Read below about swelling of one ear, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your swelling of one ear from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Swelling of One Ear

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced swelling of one ear. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)

    Swimmer's ear, also known as otitis externa, is inflammation, irritation, or infection of the outer ear and ear canal.

    7-10 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, jaw pain, ear pain that gets worse when moving
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Cellulitis

    Facial cellulitis is a skin infection that typically comes from other parts of the face like the mouth or the sinuses and needs antibiotic treatment. Symptoms can be pain, redness, warmth and swelling of the affected area.

    Dependent on severity of infection

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    facial redness, area of skin redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Swelling of One Ear Checker

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  3. 3.Lymph Node Inflammation Behind the Ear

    There are lymph nodes behind the ear. Lymph nodes are where your immune cells live, and when they become enlarged, it could be from a nearby infection, immune response, or even backlog of blood.

    Depends on the outcomes of what is causing the enlargement

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain behind the ear, swelling behind the ears
    Symptoms that always occur with lymph node inflammation behind the ear:
    swelling behind the ears
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Relapsing Polychondritis

    Relapsing polychondritis is an episodic, inflammatory and destructive disorder involving primarily cartilage of the ear and nose. It can also potentially affect the eyes, tracheobronchial tree, heart valves, kidneys, joints, skin, and blood vessels.

    Episodes of inflammation can last a few days to several weeks that then subside spontaneously or with treatment. Attacks may recur at intervals varying from weeks to months.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath, joint pain, congestion, runny nose, wheezing
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Skin Cyst

    An epidermoid cyst is a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. It is caused by trauma or surgery.

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump
    Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst:
    skin-colored armpit bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling of One Ear

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is there anything coming from your ear(s)?
  • Q.Do you have swelling behind your ears?
  • Q.Do you use a hearing aid or wear earplugs?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our swelling of one ear symptom checker to find out more.

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Swelling of One Ear Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swelling of one ear have also experienced:

    • 18% Pain in One Ear Canal
    • 6% Outer Ear Pain
    • 5% Ear Canal Pain
  • People who have experienced swelling of one ear had symptoms persist for:

    • 50% Less Than a Week
    • 31% Less Than a Day
    • 8% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced swelling of one ear were most often matched with:

    • 33% Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    • 33% Cellulitis
    • 33% Lymph Node Inflammation Behind the Ear
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

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