Childhood Diseases

Posted by: tlee | 2012-01-27


Lymph nodes behind ears

Dear Dr
My son will be 3 years old at the beginning of March. He had grommets inserted and his adenoids removed just before his 2nd birthday.

Every doctor''s visit (which have been many due to him having severe sinus infections last year, including a week in hospital on antibiotic drip and a sinus drain procedure), the Paed checks his grommets and says they are fine.

Around the 6th of Jan (3 weeks ago) his right ear started oozing a light brown waxy substance and he started to get very restless at night. We were on holiday and had been swimming in the river and sea. The paed said it was an ear infection and gave him a 7day course of antibiotics (which finished about 2 weeks ago) and ear drops.

At the time of the infection we checked the lymph nodes behind his ears were not swollen or painful.

This morning he complained of sore cheeks but when I felt around it turned out to be the lymph nodes behind both ears that are painful when touched and a little swollen. He also has bad breath at the moment.

I would like to know if this is a sign of another infection or if this a latent reaction of the lymph nodes dealing with the infection (I have been told before that lymph nodes can remain swollen a few weeks after infection, but as these are also painful I am a little concerned).

Other than the painful lymph nodes behind his ears he is happy and healthy, eating well and not restless at night which is usually the first sign of an ear infection for him.

Should I take him to the Paed to check his throat (maybe tonsils) and ears or is it a latent reaction which will go away in a few days?

I am considering using the ear drops which we got in Jan (still plenty left) in bith ears and Andolex spray in his throat twice a day over the weekend and reassessing on Monday.

He is on a mulitvitamin, sterimar (saline) nasal spray, Avamys nasal spray (for possible allergies), zinplex 10ml and Omega 3 Concentrate daily.

Thank you for your time and advice.

Expert's Reply



You have given an excellent description of your sons problem.This sounds like another ear and throat infection despite all your best efforts.He really should be seen by an ENT specialist again.It is no use simply putting him on an antibiotic.

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