I have been having ear problems for the past three years. Please look at the MRI of my parotid glands to find any abnormality.

Q. What is the lump or red swelling present at the back of my throat?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay. B. K.
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 30, 2022 and last reviewed on: Sep 10, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have been having problems with my left ear for a few years. Around the same time, I became ill with POTS-type symptoms, but I am not sure if they are related to this query. I am experiencing pain, pressure, tinnitus, dizziness, and vertigo. I also have a globus sensation. I also have a lump or red swelling at the back of my throat on the left behind the palatopharyngeal arch. The doctor thinks it is due to acid reflux, but I am wondering if it is a blocked salivary duct. I have a lot of chronic symptoms, including dry eyes, mouth, and skin, and I have been looking into Sjogren's syndrome. I noticed my left parotid gland looks bigger on my left than right on a private MRI, and it is my left ear I have problems with. Could you take a look at my parotid glands to see if the left could be interfering with my ear?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Please do not worry; I understand your concern and will try and help you out. Please get back to me with the answers to the following questions so that we can arrive at a diagnosis. 1. The pain which is in the left ear, is it always present? Is there any ear discharge? How is the hearing in your left ear? Does the pain aggravate swallowing? 2. Vertigo that you are complaining about, please describe it. Is it present only for a few seconds or hours? Does it start with changing any position, like getting up from a sleeping position or anything like that? Does this vertigo come in attacks, or is it a constant feeling? 3. Regarding the lump, what you have mentioned, as said by your doctor, would be due to acid reflux or allergy, that is, the granular hypertrophy of lymphoid follicles in your posterior pharyngeal wall, unless you have chronic throat pain, you need not worry about this condition. 4. There is no rule that in a person, both the parotids would be of the same size or shape. It varies from person to person. And if it is Sjogren syndrome, a definite diagnosis can be confirmed only after taking a biopsy from the gland. And I am sorry to say the images link or file that you have uploaded is not accessible (the attachment is hidden to protect the patient's identity). If you have a link or something, you can directly paste it into the query section. Let me have a look. Please contact me anytime if you have any other queries. Kind regards.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. I am not worried I am more concerned I will never find a reason for my chronic debilitating symptoms, so finding a medical reason would be a relief. The main thing I forgot to add for me thinking it could be salivary related is because the lump I feel that is visible in my throat and globus sensation gets better during and just after eating. My ear pain is mild and not there all of the time and seems to start in the throat and radiate to the ear. I only have mild hearing loss in the right. There is no fluid from either ear. In general, there is no pain but just the sensation of a mass near my ear, which I also feel when swallowing. The swelling in my throat does seem to drain from time to time and causes me to cough. It is only my left side that is affected by any of these symptoms. The vertigo is sporadic and does not last more than a minute, but I do have constant dizziness. Hopefully, this link will work so you can access my MRI images (the attachment is hidden to protect the patient's identity).



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I do understand your concern. I have gone through your MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, I do not find any suspicious lesions or activities. I do agree that the size of the parotid on your left is a bit larger than your right, but there is no suspicious lesion. The other reason for your radiating pain would be the elongated styloid process, also known as eagle syndrome. For which a CT (computed tomography) scan of the neck would be necessary. Vertigo could be due to something known as BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), which can be corrected by positional maneuvers. I hope this helps. Kind regards.

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