It is normal for a person who has discovered a lump behind his/her ear to be worried. All of us get frightened every time we notice or feel a new growth on our bodies. Still, there are many conditions that may be associated with a lump behind an ear starting with a simple pimple and ending with much mores serious conditions such as cancer metastasis.
The lump may occur behind one or both ears and it can be single or a person may discover several lumps. They generally vary in size and while some of them are not painful and can be moved others are tender to touch or cause spontaneous pain and are fixed to the nearby structures. The skin above the lump is either normal or it may be red and inflamed and in some cases there are several more skin changes.
Causes of Lump behind Ear
Everyone knows what a pimple looks like. So pimples are generally not a reason for one to worry but if the lump occurs in a form of a pimple and tends to linger the person should consult his/her health care provider.
The lump behind the ear may be an enlarged lymph node. Lymph node enlargement occurs in many infective illnesses and may be also a reaction to a certain inflammatory process of the nearby tissues and organs. Allergy and injury are another two causes of lymph node enlargement. Unfortunately, enlarged lymph nodes behind ears may also be associated with some more serious illnesses such as primary cancers of the lymph tissue (lymphomas) or secondary cancers i.e. lymph node metastases.
Treatment for Lump behind Ear
Treatment for a lump behind the ear depends on the underlying cause. In some cases the lump will withdraw spontaneously while in others it requires proper treatment. Treatment is either conservative or surgical.
In case of infections of the upper respiratory tract that may be responsible for the lump one is treated with antibiotics (bacterial infection) or symptomatically (viral infection). Pimples and boils may need to be drained and in cases of boils proper draining can only be performed by a well-experienced doctor. Allergies are treated with suitable medications and by avoiding potential allergens.
In case of lymphoma patients generally start the treatment with a combination of chemotherapeutics and depending on the response to the treatment they may also undergo additional radiation therapy. In case of other cancers i.e. spread of other cancers into the lymph nodes behind the ear the affected lymph node/nodes can be surgically removed or a patients undergoes chemotherapy and radiation therapy.