Read below about swollen ears, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your swollen ears 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 Swollen Ears

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced swollen ears. 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

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  2. 2.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
  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

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swollen Ears

  • Q.Do you have swelling behind your ears?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is there anything coming from your ear(s)?
  • Q.Do you use cotton-tipped swabs (q-tips) to clean your ears?

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

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Swollen Ears Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swollen ears have also experienced:

    • 5% Ear Fullness / Pressure
    • 4% Ear Itch
    • 3% Cough
  • People who have experienced swollen ears had symptoms persist for:

    • 50% Less Than a Week
    • 31% Less Than a Day
    • 8% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced swollen ears were most often matched with:

    • 36% Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    • 36% Lymph Node Inflammation Behind the Ear
    • 27% Relapsing Polychondritis
  • 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

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swollen ears

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