Q. Can a lesion inside the ear cause lightheadedness, fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes below jaw?

Answered by
Dr. Syed Tehmid
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 22, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have been looking for the cause of my constitutional symptoms including lightheadedness and fatigue. I have enlarged lymph nodes, with the biggest being behind my jaw just under my ear on the left side.

I used a camera to look inside of my ear, and I found a concerning discolored area of the skin inside my left ear canal. It does not look like ear wax, and it does not hurt, but I am concerned that it is melanoma or another harmful growth? I have images of it I will try to attach.

Dr. Syed Tehmid

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

The area of discoloration does seem to be something like a nevus. Though uncommon nevus can occur in the external auditory canal. Otherwise, your external auditory canal and TM (tympanic membrane) are normal and are not a source of fatigue and lightheadedness. Did you try palpating the lesion? Did you clean ear by syringing?

Malignant melanoma in this region is very rare and can be very silent. The best way of making sure that the node below your ear is not due to the lesion is to go for fine needle aspiration cytology. Further, you need to monitor for the growth of the lesion. However, it is most likely to be a benign lesion.

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Thank you doctor,

I will try syringing the ear. On palpation, it is hard and slightly painful, which makes me think it may be a scab? I will monitor it. I will consider finding a local ENT for fine needle aspiration of my swollen lymph node.

Dr. Syed Tehmid

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It could be a scab you might have got by accidentally injuring your ear while routine cleaning. In case you manage to do dislodge the lesion or a bit of it and you are not sure of it. You can send the same for histopathology.

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