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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Swollen gland under right jaw line

02/17/2010

Question:

I developed swelling just below the jaw line in btwn the jaw and the ear about 3 days ago. at first I thought I was starting to develop a cold because I was coughing intermittently, but that stopped. Then for about 2 hours on day 2 I had a stuffy nose, but then that went away. I pretty much always have post nasal drip so I have that too right continually. When I breathe in my nasal passages feel slightly twinge but no congestion in the head and very little (normal) gunk from allergies in the chest. The swelling gets hard when I eat in the middle of the day and swells. However, in the evening and morning, the swelling is far less as if it is subsiding. It is firm to medium in density and is only slightly tender, much like the twinge one gets when they smell something pungent. I do not believe I have a fever, but will check when I get a thermometer.

Answer:

You are describing parotitis. It occurs when the gland that produces saliva is unable to drain into the mouth. This causes swelling when eating. This is usually relieved with antibiotics, warm compresses, and sucking on sour candies such as lemon drops. If it continues despite this therapy or returns the imaging of the parotid gland (ie. ultrasound or a CT scan) would be warranted.

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Response by:

Lee   Zimmer, MD Lee Zimmer, MD
Assistant Professor or Otolaryngology, Director of Endoscopic Cranial Base Center
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati