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Tragus Swelling
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annamaia posted:
For the past 4 days I've had swelling directly in front of my tragus. It started feeling tender on the first day, I initially thought it was a pimple but it is not on the surface of the skin. When I pressed gently on it, it was extremely tender. I had no pain in my ears whatsoever and no other symptoms.

The next morning I woke up to find that it was swollen, and the next 2 days the swelling has been increasing. The swelling is very visible especially when compared to the same area on my other ear. At first I believed it may be swimmer's ear, even though I haven't gone swimming recently I do live in Florida & it's been pretty hot lately.

Just today I noticed 3 of my lymph nodes underneath my earlobe are swollen, the largest is about the size of a pea. This lead me to wonder if the swelling in my tragus is due to the swelling of the lymph node (pre-auricular) located there. I've had slight dizziness all day as well as high anxiety. Generally, I feel "out of it" & just "don't feel right." I haven't had a high fever, though my temperature has been slightly increasing everyday, currently I have a low-grade fever of 99.2 degrees.

I am just wondering if this could possibly really be swimmer's ear or something else? I don't have insurance right now, though I will in 2 weeks (of course!), I tried putting some homeopathic ear drops in & have been putting cotton in my ear so as not to get any moisture inside though there has been no relief, not even ibuprofen seems to bring the swelling down.

I'm unsure if I should go to the urgent care tonight or try to stick it out to see if it goes down in the next few days. I'd hate to waste the hospital's time for something that may be minor. If there's any additional suggestions you may have for me I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance...
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annamaia responded:
Edit: I'd also like to add that when I lay my finger gently on top of the area there is strong pulsing & there feels like there's a fairly large hard lump underneath.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Tragal tenderness can be a sign of otitis externa (swimmer's ear) but it is going to take a hands-on examination to confirm this possibility. There are other things that can cause enlarged lymph nodes, outer ear or tragal swelling as well.

As you experienced, homeopathic eardrops are not likely to be effective, especially since your diagnosis has not really been confirmed. It is really up to you whether to seek medical care now...or wait a few days. I realize that medical care without insurance is not cheap, but sometimes you do have to bite the bullet and pay for an urgent care visit.
 
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Manree1 responded:
I was just curious what ever came of this? I am having the exact same thing going on right now, and its driving me crazy! I cannot afford a doctor visit either. Thanks!
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Manree1's response:
Times are difficult....but sometimes we have to figure out a way to get proper medical care, just like we allocate money for food, clothing, or gasoline. Many areas have free clinics or clinics that charge on a sliding scale. Rather than simply abandoning the thought of having proper medical treatment, I think it would be in your best interest to find a way. Some compassionate medical provdiers, knowing that people are having financial concerns, will charge less or allow you the opportunity to pay in increments.

As sympathetic as I am to your financial situation, it is not possible to blindly diagnose or treat you over the Internet, so there is little that I can offer you except hope....and I certainly hope that you make the right health decision.


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