your tumor is causing too much pain or discomfort.
- He finds it difficult to move his head or neck.
- It is hard for him to swallow.
- Feel that the area of sensitivity is growing or spreading.
- The swelling becomes inflamed, begins to shed pus or breaks on its own.
- The accompanying symptoms of your tumor do not diminish over time or are getting worse.