About Swollen Lymph Nodes Behind Ears

Lymph Nodes are glands which are found throughout the body. Their function is to store nutrients and aid in waste removal. They also help in fighting off any invading bacteria and other infections.

Once the infection is successfully terminated, the offending bacteria or virus is stored by the lymph nodes and removed from the body. This process sometimes causes swelling of the lymph nodes but it does not cause any pain or other symptoms and majority of the time an individual does not even notice swelling of the lymph nodes. There are multiple causes for swollen lymph nodes behind ears of which some may be benign and require minimal to no treatment whereas some may be more serious and require close medical management.

It is highly recommended to consult a physician as soon as you notice a bump or swelling of lymph node behind ears. This article gives a brief overview of some of the potential causes of swollen lymph node behind ears.

10 Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes behind Ears

10 Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes behind Ears

Some of the potential causes of swollen lymph node behind ears are:

  1. Infections

    Infections are perhaps the most common causes of swollen lymph node behind ears. Any form of bacterial, viral, or fungal infection can cause swelling of lymph node behind ears. Medical condition like mononucleosis is also believed to cause swelling of lymph node behind ears. This is because one of the functions of the lymph node is to fight off infections and thus they are exposed to pathogens more frequently than other parts of the body and thus they become swollen or enlarged as more and more antibodies are produced to fight off the infection resulting in swollen lymph node behind ears. The most likely location for an infection causing swelling of lymph node behind ears is throat, ear, or eye.

  2. Injuries

    Any potential damage to the head or neck like an injury while playing sports or a motor vehicle crash can cause swelling of lymph node behind ears. This is because post the accident or injury, the body tries to repair itself resulting in swollen lymph node behind ears. Even if there is an abrasion or a cut in the head or neck area can cause increased production of antibodies and cause the lymph node behind the ears to swell.

  3. Autoimmune Disorders

    Autoimmune Disorders like lupus or Hashimoto's thyroiditis can also result in swollen lymph node behind ears. This is because these conditions damage the immune system of the body resulting in swelling of lymph node behind ears.

  4. Cancer

    Certain types of cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma may also cause swollen lymph nodes and if there is swelling of lymph node behind ears then it is a sign that the tumor is advancing and spreading which requires immediate medical attention.

  5. German Measle

    This is a viral infection caused by rubella virus which results in reddish pink rashes on the skin. The rashes begin on the face and spread throughout as the infection spreads. This infection also results in swollen lymph node behind ears.

  6. Tooth Abscess

    Tooth abscess which is a common condition is also one of the reasons behind swelling of lymph node behind ears. Again, the tooth infection causes overproduction of antibodies to fight off the infection resulting in swollen lymph node behind ears.

  7. Flu and Cold

    Common cold and flu is again one of the causes for swollen lymph node behind ears. This is because the body is trying to fight off the illness sending the immune system into an overdrive causing swelling of lymph node behind ears.

  8. Allergies

    Common allergies which cause itching in the eyes and a runny nose tend to also cause swelling of lymph node behind ears in some cases. This is again as a result of the immune system trying to fight off the allergens that have invaded the body causing the symptoms. During this action of fighting off the pathogens the lymph node behind ears get swollen.

  9. Strep Throat

    Strep Throat is yet another common condition which causes swollen lymph node behind ears.

  10. Others

    Apart from the causes mentioned above, there are certain other causes that may lead to swollen lymph node behind ears these include certain types of sexually transmitted diseases, shingles, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, side effect of certain medications, and mouth sores. Most of these conditions cause the immune response to get activated resulting in swelling of lymph node behind ears.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 14, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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